Games people playhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/olympics-2032-north-korea-south-korea-games-people-play-11/

Games people play

Koreas take another step towards peace in the peninsula, seek to joint host Olympics.

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The North and South Koreas had fielded joint teams in basketball and a couple of other sports at the recent Jakarta Asian Games.

Sport often offers that warm fuzzy feeling experienced en masse and multiplied by millions watching the drama unfold together. Right at this moment, there’s nothing in the world that can match the charm of an Olympics hosted together by North and South Korea, two nations history has contrived to keep apart. Seoul hosted the Games in 1988, but at the Korean peninsular peace summit in Pyongyang this week, Presidents Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Unproposed a joint bid for the 2032 Olympics, melting the hardest of hearts. The world, perhaps, is so broken and divided and paranoid that this singular attempt at peace seems like a rare spark of hope.

The North and South Koreas had fielded joint teams in basketball and a couple of other sports at the recent Jakarta Asian Games. While the International Olympic Committee is being wooed by Australia, Germany, India and Indonesia for the 2032 Games, bids for which would go up in 2025, a joint Korean effort may tip the scales, for the sheer emotion and drama it offers. It got even President Trump excited on Wednesday, who tweeted his joy.

In the Cold War era, Olympic Games were an occasion for nations to announce their ideological affiliations and take sides. The Iron Curtain fell in the 1990s in Europe but relations between the Koreas stayed in deep freeze. A joint Korean Olympics could mark the healing of an ideological gash that has festered since 1951, threatening even nuclear holocaust. An agreement signed by the two presidents this week promises to have rail and road connectivity between North and South within the next year. North Korea is closing down a missile test facility and the two nations will cease military drills along the Military Demarcation Line, which divides the two countries, by November 1. An Olympics hosted jointly by the two Koreas could be the crowning glory of this arduous journey towards peace in the peninsula.