North Korea's policy of 'cars for winners, labour camps for losers' paying off at Games
London, Aug 3(ANI): North Korea has won four gold medals so far in the London Olympics and ranks 14th in the overall medal count.
Their overwhelming success at the Games is due to the policy of rewarding the winners with cars, refrigerators and punishing losers by sending them to labour camps.
The country has won two gold medals in men's weightlifting, one in women's weightlifting and one in women's judo.
Another reason behind North Korea's unexpected success at the Olympics is training athletes from a very young age at specific schools.
The communist nation has 56 athletes competing in 11 sports, and hopes for additional medals lie in boxing, wrestling, diving, table tennis, judo, and archery. The best Olympic result in the past for them was four gold medals and five bronzes in Barcelona 1992.
"Athletes in North Korean society are revered as elites, and they are managed, trained, and supported on a national level," ABC quoted Woo-Young Lee, a professor at University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, as saying.
The North Korean Olympians are aware that they will be rewarded with a huge jump in social status with the title of 'hero' or 'people's athlete', and that drives them to perform more spiritedly.
But poor performances, especially losing to enemy nations like the United States or South Korea, can have consequences too.
Rumors of athletes being sent directly to labor camps upon arriving home are not confirmed, but it is a common procedure to open 'review meetings' after the sports events in which participants 'assess' their own and each other's games, said a North Korean defector to the South, Kim Yo-Han. (ANI)
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