N. Korean ski coach says it's 'honor' to compete in Olympics

N. Korean ski coach says it's 'honor' to compete in Olympics
Kim Ryon Hyang of North Korea makes a turn during free skiing on the giant slalom course at the Yongpyong Alpine Center at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — North Korea’s Alpine skiing coach says it’s an “honor” to compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, though he doesn’t expect much from any of his athletes.

North Korea is sending 22 athletes, including three Alpine skiers, to the Pyeongchang Games thanks to special entries given by the International Olympic Committee amid rare reconciliation mood between the rival Koreas.

The North’s Alpine coach, Pyon Yong Do, says attending the Olympics has a “significant meaning” though winning competitions are important, too.

The 19 other North Korean athletes participating in the games are three cross-country skiers; two short-track speed skaters; a pair of figure skaters; and 12 female hockey players who helped form the Koreas’ first-ever joint Olympic team with South Korean players.