GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — There are sports rivalries, and then there’s Korea versus Japan. It’s an often toxic mix of history, much of it violent, and politics with a dose of cultural chauvinism and envy mixed in.
The fierce grudges over historical persecution and a thousand perceived national and cultural slights cannot be untwined from the sports for many Koreans. These swirling emotions are front and center as a combined team of North and South Koreans plays regional power Japan in women’s hockey.
Both have yet to win a game these Olympics. Both desperately want that win to come against their loathed rival.
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