Olympic odds, ends & trends: How much it cost South Korea to host Kim Jong Un’s sister and her delegation; an American biathlete on gun control
February 21, 2018
In today's Summit Daily Olympic odds, ends and trends, Olympic biathlete Lowell Bailey offers his opinion on gun control, and we take a look at how much it cost South Korea to pay for the North Korean governmental entourage at the Pyeongchang Games:
Summit Stat: $223,227
The price in American dollars, according to CNBC, it cost South Korea (240 million won) to host the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and her entourage during their three-day visit for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. A South Korea Ministry of Unification official — under the condition of anonymity — relayed the information to CNBC and said the money was mostly spent on accommodation, transportation and food for the four members of the delegation and their 18 staff members. Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, and the other North Korean officials stayed at the Walkerhill Hotel, a five-star riverside hotel in eastern Seoul. Kim Yo Jong and her delegation traveled between Seoul and the Winter Olympics venue on the eastern coast of South Korea, and South Korean officials also hosted meals for them at top-class hotels. In comparison, the International Olympic Committee paid roughly $50,000 for the training and preparation of North Korea's 22 Olympic athletes, or about $2,300 each. The Unification Ministry said earlier this month it approved a record budget of about $2.6 million to host the 418 North Korean delegates who didn't appear in competition — almost $6,200 each.
An Olympic marksman on gun control
In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, U.S. Olymic biathlete and marksman Lowell Bailey offered up his thoughts on gun control.
"We're a sport that uses a .22-caliber rifle," Bailey told members of the media after a Tuesday night competition in South Korea. "A .22-caliber rifle that shoots a single round is a much different thing than an AR-15. In my opinion, there's just no reason for assault rifles to be in the hands of ordinary citizens."
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The North Carolina native added that he does not own an AR-15 and has no desire to get one.
"I have no interest in owning a weapon that can kill another human being — that's designed to kill another human being," he said. "And to do it in an expeditious way. Why is that allowed? It's maddening."
The sport of biathlon requires daily training and responsibility when using a firearm. Bailey added that he supports the assault weapons ban that was in place in the U.S. for 10 years and then allowed to expire in 2004. He also said that U.S. gun laws have come up in conversations with competitors from other countries while at the Olympics.
"They're absolutely baffled," Bailey said. "They're baffled at the political landscape of the United States, and how we can continue to put an assault rifle into the hands of anyone who wants to walk into a gun store and buy one."
While at the Olympics, gun laws in South Korea require competitors like Bailey to keep their guns at the Olympic venue, locked away at all times unless they are using them for practice.
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