SPORTS & RECREATION

A Team of Their Own: How an International Sisterhood Made Olympic History

Hanover Square: Harlequin. Oct. 2019. 384p. photos. notes. ISBN 9781335005533. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488036002. SPORTS
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Much was made of North Korea’s participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics. However, the makeup of the Korean women’s hockey team was more unique than most realized. South Korea had an existing women’s hockey program but with the spotlight of hosting increasing pressure to qualify, officials decided to recruit Korean-born players from the United States and Canada. New York Times journalist Berkman spends a large portion of this book providing extensive backstories for the original Korean team members and for the “imports,” chronicling how the two groups slowly came together as a team and went from being resentful strangers to the closest of friends. They were then once again forced to adapt when the decision was made to add North Korean players to create a unified team. Though there is plenty about hockey, the focus here is clearly on the personalities and experiences of the women and their relationships with their country and one another.
VERDICT This poignant story showcases the bonds of friendship over Olympic glory and will appeal to fans of women’s sports and anyone who has experienced the special kinship that comes from being part of a team.

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