Would not Call Them ‘Garlic Girls’: South Korean Curlers Turn out to be Olympic Rock Stars

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DescriptionGANGNEUNG, STH KOREA - Forget Lindsey Vonn and Adam Rippon. The real rock personalities with the Pyeongchang Olympics are usually a humble group regarding Korean curlers who also own no idea they’ve grow to be a worldwide discomfort.

Many people are known as the particular “Garlic Girls, ” typically the South Korean women’s styling staff with the fairy story story as their moniker reflects the regionally popular garlic clove grown within their hometown. Certainly not considered some sort of medal contender coming into Pyeongchang, they will have risen to Zero. you in the ranks, earning world-wide attention intended for their fierce expertise together with funny celebrities.

Nevertheless typically the Garlic clove Girls happen to be practically totally sheltered from the foreign frenzy both by means of private choice — that they switched off their phones through the games to block outdoors attention — and by means of a safety coach who is acutely aware that being different is as much some sort of intellectual game as some sort of physical one.
South Korea's Kim Seonyeong, left, sweeps glaciers with a teammate during their go with from Russian athletes in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. twenty-one, 2018.
? Famous and they may know it

After a modern match, the women were instantly shuffled former waiting reporters, giving press apologetic smiles and hola of “Anyonghaseyo! ” (hello) before vanishing. None associated with them, says coach .k Min-jung, are informed that will they’ve become megastars.

“I’m sorry that I actually wasn't able to bring the athletes today, for the reason that I’m worried generally there will be a lot stress and burden with them, ” Kim said. “Even this crowd is too serious about them. ”

That attention is understandable. The Garlic oil Girls seem tailor-made with regard to stardom.

The largely knowledgeable underdogs came into the particular Olympics ranked eighth inside the world plus travelled on to crush styling heavyweights including Nova scotia and Sweden. They are pretty and comical, referring to be able to by themselves by quirky nicknames such as “Pancake” and “Steak. ”

Two teammates will be siblings and all are really longtime close friends, creating remarkable chemistry around the ice. Typically the team’s “skip, ” or captain, provides a steely gaze and way-out, owl-eyed eye glasses that have grow to be fodder for endless Online memes.

Screaming fans

A lot of Koreans who have never noticed a curling match have traveled to remote Gangneung to be able to peek at their particular nation’s new darlings throughout person.

“I’m very extremely pleased of them, ” said Lee Ji Sunlight, some sort of 26-year-old who had in no way been inside a curling area before Wednesday’s complement. “They are showing we can flourish even inside new sport events. ”

Every match offering often the team is packed having screaming, flag-fluttering Koreans who jump to their ft to cheer on typically the women’s stunningly precise images. One fan in the market Wednesday waved just what made an appearance to be a hand-drawn family portrait of skip Betty Eun-jung with her brand spectacles.
South Korea's might curling crew celebrate following beating Russian athletes during their match within the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, February. 21 years of age, 2018.
? Late on the sport of curling

That will being different has gained any visibility in Korea is definitely unusual in itself. Korea did not even have a workforce in Olympic curling right until the 2014 Sochi Online games.

It took Koreans a short time to wake up to be able to curling, largely because often the country lacked sufficient amenities until finally recent years, .k Young, a good curling star who started typically the Korean language Curling Club 23 years ago, said by email. Now, he says, Korea has 6-8 dedicated curling domains, and lots of schools have curling squads.

In 2006, South Korea’s first of all curling center seemed to be built in the rural area of Uiseong. Four regarding the five affiliates gone to Uiseong Women’s School, where they were on the particular school’s curling team. Uiseong’s status as the nation’s default curling capital gradually grew, as well as the curling facility has located about twelve major local and international curling situations.

Garlic plus those nicknames

Still, until the women’s team began their surprise winning talent in Pyeongchang, Uiseong seemed to be better known for the prolific garlic herb production.

Koreans think about garlic cloves a wellness foodstuff that boosts endurance. Web optimization Eun Ha, some sort of 26-year-old Garlic oil Girls fan, feels garlic oil may need contributed to this team’s success. (She likewise credits the women’s excellent team-work and solid interactions. )

Like numerous fans from Gangneung, Seo is specially hintergrund of the curlers’ unusual nicknames: Sunny, Steak, Pancake, Annie (a brand of yogurt) and ChoCho (a kind of cookie).

“I consider their nicknames go good with their lively images, ” Seo stated. “I like ‘Steak’ one of the most. The idea sounds so funny and unique. ”

The nicknames started as some sort of fun over breakfast one moment, claimed Kim, the mentor. The ladies were talking concerning how difficult it was for additional countries’ runners to enunciate their own companies at international challenges. Just about all five team members and their coach also share a similar surname — Kim, and that is very common in Korea — making their labels a lot more confounding for visitors.

컬링 -yeong, who was eating a sunny-side-up deep-fried egg, joked that the lady could go by the name “Sunny. ” Other women loved the idea. Both opted to nickname them selves after the English phrases for favorite breakfast food, figuring that would possibly be easier for others to grasp.

Nevertheless the women’s group is getting the nearly all focus, Korean fans have been recently planning wild for the men, as well. Following Wednesday’s men’s match up, a good gambler from the Korean team began throwing T shirts into the crowd, which in turn increased forward with outstretched forearms.

Kim Heae Darm, a fan who leaped way up and managed to be able to snag a new shirt going overhead, pressed it for you to her face together with screamed with glee. She and then turned to capturing this attention of Korean merged doubles player Lee Ki-jeong, who else scrawled his autograph in her notebook.

As she struggled to catch her breath, she defined her excitement by observing that Lee was solid, specific sport and “very good looking. ”

As for the achievements of the women’s crew, Kim, this founder involving the curling golf club, could not be prouder. “They happen to be heroes! ” he claimed.

Yet the Garlic Young ladies do have one demand: Might be someone could come up with a nicer team name for these people?

“We would prefer this name ‘Team .k, ’” Kim, the mentor, said with a laugh. “Because although our hometown will be Uiseong — which is associated with garlic — all of us have no connection along with garlic in any way. ”
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