In the IOC there has not been “yet” a discussion on the idea of a Nobel Peace Prize
The unified team of the two Koreas of women’s ice hockey reacts after their defeat against Sweden in the preliminary round of the Olympic tournament on February 12, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea
Officials of the Olympic Committee lowered the profile on Tuesday to suggestions that the unified Korean hockey team could be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize but were more open to the idea of the IOC president being recognized.
Mark Adams, spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, said there had been “no reflection” within the body on a possible nomination of the unified Korean team, following the idea proposed by the US delegate, Angela Ruggiero.
“On the part of the administrative bodies of the IOC there has been no reflection on this, Obviously the members can have their own opinions (…) but there has not been any discussion,” he said.
Adams, on the other hand, was less categorical when asked if IOC President Thomas Bach should be proposed for the award, after helping North Korea attend.
“There is no discussion yet,” said Adams.
Bach plans to visit North Korea after the Games, where both delegations paraded together at the opening and also competed with a joint women’s hockey team.
The celebration of the Winter Games has allowed a rapprochement between Seoul and Pyongyang, after months of acute tensions over missile tests and the advance of the North’s nuclear program.
After having declined invitations from South Korea for months to attend the Games, Kim Jong-Un announced a turnaround in his New Year’s speech, which allowed his athletes to attend the Pyeongchang ski center, accompanied by his animators and also by a diplomatic delegation that included Kim’s sister, Kim Yo-Jong.
On his trip, Kim Yo-Jong shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, encouraged the unified women’s hockey team with him, and conveyed an invitation from his brother Kim Jong Un to participate in a summit in Pyongyang.
Ruggiero, who leads the IOC athletes commission and was an ice hockey medalist, said it was a personal opinion that the Korean team should be nominated.
“I’ve heard a lot of support from other members saying it’s symbolic, this is what the Olympic Games are about,” he explained.
In an interview with AFP on Monday, Bach dismissed fears that North Korea is using the Games as a means of propaganda, considering that its participation is purely sporting.
“Sport can not create peace, but sport can build bridges, open doors, we can show that a dialogue can lead to a positive outcome, as we demonstrate here,” he said.