Friday 13 December 2019

'Seoul sisters' to restore US relations

The ‘Seoul sisters’, as they are dubbed here in South Korea, have inadvertently become the poster girls that the Winter Olympics craved. (Stock image)
The ‘Seoul sisters’, as they are dubbed here in South Korea, have inadvertently become the poster girls that the Winter Olympics craved. (Stock image)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The 'Seoul sisters', as they are dubbed here in South Korea, have inadvertently become the poster girls that the Winter Olympics craved.

The Brandts are siblings united by a love of one sport, but find themselves competing under two different flags: where Hannah is a stalwart of US women's ice hockey, Marissa will line up tonight for a team representing a unified Korea, designed as a symbol of solidarity for a divided peninsula.

For Marissa, who was adopted by a Minnesota family when she was four months old, there was a choice of whether to emblazon her jersey with 'Brandt' or her original South Korean name, Park Yoon-jung. She opted to go native.

"I realised that it was really my only link back to Korea," says the effervescent 25-year-old.

It is a tale which began in 1993 when Greg and Robin Brandt embarked on an adoption process after years of trying to conceive. Three months prior to Marissa's arrival, Robin fell pregnant.

So it is, then, that the family are now emblems for international diplomacy, establishing a bond between the US and the notion of a united Korea which sits at odds with Donald Trump's rhetoric.

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