Twenty athletes to shine for Team Korea

Though not born in Korea, 20 athletes will fight for Team Korea with the national Taegeuk emblem on their chest, striving to shine for Korea at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The 20 athletes are from six countries and they're joining Team Korea with their new Korean nationality. These athletes are committed with firm determination to next year's Winter Olympics.

These athletes will participate in a wide range of disciplines, including skiing, skating and luging. Among them, some athletes are expected to place Korea at the top of the world. These athletes include Magnus Kim in cross-country skiing, Anna Frolina in the biathlon and Aileen Christina Frisch in the luge.

Magnus Kim is one of the most promising athletes to win the first-ever medal in a skiing discipline for Korea. Once on the junior national team in Norway, Kim has been fighting for Korea since 2015. In February 2016, he won both gold and silver medals in the cross-country skiing men's 10-kilometer free even at the Lillehammer 2016 Olympic Winter Youth Games in Lillehammer, Norway. These were the first-ever medals that a Korean athlete won in the history of Korean skiing.

Anna Frolina is another promising skiing athlete to watch. Known by her Korean name Seo Anna, she is a former member of the Russian national biathlon team. She recorded 22 minutes 29.1 seconds to win a silver medal at the IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships 2016, becoming the first Korean biathlon athlete to win a medal in the world championship.

Apart from Frolina, three other nationalized athletes will participate in the biathlon at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. They are Avvakumova Ekaterina on the women's team, and Starodubets Aleksandr and Timofey Lapshin on the men's team.

In the bobsleighing discipline, Aileen Christina Frisch, originally from Germany, has joined Team Korea. She became a member of the Korean national team in December last year. She came in 12th at the Luge World Cup in Germany on Jan. 6. She will concentrate on training at the Alpensia Sliding Center for the remaining year to prepare for the 2018 Olympics, all while learning about the advantages of her home track.

There are also six athletes on the men's ice hockey team who have joined Team Korea. They are Michael Swift, Matthew Dalton, Eric Regan, Bryan Young, Brock Radunske and Michael Testwuide. They previously played for Canada, the U.S. and Russia. They are now serving as a locomotive for Korea. Thanks to their efforts, the Korean men's ice hockey team won the Euro Ice Hockey Challenge 2016 that took place in Budapest in November last year.

In women's ice hockey, too, Caroline Park and Marissa Brandt got their Korean citizenship, while Danelle Im and Randi Griffin Heesoo are undergoing the process.

In figure skating, a popular sport in the skating discipline, Themistocles Leftheris and Alexander Gamelin from the U.S. are trying to win Korean nationality. Leftheris and Ji Min-ji won in the pair skating category at the Korean national figure skating championship on Jan. 8.

Gamelin has been training with Min Yu-ra since 2015. The two ranked eighth at the 2016 Four Continents Championships in February 2016.


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