How did a blessed child bring North & South Korea together?
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.
Click on this Korean-language video on Facebook to see Lee Eun-Ju in action!