Of the two daughters Greg and Robin Brandt raised in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minn., it was Hannah who was more fascinated with the culture and customs of South Korea than Marissa, whom the couple had adopted from that country as a 4-month-old. The girls went to Korean culture camp together and Hannah was an eager camper, entranced by the hanbok — a traditional Korean dress and outfit — and the language and food, while Marissa wanted to assimilate and be like every other American kid.
In Minnesota, that meant skating. Marissa, older by 11 months, was a figure skater. Hannah played hockey, and eventually Marissa joined her. They played in high school together but went to different colleges, Hannah to the powerhouse University of Minnesota and Marissa to Division III Gustavus Adolphus College. Hannah continued playing in a women’s pro league but Marissa thought her hockey career ended when she finished college.
Instead, they find themselves sharing lunch and strolls through the Pyeongchang Olympic Village. Hannah got here as a forward on the U.S women’s hockey team. Marissa will play defense for the united North/South Korea team under her birth name of Park Yoon-Jung. “I could not have imagined this, ever,” Hannah said Wednesday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, an increasingly prominent figure in the country's leadership, will be part of the North's delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics, officials said Wednesday.
Kim Yo Jong, believed to be in her late 20s or early 30s, would be the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Analysts say her inclusion in the Olympic delegation shows North Korea's ambition to use the Olympics to break out from diplomatic isolation by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States.
By sending a youthful, photogenic person who will undoubtedly attract international attention during the Olympics, North Korea is also trying to construct a fresher and warmer public image and defuse potential U.S. efforts to use the Pyeongchang Games to highlight the North's brutal human rights record, experts say.
The U.S. Olympic Alpine ski team has added Tricia Mangan to replace the injured Jackie Wiles.
Mangan, 20, finished fourth in the super-G at the Junior World Ski Championships in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year.
Wiles had been expected to be a key part of the U.S. team but crashed during the downhill in a World Cup event at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, last week. She suffered a slew of injuries to her left leg, including a torn anterior cruciate ligament and two broken bones.