92 Countries to Participate in Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

  • By Seok Nam-jun

    November 02, 2017 10:21

    A record 92 nations have applied to participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as the four-month application period came to an end on Monday.

    That is four more than the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. But North Korea was not on the list, even though a pair of figure skaters from the isolated country have qualified.

    Athletes are given Olympic registration cards that ensure visa-free entry to Korea. 

    Former table tennis player Ryu Seung-min, a member of the Athlete's Commission of the International Olympic Committee, carries the torch for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics at an event in Incheon on Wednesday. /Yonhap

    The number of participating nations rose because countries that were traditionally weak in winter sports ended up qualifying for the games.

    Hot and dusty Eritrea qualified for the alpine skiing event, while tropical Malaysia secured berths in alpine skiing and figure skating for the first time.

    North Korea failed to apply by the Tuesday deadline. Figure skaters Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik qualified after coming sixth in the ISU Nebelhorn Trophy in September. Countries that qualify later can still apply until Jan. 29 next year.

    Meanwhile, the Olympic torch that was lit in Greece arrived at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday. It will be carried by 7,500 people over a distance of 2,018 km until Feb. 9.

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