Seldom Call Them ‘Garlic Girls’: South Korean Curlers Become Olympic Rock Stars

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DescriptionGANGNEUNG, SOUTHWEST KOREA - Forget Lindsey Vonn and Adam Rippon. The real rock personalities with the Pyeongchang Olympics are a simple group connected with Korean curlers that have no idea they’ve come to be a worldwide experience.

These people are known as this “Garlic Girls, ” this Southern region Korean women’s straightening group with the fairy-tale story whoever name echos the nearby famed garlic cloves grown into their hometown. In no way considered a good medal competitor coming into Pyeongchang, these people have risen to Zero. one in the search positions, earning throughout the world attention intended for their fierce expertise together with funny personalities.

And yet typically 여자컬링 have been practically totally sheltered through the worldwide frenzy both by simply private choice — they changed off their phones during the games to block outdoors consideration — and by a protective coach which is acutely which curling is as much a mental game as a good real one.
South Korea's Betty Seonyeong, left, sweeps snow with a teammate during their match versus Russian athletes in the 2018 Winter Olympics around Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. 21 years of age, 2018.
? Famous and so they avoid know it

After the modern match, the women were rapidly shuffled past waiting reporters, giving correspondents apologetic happiness and hola of “Anyonghaseyo! ” (hello) before vanishing. None regarding them, says coach Ellie Min-jung, are mindful of which they’ve become superstars.

“I’m sorry that We weren't able to bring the athletes currently, since I’m worried generally there will be a lot of force and burden in it, ” Kim said. “Even the particular crowd is too serious about them. ”

That fascination is understandable. The Garlic clove Girls seem tailor-made to get stardom.

The significantly skilled underdogs came into often the Olympics ranked eighth inside the world plus travelled on to crush styling heavyweights including Canada together with Sweden. They are cute in addition to comical, referring to be able to on their own by quirky nicknames for example “Pancake” and “Steak. ”

Two teammates are siblings and all are usually longtime good friends, creating amazing chemistry for the ice. Typically the team’s “skip, ” or even captain, contains a steely gaze and some unattractive, owl-eyed glasses that have come to be fodder for endless Web memes.

Screaming fans

Quite a few Koreans who have never observed a curling match have got traveled to remote Gangneung to be able to peek at his or her nation’s new darlings around person.

“I’m very pleased of them, ” claimed Lee Ji Sunlight, a 26-year-old who had certainly not been inside a curling industry before Wednesday’s complement. “They are showing we can succeed even in new sport functions. ”

Every match presenting the team is packed having shouting, flag-fluttering Koreans that soar to their toes to delight on this women’s stunningly accurate photos. One fan inside the crowd Wednesday waved what made an appearance to be a hand-drawn symbol of skip Ellie Eun-jung with her signiture move spectacles.
Southwest Korea's could curling crew celebrate just after beating Russian language athletes in the course of their match with the 2018 Winter Olympics inside Gangneung, South Korea, February. 21 years old, 2018.
? Late on the online game of curling

Of which being different has gained just about any dominance in Korea is usually astonishing in itself. Korea didn’t even have a workforce within Olympic curling right up until the 2014 Sochi Online games.

It took Koreans a little bit to wake up in order to curling, largely because the region lacked sufficient amenities right up until recent years, Ellie Young, a good curling legend who started the Korean language Curling Club in 1988, said by email. Nowadays, this individual says, Korea has six to eight dedicated curling arenas, and several schools have curling clubs.

In 2006, South Korea’s earliest curling center has been inbuilt the rural town of Uiseong. Four regarding the five affiliates attended Uiseong Women’s Secondary school, exactly where they were on often the school’s curling team. Uiseong’s reputation as the nation’s default curling capital slowly and gradually grew, plus the curling facility has organised about 15 major residential and foreign curling events.

Garlic in addition to those nicknames

Nonetheless, until the women’s team begun their surprise winning streak in Pyeongchang, Uiseong had been better known for their legendary garlic production.

Koreans look at garlic cloves a overall health meals that boosts stamina levels. Search engine optimization Eun Ha, a 26-year-old Garlic cloves Girls fan, feels garlic oil may now have contributed to the particular team’s success. (She furthermore credit the women’s fine teamwork and sturdy interactions. )

Like many lovers on Gangneung, Seo is specially fond of the curlers’ abnormal nicknames: Sunny, Steak, Pancake, Annie (a brand involving yogurt) and ChoCho (a sort of cookie).
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“I believe their very own nicknames go in reality with their dynamic pictures, ” Seo stated. “I like ‘Steak’ the most. The idea sounds so funny together with unique. ”

The nicknames started as some sort of gag over breakfast one working day, said Kim, the mentor. The ladies ended up talking with regards to how tough it was basically for various other countries’ runners to enunciate his or her names at international competitions. Most five team members and the coach also share the same surname — Kim, which is very common in Korea — making their labels much more confounding for foreign people.

Betty Seon-yeong, who had been eating some sort of sunny-side-up fried egg, joked that your woman could go by the label “Sunny. ” Other women of all ages loved the idea. They each opted to nickname them selves after the English words and phrases for favorite breakfast food items, figuring that would become easier for others to understand.

While the women’s group is getting the many awareness, Korean language fans have got already been heading wild with regard to the men, too. Right after Wednesday’s men’s match up, a new player from the Korean team began throwing T shirts into the crowd, which often increased forward with outstretched biceps and triceps.

Kim Heae Darm, the fan who hopped upward and managed to snag the shirt marining overhead, constrained it for you to her face plus cried with glee. The girl in that case turned to capturing typically the attention of Korean varying doubles player Lee Ki-jeong, who scrawled his autograph in her notebook.

While she struggled to catch her breath, she defined her excitement by noticing that Lee was solid, casual and “very good-looking. ”

As for this achievements from the women’s staff, Kim, the particular founder involving the curling membership, couldn’t be prouder. “They happen to be heroes! ” he or she mentioned.

Yet the Garlic Women do have one demand: Might be someone could come up with a more relaxing team name for these people?

“We would prefer the particular name ‘Team Kim, ’” Kim, the discipline, explained with a laugh. “Because although our hometown is definitely Uiseong — which will be relevant to garlic — all of us have not any romantic relationship with garlic whatsoever. ”
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