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Dispersed Families to Serve as Volunteers for 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics


□ The Organizing Committee of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympics plans to have a total of 39 people serve as special volunteers, including high-ranking officials, politicians, sports stars, multicultural families, low-income families and veterans’ families.

□ In consideration of the participation of North Korean athletes in the Olympics, two of the dispersed families (four people in total) will serve as special volunteers during the event as symbols of reconciliation and a peaceful relationship between the two Koreas.

o Son Yang-yeong and Lee Gyeong-pil, who were selected as special volunteers representing the dispersed families, were born aboard the SS Meredith Victory which carried North Korean refugees from Heungnam to Geojedo Island in December 1950 during the Korean War.

o At the time of their birth, US soldiers called the babies affectionately with such names as ‘Kimchi One’ and ‘Kimchi Two,’ and the five babies born on the ship came to be called the ‘Kimchi Five.’

o Son Yang-yeong, the first to be born on the ship, and Lee Gyeong-pil, the fifth, are set to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics with their wives as special volunteers.

o During the Winter Olympics, they will serve as guides for athletes for one night and two days with their wives, informing athletes of the locations of stadiums, et cetera.

o Commenting on his selection, Son Yang-yeong said, “I would not be here today if not for the special operation carried out to help us refugees move to the south during the Korean War. I’ve always felt thankful for those who provided aid in such ways. I volunteered to serve as a guide during the Winter Olympics to do something for others. I’d like to show the good hospitality of Koreans and let the foreign visitors find out about Korea using my English skills.”