Iconic selfie shows how sport unites

The spirit of the Olympics has brought together a South Korean and a North Korean athlete who posed for a selfie at the Rio Games.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

All smiles: This photo has been hailed as representing the spirit of the Olympic Games.

A single selfie has superceded years of political animosity between North and South Korea and it was brought on by the spirit of the Olympic Games which aims to unite all athletes in peace and goodwill despite their differences.  

The selfie which was taken by South Korean gymnast Lee Eun-ju and her competitor, North Korea's Hong Un Jong, during a training session before the start of the games.

During  2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, Un Jong won the golden medal but was not allowed to compete in 2012 because of an age controversy.

Eun-ju is a first time competitor at the Olympic Games.  

Their simple and friendly snapshot has been hailed as a diplomatic move as the two countries are still in a technical state of war.  

The two nations divided in 1945.

Since then, the two countries adopted a hostile attitude towards each other by flaring tensions in a demilitarised zone - an established boundary to separate the two nations from each other.  

“In the past, North Korean athletes avoided conversation not only with the athletes, but also with reporters from South Korea,” Korean-American newspaper Korea Daily reported.

“ However this summer, they greeted South Korean athletes with more hospitality,” it added.

The move by the two sportswomen has given an undeniable hope to their two countries and is a glaring example to other countries around the world.

TRTWorld and agencies