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A figure skating coach from Montreal may have played a small role in easing tensions between the two Koreas after helping a pair of potential North Korean Olympians flourish.

With North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s nuclear threats looming over the competition, the country is now reportedly considering sending two of its athletes, last minute, to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The figure skating pair Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik spent the summer training in Montreal and are the only North Korean athletes who qualified for the Winter Olympics.

The pair flourished under the watchful eye of Bruno Marcotte, the 43-year-old skating coach and former World Junior bronze medallist from Montreal.

They all met at the World Figure Skating Championships last year.

“They approached me and at first they just wanted some advice on what they should do to be a better team,” Marcotte said. “But that led to an off-ice lift class.” 

More serious meetings about studying under Marcotte followed.

Bruno marcotte

Bruno Marcotte would love to see the pair attend the Olympics. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel, Marcotte’s wife, is also competing at the Games in hopes of snagging her first Olympic medal.

Following training with Marcotte and mastering choreography with the help of his sister Julie, they were able to secure a spot at the Games while skating to Quebec artist Ginette Reno’s Je ne suis qu’une chanson in Germany last September.

While there aren’t any guarantees of Ryom and Kim being sent across the border to compete in South Korea, Marcotte said he would love if the pair could attend the Olympics.

He said a lot of people focus on the politics of the situation and not the talent of these two skaters.

“This is a good team. A team that earned the right [to compete],” Marcotte said.

The world watches

This weekend an International Olympic Committee representative for North Korea said the country will likely compete at the Games next month, according to Japanese media reports.

Both South Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump have heralded North Korea’s potential participation as a step forward in mending tense relations on the peninsula.

Under his leadership, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been pushing to build a better relationship with North Korea and invited the nation to participate in the Games.

The two Koreas will hold a rare discussion at the border starting Tuesday, exactly one month before the Winter Olympics kick off on Feb. 9.

Korean competitors became close in Montreal

The Montreal coach has also played a role in bringing the two Koreas together in an unexpected fashion.

While they were practising in Montreal, Ryom and Kim formed a friendship with their South Korean competitors who were also training with Marcotte.

Alex Kang-chan Kam and Kim Kyu-eun, the South Korean skating pair, said they became close and exchanged food.

South Korean figure skaters Montreal training

South Korean figure skaters Kim Kyu-eun and Alex Kang-chan Kam also trained in Montreal last summer. (Reuters)

“As we trained together for two months in Canada, we became close easily because we speak the same language,” said Kam. “We rooted for each other and we said that we should meet in Pyeongchang.”

The pair also hope they will meet their counterparts next month at the Winter Games.

“When I meet them again, I want to say ‘It’s good to see you after a long time,'” said Kim. “And I want to compete well against them as friendly rivals.”

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Edmonton Alberta News Headlines

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Edmonton /ˈɛdməntən/ (About this sound listen) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Alberta’s central region. The city anchors the north end of what Statistics Canada defines as the “Calgary–Edmonton Corridor”.

The city had a population of 932,546 in 2016, making it Alberta’s second-largest city and Canada’s fifth-largest municipality.[5] Also in 2016, Edmonton had a metropolitan population of 1,321,426, making it the sixth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada. Edmonton is North America’s northernmost city that has a metropolitan population over one million. A resident of Edmonton is known as an Edmontonian.

Edmonton’s historic growth has been facilitated through the absorption of five adjacent urban municipalities (Strathcona, North Edmonton, West Edmonton, Beverly and Jasper Place) and a series of annexations ending in 1982.[ Known as the “Gateway to the North”, the city is a staging point for large-scale oil sands projects occurring in northern Alberta and large-scale diamond mining operations in the Northwest Territories.

Edmonton is a cultural, governmental and educational centre. It hosts a year-round slate of festivals, reflected in the nickname “Canada’s Festival City”. It is home to North America’s largest mall, West Edmonton Mall (the world’s largest mall from 1981 until 2004), and Fort Edmonton Park, Canada’s largest living history museum.

History
Further information: History of Edmonton and Timeline of Edmonton history

The earliest known inhabitants settled in the area that is now Edmonton around 3,000 BC and perhaps as early as 12,000 BC, when an ice-free corridor opened as the last glacial period ended and timber, water, and wildlife became available in the region.[20]

In 1754, Anthony Henday, an explorer for the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), may have been the first European to enter the Edmonton area. His expeditions across the Canadian Prairies were mainly to seek contact with the aboriginal population for establishing the fur trade, as competition was fierce between the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company. By 1795, Fort Edmonton was established on the river’s north bank as a major trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company. The new fort’s name was suggested by John Peter Pruden after Edmonton, London, the home town of both the HBC deputy governor Sir James Winter Lake, and Pruden.

In 1876, Treaty 6, which includes what is now Edmonton, was signed between the Aboriginal peoples in Canada (or First Nations) and Queen Victoria as Queen of Canada, as part of the Numbered Treaties of Canada. The agreement includes the Plains and Woods Cree, Assiniboine, and other band governments of First Nations at Fort Carlton, Fort Pitt and Battle River. The area covered by the treaty represents most of the central area of the current provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to southern Alberta in 1885 helped the Edmonton economy, and the 1891 building of the Calgary and Edmonton (C&E) Railway resulted in the emergence of a railway townsite (South Edmonton/Strathcona) on the river’s south side, across from Edmonton. The arrival of the CPR and the C&E Railway helped bring settlers and entrepreneurs from eastern Canada, Europe, U.S. and other parts of the world. The Edmonton area’s fertile soil and cheap land attracted settlers, further establishing Edmonton as a major regional commercial and agricultural centre. Some people participating in the Klondike Gold Rush passed through South Edmonton/Strathcona in 1897. Strathcona was North America’s northernmost railway point, but travel to the Klondike was still very difficult for the “Klondikers”, and a majority of them took a steamship north to the Yukon from Vancouver, British Columbia.
Jasper Avenue, ca. 1907

Incorporated as a town in 1892 with a population of 700 and then as a city in 1904 with a population of 8,350, Edmonton became the capital of Alberta when the province was formed a year later, on September 1, 1905. In November 1905, the Canadian Northern Railway (CNR) arrived in Edmonton, accelerating growth.

During the early 1900s, Edmonton’s rapid growth led to speculation in real estate. In 1912, Edmonton amalgamated with the City of Strathcona, south of the North Saskatchewan River; as a result, the city extended south of the North Saskatchewan River for the first time.

Just prior to World War I, the boom ended, and the city’s population declined from more than 72,000 in 1914 to less than 54,000 only two years later. Many impoverished families moved to subsistence farms outside the city, while others fled to greener pastures in other provinces. Recruitment to the Canadian army during the war also contributed to the drop in population. Afterwards, the city slowly recovered in population and economy during the 1920s and 1930s and took off again during and after World War II.

The Edmonton City Centre Airport opened in 1929,[33] becoming Canada’s first licensed airfield.Originally named Blatchford Field in honour of former mayor Kenny Blatchford, pioneering aviators such as Wilfrid R. “Wop” May and Max Ward used Blatchford Field as a major base for distributing mail, food, and medicine to Northern Canada; hence Edmonton’s emergence as the “Gateway to the North”. World War II saw Edmonton become a major base for the construction of the Alaska Highway and the Northwest Staging Route.

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Originally posted 2018-01-08 02:02:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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