North Korea’s Key to Olympic Medals: Refrigerators For Winners, Labor Camps for Losers?
North Korea’s Olympic athletes are thrilling their countrymen with surprising success in winning medals and they are attributing their success to their Dear Leader Kim Jong Un.
But others, including former North Korean athletes who have defected, suggest the success of the country’s small contingent of athletes at the games may be the result of a policy of training them from a very young age at specialized schools, backed up by rewards like cars and refrigerators for winners and the threat of labor camps for losers.
North Korea ranks 14th in the overall medal count, but fifth in terms of the number of gold medals with four.
The country won two golds in men’s weightlifting, one in women’s weightlifting and one in women’s judo. It also captured a bronze medal in women’s weightlifting.
The communist nation has 56 athletes competing in 11 sports. Its hopes for additional medals lie in boxing, wrestling, diving, table tennis, judo, and archery. The best Olympic result in the past was four gold medals and five bronzes in Barcelona 1992.
Photo Credit: (ABC News)