The selectively mawkish media are making much of the “Unified Team” at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Those in the know, however, are concerned for the safety of the relative handful of North Korean athletes participating, especially as they have yet to win a medal. Kim Jong-Un does not want his Hermit Kingdom- and its citizens- to be seen as anything other than all-powerful winners and achievers. Failure on the world stage has traditionally meant that “winter is coming” for unsuccessful athletes from the North.
Members of the 1966 North Korean soccer team were reportedly shipped off to Yodok Prison, aka “Camp 15,” just days after they lost to Portugal 5-3. They were also reportedly spotted drinking with local ladies- in public yet- so they probably deserved their fate. North Korean defector Kang Chol-Hwan claims he met some members of the team while he was being held as a political prisoner in the infamous gulag.
More recently, the North Korean national soccer team was supposedly “punished” after getting trounced 7-0 by Portugal in a 2010 World Cup game. FIFA (The Fédération Internationale de Football Association) investigated reports that some of the players disappeared and/or were tortured in one of the many prison camps that festoon the nation after that result. Due to the reclusiveness of the regime, and the incompetence of FIFA, nothing was confirmed…but nothing was ruled out, either.
In keeping with the new Era of Good Feeling- and modern mores- these 2018 North Korean Olympians will not be tortured or shot, even if collectively they don’t win a single medal, a highly-placed source informed me. Instead, upon their return to The Beloved Homeland, they will be given a chance to “train even harder” at “selected remote venues” around the Communist Paradise.
The source told me that “unique training methods” will be undertaken, and that the athletes will be given the opportunity to compete in “unique sports, slightly modified versions of current winter endeavors.” Some of the new sports rumored to be included are sled-jumping (in place of ski-jumping), lice hockey (in lieu of ice hockey), waterboarding (instead of snowboarding), disfigured skating, the die-athlon, freestyle dying, and advanced skeleton.
Look for NBC, CNN and MSNBC to laud the continuing efforts of the Dear Leader- and his sister, the Dear Minister of State Propaganda- to provide the means and motivation necessary for their country’s athletes to someday successfully compete in international sporting events.