How did a blessed child bring North & South Korea together?

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See related story in Washington Post



You may be familiar with this photograph circulating around the news, of a South Korean gymnast taking a selfie with a North Korean competitor at the Rio Olympic Games:

It’s certainly doing the rounds on twitter, having been retweeted more than 20,000 times. It’s a powerful image of what the Olympics is all about – transcending political and national differences to enjoy sport together.

What you may not have known is that the 17-year old South Korean gymnast, Lee Eun-Ju (Korean: 이은주) is a member of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. With a Korean father and a Japanese mother, this 2nd generation member is a beautiful example of the power of the Blessing, bringing together people from different nations and cultures in marriage and giving birth to a new lineage connected to God through True Parents.

Eun-Ju’s Olympic story is quite special. She was born in Japan and is also known by her Japanese name, Mai Fukumoto (Japanese: 舞福本). Her family then moved to Korea in 2013, and she only competed in her first major competition earlier this year in April. Eun-ju originally didn’t make it into the South Korean squad that would travel to the Olympic Games: She finished second behind Lee Go-Im, a 15-year old gymnast. However, a heart-breaking arm injury to a Go-Im led to her withdrawal from the squad, creating the vacancy that Eun-Ju filled.

Unfortunately, Eun-Ju did not win any medals in the competition, nor did Hong Un-Jong, the 27-year old North Korean gymnast. However, their moment of friendship has won the hearts of thousands around the world, demonstrating the power of sport to bring people together.

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Click on this Korean-language video on Facebook to see Lee Eun-Ju in action!