The Opening Ceremonies for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics are here!
Two Korean adoptees have made the spotlight as they participate for their birth country, South Korea, during the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Thanks to legislation that was passed, which allow Korean adoptees to acquire dual citizenship, Marissa Brandt (Park, Yoon-jung 박윤정) and Jackie Kling (Lee, Mee-hyun 이미현). Marissa will participate in ice hockey and Jackie will participate in free style skiing. Marissa's story has been a bit more widely publicized, due to the unique nature that her sister, Hannah, will also participate in the Olympics, playing hockey for the United States.
Jackie is 23-years old and was born in Chinju. After high school, she moved to South Korea to work at a freestyle skiing school. She obtained dual citizenship with South Korea in December 2015. Jackie is quoted as saying, "I hope to meet my South Korean birth parents through the Olympics. My goal is to put my best effort forward and produce a result, which I can take a pride of being Korean in."
Read more about Jackie's story here and here.
Marissa is 25-years old and attended Gustavus Aldolphus College, where she played Division III hockey. In 2015, she received an offer to try out for the Korean national hockey team as she was identified as being an eligible player, located in North America, to play for South Korea during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Marissa obtained her dual citizenship with South Korea in 2016. Marissa's story has been covered by local, national, and international news outlets, including: the Star Tribune, CNN, and Yonhap.
There are other adoptees also participating in the 2018 Olympics, including:
--Mialitiana Clerc, a 16-year-old adoptee from Madagascar. She was adopted by a French family at the age of one. She will represent Madagascar in alpine skiing. She is the first woman to compete for Madagascar in the Winter Olympics. During the Opening Ceremonies, Mialitiana was the flag bearer for Madagascar.
--Michael Poettoz, a 19-year-old adoptee from Colombia. He was adopted by a French family at the age of 21 months. He is also an alpine skiier and will represent Colombia in this event. Michael was the first Colombian ever to participate at the Winter Youth Olympics in 2016. He decided to compete for Colombia at the age of 15. Michael is quoted as saying, "I could represent France but I prefer to do it for Colombia. I am Colombian, I like my country's food, music, and the charm of the people."
Do you know of other adoptees participating (or who have participated) in the Olympics? Comment below!