PHOTOS: How Ultimate Came To North Korea

Back in August, we posted a link to an Ultimate tournament set in Pyongyang, North Korea. It was reportedly the country’s first-ever exposure to the sport, but the tournament consisted of just Western tourists, a handful of expats, and the North Korean members of the tourism company.

But an interview with Joseph Ferris, the chief mate on an oceanographic research ship and a world traveler, sheds more light on Ultimate coming to the small, reclusive country. He talks at length about North Korea, and how he helped introduce Ultimate to the country:

[quote]A group of Ultimate Frisbee enthusiasts worked hard to put together a tournament in Pyongyang. My group just happened to be there at the same time, and being young and eager to try any unique experience to come our way, we were asked to join up. The tournament ended up consisting of only foreigners and North Korean guides, I got bored and was quick to leave the field of competition in favor of tossing the Frisbee and drinking beer with random North Koreans.[/quote]

[quote]It was a local holiday and the park was filled with people enjoying some well deserved leisure time; I’m sure the last thing they expected was some big foreign guy tossing an unknown flying object at them, but they took right to it and we started a sensation. The secret police tried to shut things down, but in the end just gave up. That afternoon was one of my favorite experiences from my DPRK trips.

In order to secure permission the North Koreans had to be convinced that Ultimate Frisbee was a sport invented by Canadians, we were told to go along with this if we were asked, and we were.[/quote]

How long until they join Worlds competition?

Check out a slideshow of pictures from Ferris’ Flickr account below:

[slideshow_deploy id=’6484′]

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).


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