GANGNEUNG, SOUTHWEST KOREA - Forget Lindsey Vonn and Adam Rippon. The real rock superstars in the Pyeongchang Olympics are a modest group regarding Korean curlers who also possess no idea they’ve turn into a worldwide sensation.
Many people are known as the particular “Garlic Girls, ” this Southern area Korean women’s straightening crew with the fairy story story whoever moniker displays the in your area popular garlic herb grown inside their hometown. Never considered the medal challenger coming into Pyeongchang, they have risen to No. you in the search positions, earning throughout the world attention for their fierce talent together with funny individuality.
However this Garlic Girls have been almost totally sheltered in the international frenzy both simply by private choice — many people transferred off their phones during the games to block outside the house focus — and simply by a protecting coach that is keenly which curling is as much some sort of emotional game as a actual one.
After a recent match, the ladies were immediately shuffled former waiting reporters, giving journalists apologetic delight and hey there of “Anyonghaseyo! ” (hello) before disappearing. None regarding them, says coach The reality star Min-jung, are mindful the fact that they’ve become famous people.
“I’m sorry that My spouse and i could hardly bring the athletes these days, because I’m worried presently there will be an excessive amount of strain and burden in it, ” Kim said. “Even typically the crowd is too enthusiastic about them. ”
That interest is understandable. The Garlic herb Girls seem tailor-made regarding stardom.
The largely skilled underdogs came into this Olympics ranked eighth inside the world in addition to gone on to crush curling heavyweights including Nova scotia and even Sweden. They are sweet and comical, referring for you to their selves by quirky nicknames for example “Pancake” and “Steak. ”
Two teammates are usually siblings and all are really longtime good friends, creating irresistible chemistry in the ice. The team’s “skip, ” as well as captain, contains a steely gaze and funky, owl-eyed eye glasses that have turn out to be fodder for endless World wide web memes.
Quite a few Koreans who have never seen a curling match possess traveled to remote Gangneung for you to peek at his or her nation’s new darlings in person.
“I’m very happy of them, ” stated Lee Ji Sunlight, some sort of 26-year-old who had never ever been inside a styling arena before Wednesday’s fit. “They are showing all of us can do well even inside of new sport occasions. ”
Every match offering often the team is packed having shouting, flag-fluttering Koreans that start to their legs to joy on often the women’s stunningly exact photos. One fan inside herd Wednesday waved exactly what appeared to be a hand-drawn symbol of skip Betty Eun-jung with her trademark spectacles.
The fact that curling has gained any popularity in Korea will be unexpected in itself. Korea didn’t even have a workforce around Olympic curling right up until the 2014 Sochi Games.
It took Koreans a long time to wake up in order to curling, largely because often the land lacked sufficient establishments until finally recent years, Betty Young, the curling star who started the Korean Curling Club in 1988, claimed by email. Presently, they says, Korea has six to eight dedicated curling arenas, and several schools have curling teams.
In 2006, South Korea’s initially curling center was initially constructed in the rural city of Uiseong. Four involving the five team members joined in Uiseong Women’s High School, exactly where they were on this school’s curling team. Uiseong’s standing as the nation’s default being different capital little by little grew, along with the curling facility has published about 15 major residential and foreign curling events.
Garlic and even those nicknames
However, until the women’s team begun their surprise winning ability in Pyeongchang, Uiseong seemed to be better known for it has the legendary garlic clove production.
Koreans think of garlic oil a well being foodstuff that boosts strength. Seo Eun Ha, a new 26-year-old Garlic Girls enthusiast, feels garlic clove may have got contributed to this team’s success. (She as well loans the women’s fine teamwork and solid human relationships. )
Like numerous lovers on Gangneung, Seo is specially affectionate towards of the curlers’ strange nicknames: Sunny, Steak, Hot cake, Annie (a brand associated with yogurt) and ChoCho (a form of cookie).
“I think their particular nicknames go okay with their energetic pictures, ” Seo claimed. “I like ‘Steak’ the most. This sounds so funny in addition to unique. ”
The nicknames started as some sort of gag over breakfast one time, said Kim, the discipline. The women have been talking regarding how complicated it was first for additional countries’ sportsmen to pronounce their own brands at international tournaments. All five team members and their coach also share exactly the same surname — Kim, which can be very common in Korea — making their companies far more confounding for foreigners.
Betty Seon-yeong, who was eating a good sunny-side-up melted egg, joked that the woman could go by the identify “Sunny. ” Another females loved the idea. They each opted to nickname themselves after the English words and phrases for his or her favorite breakfast foods, foreseeing that would become easier for others to know.
Even though the women’s staff is getting the nearly all awareness, Korean fans have recently been heading wild regarding the men, also. Soon after Wednesday’s men’s fit, a participant from the Korean language team began throwing Tees into the crowd, which usually increased forward with outstretched hands.
Kim Heae Darm, a fan who leaped upward and managed for you to snag a good shirt sailing overhead, constrained it in order to her face and screamed with glee. The woman and then turned to capturing typically the consideration of Korean mixed doubles player Lee Ki-jeong, that scrawled his autograph in her notebook.
Since she struggled to find her breath, she revealed her excitement by noting that Lee was sturdy, sports and “very good looking. ”
As for the achievement with the women’s staff, Kim, often the founder connected with the curling membership, could not be prouder. “They will be heroes! ” this individual explained.
Yet the Garlic Ladies do have one request: It could be someone could come up with a more relaxing team name for them all?
“We would prefer the name ‘Team Kim, ’” Kim, the coach, mentioned with a laugh. “Because although our hometown can be Uiseong — which is definitely relevant to garlic — many of us have not any marriage together with garlic by any means. ”