IOC member: Joint Korean hockey team should win Nobel Peace Prize

The combining of the North and South Korean Opening Ceremony delegations and hockey teams has been received positively so far, seen by many as a sign of hope that the two countries’ relationship can eventually thaw after over a half-century of conflict. One member of the International Olympic Committee is taking that positivity a little further.

American IOC member Angela Ruggiero called for the joint Korean hockey team to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, according to Reuters.

“I would love the team to get the Nobel Peace Prize,” Ruggiero said, per Reuters. “Seriously, the team. Something that is recognizing the sacrifice they made to adjusting their competitions.”

Ruggiero, a four-time Olympic medalist on the U.S. women’s hockey team, had tweeted praise for the joint Korean team earlier, saying their taking the ice together was “one of the most historic moments ever in sport.”

Such an honor for an athletic team would be unprecedented in the Nobel Prize’s history. The only Peace Prize winner with elite athletic experience seems to be England’s Philip Noel-Baker, who won a silver medal at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp and went on to earn the Peace Prize for his efforts in the United Kingdom Parliament.

The joint Korean women’s ice hockey players gather on the ice during a training session prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The joint hockey team is one of several olive branches that have been extended so far in PyeongChang, including the historic attendance of Kim Yo Jong, sister of Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

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