In its bid to boost the Olympic spirit, Samsung set out to give all 11,200 Olympians participating in the just concluded Rio 2016 games their own Special Edition Galaxy S7 edge smartphone along with the Gear IconX wireless headphones. Samsung did this so Olympians can keep in touch with loved ones and at the same time have a keepsake from the games; apparently, not everyone is a fan of free giveaways.
In a somewhat expected move, North Korea has disallowed 31 of its athletes to receive the gift from Samsung. A North Korean representative even went to the Samsung office and collected all 31 smartphones, the fates of which are unknown, but will probably either be in the dustbin, somewhere in the black market, or most probably in an obscure vault somewhere.
The special edition Galaxy S7 phones were meant to be used by participating athletes during the opening ceremony as it had a special app that allowed the phone's screens to sport their countries colors and wave it around during the opening ceremonies. Looking at the pictures, none of the North Korean athletes was holding the special edition phone.
North Korea is a known hermit state, and prevents their citizens from establishing contact with the rest of the world; this is also a country where it is taught that their supreme leader is a deity who they must worship. South Korean coaches commented that North Korean team officials usually confiscate electronics meant for their athletes in order to limit external contact.
This sad fate is sure to break every freedom-loving person's heart. In addition to the smartphone ban, North Korean athletes were not allowed to visit tourist attractions in Rio or from interacting with others outside of their circle in order to prevent defections. Big sporting events are usually where defections take place, where athletes from affected countries seek asylum from the host country during their trips abroad.
- Images from samsung.com