October 27, 2021

North Korean weightlifters’ Olympic absence provided opening for other athletes

North Korea was a perennial medalist in international weightlifting. Then COVID-19 happened.

Choe Hyo-sim, a 27-year-old North Korean weightlifter, was a strong contender for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Five years ago, she won silver in Rio, and she was expected to compete for the women’s 59kg in Tokyo.

But Choe did not get her chance at this year’s Summer Games, and she was not the only one.