North Korean IOC member wishes country's Olympians to 'do their best'

By Yonhap
  • Published : Feb 5, 2018 - 22:17
  • Updated : Feb 6, 2018 - 09:34
Chang Ung, the lone North Korean member of the International Olympics Committee, said Monday he wishes athletes from his country to "do their best" at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

"I haven't had the opportunity to meet with the North Korean athletes. I will tell them to do their best," Chang said at the cafeteria of the PyeongChang Olympic Village, the main athletes' village of the first Winter Games in South Korea.

Chang Ung (Yonhap)

Chang, a former basketball player, was participating in a VIP tour of the athletes' village after an unveiling ceremony for the Olympic Truce Wall earlier in the day. He arrived in the South on

Sunday to attend the 132nd IOC Session in Gangneung, a sub-host city of the Olympics.

The two Koreas and the IOC last month reached an agreement on the North's participation in the Winter Games. North Korean athletes have been arriving in the South since late January.

When asked about his involvement with the North's national squad, Chang said he "can't tend to" the North Korean team itself, adding that he "has a mountain of work to do" and that "there are athletes who do the actual competing."

For Chang, the PyeongChang Games will be the last Olympics before he retires as an IOC member because of age. Chang was elected to the IOC in 1996.

"It's only natural to quit after one gets old," Chang reflected when asked about his retirement from the IOC. "You do what your destiny tells you to do," he added. (Yonhap)