Strong debut for North Korean figure skaters


But the cross-Peninsula support didn’t help the South Koreans, who scored a disappointing 42.93 after Kim took a hard fall onto the ice. The score obviously hit them hard, with Kim on the verge of tears speaking to reporters after the performance.

The North Korean pair originally qualified for the Winter Olympics in September, but North Korea’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) missed the deadline to register them for the Games.

“The IOC’s mission is always to ensure the participation of all qualified athletes, beyond all political tensions and divisions,” the IOC said in a statement.

After their performance, the North Korean skaters smiled broadly and ignored question from reporters as they walked past the international press. They later said they were grateful for the support of the Korean people.

The pair secured one of the final Olympic spots after producing an impressive free-skate performance, again to “A Day in the Life,” at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany in September.

Previously, Ryom and Kim had spent the summer training in Montreal under renowned Canadian coach, Bruno Marcotte.

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