To which I respond, “I hate when that happens.”
The North Korean team lost yesterday’s Women’s World Cup soccer match against the U.S. 2-0. I’ve already written about how boooooooring soccer is so I didn’t watch the game in question, but supposedly the North Korean women played quite well especially considering they have the youngest team in the tournament with an average age of only 20. So all in all, they competed admirably and lost honorably.
But since this is North Korea, the story would not be complete until you served it up with a side order of crazy.
After the match, the NK coach Kwang Min Kim told the press that the real reason his team lost was because…well, they had been struck by lightning. Here’s what he said:
“When we stayed in Pyongyang during training our players were hit by lightning, and more than five of them were hospitalized. Some stayed in hospital and then came to Germany later than the rest of us. The goalkeeper and the four defenders were most affected, and some midfielders as well. The physicians said the players were not capable of participating in the tournament. But World Cup football is the most important and significant event for a footballer, so they don’t want to think about anything but football. The fact that they played could be called abnormal, the result of very strong will.”
Now, I’m not sure what to make of this story. You’d think if the North Koreans were going to come up with an excuse, there are probably much better ones than “we got struck by lightning.” Like our dog ate our cleats or it’s hard to focus on playing well when all we’ve eaten in the past month is dirt and the meager remains of our dog who died from starvation ‘cause all he had to eat were our cleats.
On the other hand, this isn’t the first time a soccer player has been struck by lightning:
Apparently soccer matches even attract tornadoes:
Still, five players all being struck by lightning seems a little over the top. But I supposed stranger things have happened and if this is the coach’s effort to save face and/or save his players and himself from whatever form of terrible punishment awaits them when they return home in shame at the hands of Dear Leader a.k.a. the guy with the funny accent from Team America: