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Why These Sisters Are Representing Competing Countries at the Olympics


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Sisters Hannah and Marissa Brandt grew up doing pretty much everything together, and so they’ve gone so far as making it to the 2018 Winter Olympics collectively, too. Apart from one little wrinkle: they’re enjoying for various groups in PyeongChang. Hannah Brandt is presently representing the U.S., and her sister Marissa is enjoying for the Korean workforce.

Marissa, the older of the 2 Brandt sisters, was adopted by her mother and father Greg and Robin from Korea in 1993 when she was 4 months outdated. The Brandts had struggled to conceive for years, and so they had been ecstatic to search out out they had been authorized to undertake. After which, proper after listening to the information, Robin additionally came upon she was pregnant. They selected to not inform the adoption company. “You bond with that picture,” Robin told USA Today, “and we’d seen her, so we couldn’t not have her come.” (Adoptions are sometimes based mostly on ‘want,’ and so discovering their discovering out Robin was pregnant may have impacted their possibilities.)

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Rising up, each Hannah and Marissa took up determine skating, after which each traded it in for ice hockey, after which each competed on the school stage — although they went to totally different universities. Marissa attended Gustavus Adolphus Faculty in Minnesota, whereas and Hannah headed to the College of Minnesota one 12 months later.

When Hannah was a sophomore in school, she was supplied the chance to check out for the U.S. workforce competing on the Sochi Olympics. She was one of many final girls to get cut. “Clearly, that was disappointing,” Brandt informed Pioneer Press. “To return that shut and never make it was robust.” However she stored working and was in a position to make the workforce for PyeongChang 4 years later. “I discovered so much from that have getting reduce 4 years in the past,” Brandt said. “It made it that a lot sweeter this time round.”

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Marissa, alternatively, didn’t expect to go the Olympics at all. After graduating in 2015 with a administration diploma, she hadn’t factored hockey into her post-grad plans. However Rebecca Baker, a coach with the Korean workforce, knew about Marissa by her husband — who had coached Hannah at Minnesota and knew she had a twin sister from South Korea. They invited her to check out for the workforce, and she or he was one in all six American and Canadian gamers given a spot.

Marissa hadn’t been again to South Korea since she was adopted, though she says she and Hannah had at all times talked about doing a “sister journey” there collectively. They both say having their household with them in Korea for the Video games has been particular, and Marissa hopes she will be able to symbolize her start nation nicely. “I by no means thought that this may occur, and I by no means thought I would be again right here beneath these circumstances,” Marissa said. “I simply hope to make Korea proud.”

She’s even sporting her start identify, Park Yoon Jung, on her jersey in hopes of discovering her start mom. “It was sort of simply one thing for her as nicely, possibly she’d be watching,” Marissa told USA Today. “And even when she didn’t, it was simply sort of my approach of hopefully making her proud in a bizarre approach, even when she doesn’t know.”

Hannah Brandt enjoying for Staff USA in PyeongChang, in a preliminary match towards Finland.

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Marissa Brandt enjoying for Korea in PyeongChang, in a preliminary match towards Sweden.

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The 2 groups, USA and Korea, have only a slim chance of meeting one another within the event as a result of they’re enjoying in numerous teams (and Staff USA will most likely advance farther than Korea) but when the sisters do get an opportunity to fulfill up on the ice, they are saying they undoubtedly will not go straightforward on each other.

“We’re sisters, however after we’re within the Olympic Video games, we’ll be aggressive,” Hannah told Yonhap News after a observe session on Wednesday. “It is my workforce versus her workforce at that time.”

Observe Emma on Instagram.



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