The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) will be reinstated at the end of 2022.
North Korea was initially banned in September of 2021 after failing to send any athletes to the 2020 Tokyo Games. They had violated Rule 27.3 of the Olympic Charter, which states that “Each National Olympic Committee (NOC) is obliged to participate in the Games of the Olympiad by sending athletes.”
North Korea cited COVID-19 concerns as the reason for not competing, specifically saying that they wanted to “protect athletes from the global health crisis caused by the malicious virus infection.”
The IOC ban impacted North Korea’s ability to send an official delegation to the Beijing Olympics, but the IOC was planning on allowing individual athletes to compete under a neutral flag on a case-by-case basis. However, North Korea did not send athletes to Beijing primarily due to the pandemic, as well as what North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un called, “hostile forces”.
Before Tokyo, North Korea had sent athletes to every Olympic Games since their first absence in 1988. They chose to boycott the 1988 Games held in Seoul, due to the failure in reaching an agreement to co-host with South Korea.
North Korea and South Korea successfully reached an agreement to form a joint-team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Following their success in 2018, they also decided to launch a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics, but the IOC opted for Brisbane, Australia as the host.
North Korea also missed the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, as they opted to join the Soviet Union’s boycott on the Games.
North Korea made their Summer Olympic debut at the 1972 Munich Games. They appeared even earlier for their first Winter Olympics, as they had athletes at the 1964 Innsbruck Games.
Since their initial appearance at the Summer Olympics in 1972, North Korea has won a total of 46 Olympic medals, with 16 of those being gold. Their most successful sport has been weightlifting, as they have 5 gold medals in that sport alone.
not to be outdone by the FIFA president, the IOC said “hold my cash”