The Korean para hockey team has truly come a long way over the past 17 years, defeating Japan 5-0 at the semi-finals and defeating Norway 6-0 at the 2018 Japan Para Ice Hockey Championships on Saturday.

This is a significant win for the team considering Korea lost 0-13 in its first official match. Their first match against Japan was in 2001 in Aomori, Japan. That match was a very painful loss to hockey fans, as well as those who bet on sports.

Para Hockey Team Advances

Earlier in the preliminary round, Korea had a big 9-1 victory against Japan.  During the match, Jung Seung-hwan, known as the “Messi of the ice rink” for his speed, scored one goal with four assists and five points.

The Korean team only started advancing when Gangwon created the Gangwon Province Hall Para Ice Hockey Team in 2006. Also, they employed athletes for the national team.

The decision clearly paid off as the team came in sixth in the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics and seventh in the 2014 Sochi Games. Because of the more recent successes of the para hockey team, people are very optimistic about the team’s future. The whole country is cheering for the ice hockey team to win and hopefully bring home a medal.