A decade ago, the world was in shock as South Korea and Japan sealed their entry into the elite international sporting calendar.
Now the world is watching, with the country set to be the next major player on the world stage.
The country’s elite, including the likes of South Korean, Australian, and Japanese tennis stars, have played on the big stage since the turn of the century, and have established their own global reputations.
But what do the athletes themselves think about the country’s new leadership?
The nation’s national Olympic committee is considering a number of changes to its sports policy, including a ban on overseas athletes competing in the 2018 and 2022 Olympics.
The committee is also reviewing the way the country prepares for its major international sporting events, which could include introducing an “International Day of Participation”.
While these changes have been made without the full approval of the IOC, the impact of the decision could be huge.
One of the most well-known international tennis stars is the world number one Maria Sharapova, who has played for China since 2012.
She says she is not yet sure what the IOC’s policy will be, but she believes it could change for the better.
“We’ll see, but we’ll see what happens,” she told ABC Radio Perth.
“I’m not sure what will happen, but it could be a good thing, because the people who come from outside of the country and the people coming from overseas, they’re not really thinking about what’s going to happen.
We have to try and be respectful to what’s been done before and learn from it.
It’s about trying to make sure that we make sure we’re able to do the right things for the people that we’re representing.””
It’s not just about being good enough.
It’s also about making sure that they know we care, that we love the country, that there’s a good history and culture here.”
Sharapova’s tennis career has seen her become a worldwide superstar, and she says her countrymen will be able to see that in the future.
“I think they’re going to see it,” she said.
“[It’s] going to make it a lot easier for them to get into the country.”
It’ll be more comfortable, a lot more comfortable for the young people, and hopefully for the older people as well.””
I feel very proud of what I’ve accomplished in my career, and I think it’s important for the future of South Korea to continue to see what we’re doing and try and do the same.
“The Olympic Committee says it has not been approached for comment about the changes, but there have been a number suggestions that the country could be open to the idea of opening its doors to some overseas athletes.
But some athletes say they’re more interested in seeing what happens to the country than the future that is being set for them.”
The future is very bright for the country.”””
(The IOC) is going to be a lot of fun, but I don’t think the country is going away.”
The future is very bright for the country.””
But we’re going into a very turbulent time.
And I’m not thinking about that.