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Love in a cold climate for Chinese-Korean love match at the Ice Cube

Valentine's Day is set to have an icy quality to it for China’s Xu Xiaoming and his wife Kim Ji-Sun, who hails from Republic of Korea, both of whom are representing their respective countries in the curling at Sochi 2014.

Traditionally Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated on 14 February, is the day when love and romance are in the air. But at Sochi 2014, it is also the day when the women’s teams of China and Republic of Korea are due to face one another in the curling competition, meaning that, for Xu, it will be a case of wife versus country.

Xu believes that his fellow countrywomen have a good chance of victory in the round-robin tie against the Koreans and admits that, despite the fact that it would mean defeat for his spouse, he will be hoping to see China prevail.

“Through curling we have a lot of interaction with the Chinese female team, so I would be very happy if they won,” explains the 29 year-old.

“Stone-crossed” lovers

The couple met through the sport in China back in 2007 and got married in May last year. The "stone-crossed" lovers have since had to learn to separate their sporting lives from their home lives, after both were selected to compete in Sochi.

(Copyright: AP)

“At a personal level this is very difficult, but it is significant for both of us as athletes,” Kim says, while Xu confirmed that the pair had not been practising together and had certainly not been discussing strategies.

(Copyright: World Curling Federation)

The Republic of Korean men's team did not qualify for Sochi 2014 which means that, unlike her husband, 26-year-old Kim does not face having to deal with torn loyalties. But she claims, in any case, that she would not have any problem lending her support to both husband and country.

(Copyright: World Curling Federation)

“Of course I would cheer for the Korean team, because those are my countrymen,” she said.

“But I would at the same time be cheering for China because that is my husband. In the end, I would hope for my husband that he would win.”

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