Athletes from the two Koreas marched together at the opening ceremony with the unification flag but the symbol and highlight was the Unified Korean Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team that wrote history.
It was arguably the most emotional and politically most powerful story of the past season not only for ice hockey but for the Olympic movement. For the first time at the Olympics athletes from the north and south of the Korean Peninsula did not only march together but played together on the same team, for the same goal sharing the same dressing room – and sending out a message of peace.
Dr. Beate Grupp, an IIHF Life Member who grew up in a divided country herself coming from Germany, was mandated by the IIHF to work as a liaison person with the team, as a neutral observer and to facilitate relations for this unique team during the emotional and historic weeks. Her hands-on experience with the team and thoughts did not just end up in a black-on-white report at the IIHF Office but eventually became a colourful book: UNIFIED – The Story Behind.
In this book she gives insight into the team life from her perspective and writes about how the ice hockey family worked to make the dream of a Unified Korean team come true with some little-known facts. Did you know for instance that the idea of a unified team already started in 2001? The book shows how the international ice hockey family worked on making the Olympic dream of a Unified Korea on ice become true, the forming of the team and preparation for the Olympic Winter Games before going in-depth with the team on-site in the city of Gangneung where Olympic ice hockey was played.
The 64-page book comes with a lot of information from behind the scenes, some facts and images that haven’t been published before and 30 colour images collected from different sources to immortalize the historic event.
The book eternalizes history we witnessed and as presented to the IIHF membership during the recent 2018 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress. You can also have a book in your hand as a few copies have been made available to the general public. In Europe they can be ordered on amazon.co.uk in English and amazon.de in the German-speaking area for a symbolic price of €20.18, and worldwide through the form below.
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