4 Foreign-Born Athletes Become Naturalized Koreans

      April 01, 2016 10:04

      Naturalized citizens will represent Korea at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.

      Two Canadian-born ice hockey players, Matt Dalton and Eric Regan, and two Russian-born biathletes, Alexander Starodubets and Anna Frolina, have acquired Korean citizenship, the Justice Ministry said on Thursday.

      The Korean nationality law allows people with special talents in specific areas such as science, culture and sports to be fast-tracked to citizenship.

      From left, Eric Regan, Matt Dalton, Anna Frolina and Alexander Starodubets

      Dalton, 30, and Regan, 28, who play for Korean ice hockey club Anyang Halla, previously made names for themselves playing in Europe. Their addition to the team means there are now six naturalized players on the national ice hockey squad.

      Starodubets and Frolina will be the first naturalized Koreans to represent the country in the biathlon. Starodubets, who was a member of the Russian junior national team, chose to represent Korea because it would give him more opportunities to compete. The 23-year-old said he is considering making Korea his home once the Games are over to promote biathlon here.

      Frolina, 32, is an outstanding biathlete who turned in many good performances during her time on the Russian national team.

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