The Korea Herald


[PyeongChang 2018] On Social Media: Korean women’s ice hockey team’s Olympic debut

By Claire Lee

Published : Feb. 11, 2018 - 01:01

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The much-awaited Olympic debut of Korean women’s ice hockey team took place on Saturday night.

The team, which is the first in Olympic history to have athletes from both Koreas, lost 8-0 to Switzerland.

Here is what’s being talked about the historic match on social media, including the North Korean cheerleaders, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, among others.

“Hats off to her”

According to a tweet by the International Ice Hockey Federation, Florence Schelling, who is the goaltender for the Switzerland women’s hockey team, gave a shout out to her South Korean counterpart Shin So-jung for making 44 saves on 52 shots.

In an interview with a local media outlet after the match, Shin said she was too nervous and she should’ve done better.

Shin So-jung, the goaltender for the Korean women's hockey team. She made 44 saves on 52 shots during the team's Olympic debut against Switzerland on Saturday. (Yonhap) Shin So-jung, the goaltender for the Korean women's hockey team. She made 44 saves on 52 shots during the team's Olympic debut against Switzerland on Saturday. (Yonhap)

The athlete said the experience was overwhelming especially because some 3,000 people were watching, including the South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong.

“I have to be better than today,” she said, when asked about how she feels about her upcoming matches against Japan and Sweden. “I hope I can relax and try to give my best.”

When asked about her experience with North Korean athletes, she said she did not encounter too many problems although at times it was hard to understand them because of the language differences.

"We are one"

On top of the athletes, much attention was given to some 200 cheerleaders from North Korea, who ceaselessly showed support throughout the game, showing off their synchronized moves.

According to those who were at the venue to witness the scene, the North Korean cheerleaders did not stop chanting – “We are one! We are one!” -- in spite of the Korean team’s 8-0 loss to Switzerland.

Some noticed that while the cheerleaders from North Korea, all dressed in their red uniform, were singing about unification, South Korean rappers were singing “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars.

South Korean and Swiss Presidents on Twitter 

Ahead of the iconic match between Korea’s unified women’s ice hockey team and Switzerland, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in thanked Switzerland’s President Alain Berset for his dedication toward creating a peaceful Olympics via Twitter.

“Extending heartfelt thanks to President Berset. Let’s cheer together as the unified Korean team and Switzerland meet at at women’s ice hockey,” Moon wrote on Twitter. The tweet has been retweeted over 1,400 times.

The remarks came in response to a previous tweet from Switzerland President Berset, who had tweeted about his one-on-one meeting with South Korean president on Feb. 8.

During the bilateral talks held last week, Moon asked for Switzerland’s support in ensuring that the PyeongChang Winter Olympics can promote peace in line with its founding spirit.

“Thoughtful exchange with President Moon on bilateral relations and ways to promote sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Berset had tweeted.

By Claire Lee and Sohn Ji-young ( (