S Korea, Japan celebrate skaters' friendship

By Soyoung Kim and Elaine Lies

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Now this, THIS is what ones supposed to read first thing in the morning. To be a mind reader now is desired. I'd really like to know what die hard right wing racists must be thinking. We need more of this.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

Wallace Fred

Hard core racists? Perhaps half the problem is the hard core left that likew to group classify those who dont think that them “right wing racists”. Chill out already man!

A nice uniting headline for a change yes. Don’t have much hope for lasting media headlines headlining positivity but thats not everything either.

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

The true sportsmanship of any competitive sport is not so much about the result in winning or losing but about competing as athletes and afterward the friendship bonds between athletes no matter where one is from.  That is true athleticism and the real spirit of sports and what better way to embrace this than at an Olympic meet of which these two have brought back to the games. Well done and a classic.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

This moment capturing their friendship and respect for each other is what not just the Olympic but the human spirit is all about. It is beyond politics, screw the oyajis on all sides who are forever trying to create trouble for their own political ends.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Let the oyaji politicians get together for a nomikai and a hot springs trip, Kim included.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

the two neighbors with a bitter history

Nothing to do with history.  Nao Kodaira has shown nice gesture.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This was very touching, but I couldn't care less what Abe 'applauds'. I bet they sure don't teach this at that kindergarten of his.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They both deserve gold medals for doing more their respective countries than either of their governments could do. Well done girls!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe applauding their friendship.

And no comment from President Moon? Or does he think that he brought world peace by inviting and paying for the North Korean team and delegation?

Hat's off to the South Korean and Japanese media for showing the world that the haters are just a minority. And continued shame on the western media that just can't write a single article about these two nations without making reference to historical issues and disputes.

has touched many hearts in the two neighbors with a bitter history

Bilateral relations remain strained due to the shared past in which Japan colonised South Korea from 1910-1945.

Shame on Thomson Reuters.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

 I bet they sure don't teach this at that kindergarten of his.

It is samurai spirit to give consideration to the losers when the game is over.  Yes they teach that at Japanese kindergarten.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

@Fred - Now this, THIS is what ones supposed to read first thing in the morning.....

I completely agree!! great story and really cool that these 2 showed such comradery

You could have left the rest of your post off and you would have maintained the beauty of this story. Sometimes people just cannot let a good thing be simply a good thing.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"The sight of two of you embracing each other after the race and congratulating each other was really wonderful," Abe told her

Thousands took to the internet and social media to praise their gesture as a true friendship and sportsmanship.

That scene really grasped the core Olympic value.....

Others heraled the friendship of the two women as a sign of a real "Peace Olympics.

I don't know why Wallace Fred has chosen to make this a political issue?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Congrats to them both for their medals.

This is what international relations is about. Whether through sports or music or business or education or whatever - creating true friendships, based on care, kindness and understanding.

Amazingly most media (& people) didn't know these two have been friends for over a decade, competed together, trained together, socialized together, travelled together & yes won & lost together.

There's no surprise in this at all. In fact millions of "ordinary" folks make and hold these friendships all the time, just the media / govt morons believe they know best and only spout their line, showing shock when us ordinary folks are not at war with each other at all.

So many in the political / media hierarchy need to break their cloned shells and get a life. See what real people do everyday.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sites like JT fuel the fire by posting LOTS of stuff about comfort women or the A bombs or yadda, yadda, yadda, and then commenters jump in and start bashing this or that. Is some of it newsworthy? Perhaps. But much of it is to get the commenters hooked into commenting, fueling the fire and boosting viewer numbers.

So let me personally thank JT for posting something positive for a change.

What these skaters have shown is that friendship begins from the ground up, not the top down. Now let's all live in peace while holding our national flags.

Oh, and let's keep enjoying those North Korean cheerleaders. Watching them reminds me of how the Japanese fans are at baseball games. See! The countries are very similar.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


6 ( +6 / -0 )

Also, odds are good that Lee Sang Hwa also knew the former Olympian on the Japan team who died a month ago. As @browny pointed out, the realm of world class athletes is small enough that they get to know their rivals really well after competing for a decade or more. Congrats to these great gals.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

it is wonderful to see such great sportsmanship between athletes way to go ladies!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Indeed their friendship and rivalry are a shining example of the best sports can be. When Nao hugged and comforted Lee, it was genuine because they truly respect and admire each other as athletes and as friends.

The story of Lee and Nao is far better than that of Mao and Yuna. When Mao gave a subpar skating performance in Vancouver 2010, and did not get the gold medal, she was almost inconsolable. Yuna Kim destroyed the entire skating field and in particular it seemed like she almost reveled in her humiliation of Mao (their rivalry was no doubt made far worse by the ultra nationalist haters on both sides, a nastiness that still exists today). There was no comforting of Mao or the like by Yuna, a coolly attitude towards her rival.

Contrast that to what happened with Lee and Nao. They were friends on and off the ice for years, a genuine friendship, respect, and admiration for each other that goes far beyond a world media that continually likes to hype how much South Koreans and Japanese hate each other. One western media outlet a few days ago put out an extravagant fluff piece about how Lee and Nao had the weight of their country's hopes on their shoulders, and trying to hype up the "lingering bitter resentment" between Japan and Korea, and by default, Nao and Lee, as if this was going to be some hostile competition. It's almost like the world media wants there to be so much drama and hate. The article, of course, conveniently left out the fact that Nao and Lee shared a long friendship.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is samurai spirit to give consideration to the losers when the game is over. Yes they teach that at Japanese kindergarten.

Is it samurai spirit to show respect to winners too? I seem to remember a childish tantrum from a female wrestler at the last summer games.

This is how grown-ups should behave. Credit to them.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Just very touching and a marvelous image that the whole world has seen.....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Its quite sobering to see athletes behaving more like statesmen and ambassadors of peace than the politicians in their respective countries...

My hat off to them

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Truly the spirit of Olympics that should be emulated also in our daily lives. Hats off to Lee and Kodaira!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This was truly what the Olympics are all about -- these two hugging and skating around the rink together in a moment of bonding, and not nationalism.

I gotta say, though, only in Japan do I see it reported as "what other countries think of us", as shown by the Korean newspaper photos. This isn't about what A thinks of B, or what C - Z think of A for what A did for B; it's about coming together. There's no "this is the samurai spirit and what sets us apart and above" -- this is what it means to be HUMAN and work with others.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Honestly, dunno what all the fuss is about. Did anyone really 'expect' Kodaira (or anyone else for that matter) to ignore a sobbing Lee just after winning gold on her own turf? 99.9% of athletes would have done the same (and rightly so). Winners comfort losers every day of the week in most sports all around the world.

"The scene of the two embracing is something all humanity has been waiting for."

Now that's way OTT/silly.

Was more impressed by speed-skaters superb athleticism & body shape tbh.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Nice to see :) Setting an example.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

These two superstars may in fact change the course of history with this powerful gesture. It makes sense considering the amount of effort, skill, determination, discipline and sacrifice it takes to become an athlete of this caliber. Politicians should really take note, and bow down in respect. Leave their petty, self serving and ineffective ways at the door for a while.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It is samurai spirit to give consideration to the losers when the game is over. Yes they teach that at Japanese kindergarten.

I woudn’t link it to bushido, which is more a code of conduct and martial discipline developed during the Edo period because there were more wars to fight and itchy samurai were looking to fight for any petty reason.

In Japanese traditional sports, overt displays of emotion are frowned upon. I forget the name, but a Yokozuna was once disqualified for stepping over his felled opponent and pumping his fist. Such displays and “disrespect of opponent” are also banned in karate and kendo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan colonised South Korea from 1910-1945.

New rule: No more inserting this line into EVERY article related to Korea.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They both deserve gold medals for doing more their respective countries than either of their governments could do.


2 ( +3 / -1 )

tinawatanabe: "It is samurai spirit to give consideration to the losers when the game is over."

Hogwash. It's called human nature. Nothing "samurai" about it, save that samurai were also just normal human beings capable of emotion. They showed EACH OTHER nice gestures. Period. That is why it is news. It's not one-sided.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Wouldn't it be nice to see the worlds leaders and politicians display the same level of humanity. Great example girls. Well done to both.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wish the North Korean cheerleader could witnessed this. This is what peace and unity look like.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@eaglezz, that is an interesting can of worms because what transpired there was even though a SK and NK athlete were paired up for the torch lighting and later forced to give a press conference together, their answers were so wildly apart ("this unity is great" vs. "I felt nothing walking together") that it came across as a farce. You can guess which side was repeating the script and which showed their true feelings about the charade.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


People can bond and be friends over sports, cultural similarities and cultural differences. It's very heartwarming to know that despite certain media and despite the online brigades promoting divisions, a simple story like this is far, far more inspiring than yet another story designed to create discord.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That was a great moment. Koreans and Japanese are traditional rivals but it was great to see these two show that sportsmanship after a close competition.

Beautiful! that is really the way the world is, the majority. We may have different physical outer make up, but we share the same commonality of existence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think that these two ladies should be entered into the Noble peace prize, as worthy contenders, they have done a lot of good in such a short time in breaking down of those frosty relations between a few nations, it just goes to show that two people from two different backgrounds/nations can be friends, it makes me wonder where all of this mistrust and hate comes from.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The friendship between Japanese and S. Korean peoples are okay but only the politicians are playing politic for self interests.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Heart warming friendship by two champs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Truly champions behavior. True winner attitude. Congratulations, this is the kind of gesture that turns the world a better place to live.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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