IOC creates pool of Russians eligible for Winter Olympics

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The International Olympic Committee held a meeting at their headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Saturday, after which they revealed North Korea would indeed participate in the Games. "The Olympic Winter Games are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future on the Korean peninsula".

Multiple polls in South Korea show that over 70 percent of respondents say they oppose fielding a joint Korean women's hockey team at the PyeongChang Games.

With the Winter Olympics slated to kick off in just three weeks in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang, a bicycle run began a little past noon Friday in the border city of Paju in the northwest of the country.

The 22 North Korean athletes mark more North Koreans at a Winter Olympics than the last six Winter Games combined.

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The IOC also made a decision to allow the North Korean figure staking pairs team of Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik to compete in the Olympics.

Those include figure skating, short-track speed skating, cross-country skiing and Alpine skiing, as well as hockey.

"It was not easy to put this list together, but we wanted to be absolutely sure that only clean athletes from Russian Federation can be invited to participate in the Olympic Winter Games".

But Russian athletes would still be able to compete at the PyeongChang Games in uniforms bearing the name "Olympic Athlete from Russia" under the Olympic Flag, and the Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony.

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After North Korea announced its plans to send a 230-member cheering squad to Pyeongchang, Japanese Foreign Minister, Taro Kono warned of falling for Kim Jong-un's "charm offensive", suspecting that the country was buying time to develop its nuclear programme.

Asked how the International Olympic Committee planned to maintain the integrity of the sport, Adams said: "People would say that these are exceptional circumstances, and we need exceptional measures".

According to the Ski Resort Business Association of Korea, there were two million less people skiing in the peak season last year than five years ago.

The South Korean head coach will take charge but at least three players from North Korea must be selected in the team. "The theme of the opening ceremony on February 9 is to be "peace that acts, ' sharing performances combining tradition with modernity and a winter-themed children's story unique to Pyeongchang carrying a message for world peace", the ministry explained".

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The panel also recommended 51 coaches and 10 medical staff can not be invited to the Olympics which run from February 9 to 25.

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