A few weeks ago, Samsung announced the Winter Olympics Galaxy Note 8, a device that will only be given out to athletes and staff at the event. The announcement of the device and other perks had raised questions on what the organizers would do with North Korea since they have been sanctioned.
The organizers have discussed ways to provide the perks without breaking the sanctions but they have now confirmed that North Korean athletes will not be receiving the smartphone. The Associated Press reports that the North Korean team will not be receiving the smartphones due to the UN sanctions that ban the supply of luxury goods to the country.
The organizers have also decided to make a few other changes, including on the uniforms and equipment. Nike, an official sponsor of the event, will be providing uniforms to most teams. One of the teams not receiving the uniforms is the women’s hockey team for South and North Korea. Last month, the two countries made an agreement to have a hockey team together for the event.
Days after the agreement, organizers turned to another company for the uniforms and equipment since Nike cannot provide them. One South Korean official told Reuters that a company from Finland would provide the uniform to the women’s hockey team. The official also said that the North Korean team will have to return the equipment before they leave to North Korea.
A few days ago, organizers had revealed that they were not sure if the North Korean team would be eligible for the perks. Reports also say that Iran’s team will not receive the perks because of the UN sanctions.
In 2016, reports said that North Korean officials had banned the athletes from receiving the free Rio Olympics smartphones from Samsung. The Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones were given to all teams and staff at the event.
The AP report says the International Olympic Committee (IOC) advised the organizers that the team could use the smartphones during the event and then return them. The women’s hockey team is doing this with the equipment but organizers decided not to include the team and staff for the Galaxy Note 8 smartphones. The Samsung device will only be given to staff and athletes at the event and the company has confirmed that it won’t be available for purchase. The Winter Olympics Note 8 has the same hardware as the regular Note 8 but has a white glass back, the Olympics logo and Olympics themed wallpapers.