KSDK news anchor Rene Knott is in South Korea covering the 2018 Winter Olympics.
On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, producer Alex Heuer talked with Knott about the highlights of his trip thus far. The biggest thing that stuck out to Knott was his visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a 2.5 mile wide border across the peninsula that separates North and South Korea.
Listen for more about Knott's experience in South Korea and event highlights:
“To put one word on [the visit] – intense,” Knott said. He was under high security surveillance, and was conscious of the strict rules and potential retaliation visitors to the DMZ faced.
There have been efforts between North and South Korea to ease tensions by fielding a joint hockey team. Knott said, from talking to people in the Olympic Village, people view the move as nothing more than a propaganda front to distract attention from the nuclear weapons tension between North Korea and the U.S.
“I think the reason that South Korea probably agreed to have this take place is that they also want people to come [to South Korea] and be more at ease knowing that North Korea is going to have some of its own citizens within the borders competing,” Knott said.
Knott said he likes to go beyond just telling the highlights of the competitions and focus on human interest stories.
“To me, advancing the story is going to mean turning my back to the competition and looking around and seeing what else is going on while at the same time, still relating to those athletes and letting you know more about them,” he said.
One of the angles Knott will look at is the sibling teams participating at the event and how they’ve dedicated their lives to the sport together. There are 26 different siblings competing at this year’s Winter Olympics, such as brother and sister Max and Becca Hamilton, who are competing together and representing the U.S. curling team.
“I like to bring that home to the people to give them a better understanding of sports that they may never watch or know about and now they’re going, ‘you know what, that’s pretty cool, I’d like to hear more about those things,’” Knott said.
Knott said St. Louisans interested in the games will be able to keep up with his live coverage every morning, Monday through Friday, at 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., and at 9:00 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
The shows will only take place during the mornings due to the 15-hour time difference between the U.S. and South Korea.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.