Samsung is a major sponsor at the Rio 2016 Olympics, so it’s not surprising that all 11,200 Olympic athletes were gifted a brand new Galaxy S7 Edge smart phone — complete with Olympic-themed decorations.
Unfortunately, a small group of athletes was prevented from receiving the gift. North Korea’s Olympic committee reportedly banned all 31 of their athletes from getting their free phones, reportedly fearing that they would use them to contact the outside world.
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Samsung confirmed that North Korean manager Yoon Sungbum took all the phones, but would not answer when asked whether he had distributed them to their athletes.
Kim Son I, a North Korean tennis player, reportedly shook her head when asked whether she had been given a phone, according to RFA
North Korea’s practice of confiscating gifts from their athletes is apparently not new. A few South Korean Olympians told RFA that North Korean official regularly seize gifts from their athletes they receive at world events.