Cover image for A team of their own : how an international sisterhood made Olympic history
Title:
A team of their own : how an international sisterhood made Olympic history
ISBN:
9781335005533
Physical Description:
384 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents:
Atlas shrugs -- Not like Hannah -- Phishing for talent -- Seoul sisters -- The junger -- The hen crows -- The coach with the blue eyes -- Babos -- The boy crying wolf -- Boss-ass bitches -- Be who you are -- Under pressure -- Lost and found -- The slap shot heard round the world -- Suffering or in joy, to the love of country -- Family -- Comrades -- One step at a time -- A spotlight stolen -- Unified no more -- Make Korea proud -- Becca -- The miracle off ice -- A foggy road -- Evolution -- One body -- Nothing else matters.
Summary:
The inspiring, unlikely story of the American, Canadian, South Korean and even North Korean women who joined together to form Korea's first Olympic ice hockey team. Two weeks before the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics, South Korea's women's hockey team was forced into a predicament that no president, ambassador or general had been able to resolve in the sixty-five years since the end of the Korean War. Against all odds, the group of young women were able to bring North and South Korea closer than ever before. The team was built for this moment. They had been brought together from across the globe and from a wide variety of backgrounds-concert pianist, actress, high school student, convenience store worker-to make history. Now the special kinship they had developed would guide them through the biggest challenge of their careers. Suddenly thrust into an international spotlight, they showed the powerful meaning of what a unified Korea could resemble. In A Team of Their Own, Seth Berkman goes behind the scenes to tell the story of these young women as they became a team amid immense political pressure and personal turmoil, and ultimately gained worldwide acceptance on a journey that encapsulates the truest meanings of sport and family.
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Summary

Summary

One of ESPN's 25 Can't Miss Books of 2019

"A feel-good story."--New York Times Book Review

"This isn't simply a sports book. Rather, it's a book about inspiring and courageous women who just happened to be hockey players."--Korea Times

The inspiring, unlikely story of the American, Canadian, South Korean and even North Korean women who joined together to form Korea's first Olympic ice hockey team.

Two weeks before the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics, South Korea's women's hockey team was forced into a predicament that no president, ambassador or general had been able to resolve in the sixty-five years since the end of the Korean War. Against all odds, the group of young women were able to bring North and South Korea closer than ever before.

The team was built for this moment. They had been brought together from across the globe and from a wide variety of backgrounds--concert pianist, actress, high school student, convenience store worker--to make history. Now the special kinship they had developed would guide them through the biggest challenge of their careers. Suddenly thrust into an international spotlight, they showed the powerful meaning of what a unified Korea could resemble.

In A Team of Their Own, Seth Berkman goes behind the scenes to tell the story of these young women as they became a team amid immense political pressure and personal turmoil, and ultimately gained worldwide acceptance on a journey that encapsulates the truest meanings of sport and family.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this entertaining history, New York Times journalist Berkman follows the South Korean women's national hockey team for the year leading up to the 2018 Olympics. Losing games by as much as 29-0, the squad was a nonentity on the international scene. But thanks to American coach Sarah Murray and the addition of North American "imports" of Korean descent (such as Marissa Brandt, a Korean adoptee who grew up playing hockey in Minnesota, and Grace Lee, whose family immigrated to the U.S.), the team won their division at the World Championship and were poised to be a surprise contender at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018. But then the South Korean government unified the team with the North Korean team just weeks before the games were to begin. Adding players with less skill and distinct cultural differences threatened to derail the team, but, Berkman notes, the players bonded and made it work. The author shines at describing the roller-coaster ride through the Olympics, during which the unified Korean team scored one of their only two goals of the tournament against Japan ("No matter how far North and South drifted apart... few activities brought them closer than rooting against Japan"). Berkman unveils a great story of women's hockey that's sure to thrill those rooting for the underdog. (Oct.)


Kirkus Review

A tale of unlikely friendships and camaraderie forged through ice hockey.Just before the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the South Korean women's ice hockey team became the only team to include North Koreans on its roster. The Unified team fought hard on the ice, but their opponents proved too strong, and the team lost each of their matches. Nonetheless, they won the hearts of Koreans from both sides as well as those from countries around the world. In this feel-good tale of women athletes suddenly placed in the international spotlight, New York Times contributor Berkman takes readers behind the scenes of the South Korean team. He shows each player's immense passion for a sport that was often not considered suitable for young women. He discusses the American and Canadian Koreans, or "imports," who were brought in to bolster the team prior to the games and the impact they had on the South Koreans. He shares each woman's hopes, dreams, and determination to play despite the odds and sacrifices each needed to make, including using old equipment and practicing at late hours due to lack of funds and support from sponsors. "Prior to South Korea being named the host of the 2018 Olympics," writes the author, "a majority of the women's team felt that [the Korean Ice Hockey Association] never really cared about them to begin with. Even before the Games, they earned just $50 a day." In addition to exploring the gender discrimination at play, Berkman weaves in bits of history about the two Koreas and their hostilities toward Japan. Ultimately, what shines through is the women's passion for their sport and the bonds they forged on and off the ice, alliances that cross an array of boundaries.A well-written, impassioned story of sports, friendship, and determination. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, featured a team whose story was as unlikely and inspirational as that of the Jamaican bobsled team in the 1988 Winter Games or even the legendary Miracle on Ice achieved by the 1980 men's hockey team. This one began with a band of sisters from South Korea, plus several recruits of Korean descent from the U.S. and Canada (affectionately called the imports ), who, along with head coach Sarah Murray, defied language and cultural barriers to forge a squad ready to represent the host country. Yet, with a mere two weeks' notice prior to the start of the Games, the leaders of South Korea and North Korea announced that they would be combining their women's hockey teams and would play as one unified team representing all of Korea. Berkman, a New York Times contributor who was born in Seoul and raised in New Jersey, does a fantastic job of providing historical context and capturing the tremendous sacrifices made by the players as well as the passion they shared for the sport. Readers will find themselves cheering for a team who began as political pawns but who ultimately showed the world the Olympic spirit in action, despite losing every game they played. A must-have for its slice of Olympic history and its portrait of Korean culture.--Brenda Barrera Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal Review

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.--Sara Holder, Univ. of Illinois Libs., Champaign


Table of Contents

A Note on Stylep. 11
Prologuep. 13
Part 1

p. 17

Chapter 1 Atlas Shrugsp. 19
Chapter 2 Not Like Hannahp. 28
Chapter 3 Phishing for Talentp. 39
Chapter 4 Seoul Sistersp. 51
Chapter 5 The Jungerp. 60
Chapter 6 The Hen Crowsp. 71
Chapter 7 The Coach with the Blue Eyesp. 84
Chapter 8 Babosp. 100
Chapter 9 The Boy Crying Wolfp. 111
Chapter 10 Boss-Ass Bitchesp. 127
Chapter 11 Be Who You Arep. 141
Chapter 12 Under Pressurep. 156
Chapter 13 Lost and Foundp. 167
Part 2

p. 183

Chapter 14 The Slap Shot Heard Round the Worldp. 185
Chapter 15 Suffering or in Joy, to the Love of Countryp. 198
Chapter 16 Familyp. 212
Chapter 17 Comradesp. 230
Chapter 18 One Step at a Timep. 238
Chapter 19 A Spotlight Stolenp. 251
Chapter 20 Unified No Morep. 260
Chapter 21 Make Korea Proudp. 267
Chapter 22 Beccap. 281
Chapter 23 The Miracle Officep. 291
Chapter 24 A Foggy Roadp. 304
Chapter 25 Evolutionp. 314
Chapter 26 One Bodyp. 324
Chapter 27 Nothing Else Mattersp. 335
Acknowledgmentsp. 351
Notesp. 355
Indexp. 367