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Did North Korea’s Women’s Soccer Team Lose Because…Players Got Struck By Lightning?


Today in “we’re not making this up”: After the U.S. women’s soccer team beat North Korea 2-0 earlier today, North Korea coach Kim Kwang Min had an interesting rationale as to why his team lost. Well, maybe not “interesting” so much as “so far out there that hardly anyone will believe it.” Via the Guardian’s John Ashdown:

Wonderful post-match presser: Nortk Korea coach blames defeat on players getting struck by lightning

Sounds awful if true ‘On 8 June our players were hit by lightning. More than five were hospitalised.’

‘The strength of our players not sufficient so our strategy could not be implemented’ bcos 4 (or maybe 5, 6 or 7) hit by lightning

‘The doctors said players were not capable of participating in the tournament, but until the very last minute they gave their best

Ashdown declined to pass judgment on the veracity of the comments, but it’s fair to assume a good number of people will see them and think: Baghdad Bob. And we wouldn’t blame those people…really, struck by lightning? It really does sound implausible.

But maybe it’s not quite as far-fetched as it sounds. As Ashdown pointed out himself, there’s precedent for this kind of thing, so we can’t entirely dismiss the possibility, even if it was news to North Korea’s American opposition. We can, though, doubt it…and will, unless we get ironclad proof otherwise. And as far as we’re concerned, Kim’s best post-match quotes weren’t even about the lightning strike itself:

North Korea coach Kim: ‘They will play with high spirits and strong will, a strong will you cannot expect from human kind’

Well, we can now.

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