Don’t Call Them ‘Garlic Girls’: South Korean Curlers Become Olympic Rock Stars

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Description컬링 , SOUTH KOREA - Forget Lindsey Vonn and Adam Rippon. The real rock actors with the Pyeongchang Olympics are usually a modest group regarding Korean curlers which have no idea they’ve turn into a global discomfort.

They are known as this “Garlic Girls, ” the Southern area Korean women’s styling crew with the fairy story story in whose name shows the locally popular garlic grown inside their hometown. In no way considered a new medal contender coming into Pyeongchang, they will have risen to Virtually no. just one in the search positions, earning globally attention for their fierce natural talent together with funny people.

However typically the Garlic herb Girls have already been almost totally sheltered in the international frenzy both simply by individual choice — many people turned off their phones in the games to block outdoor interest — and simply by a shielding coach who also is acutely aware that being different is as much the mind game as some sort of actual one.
South Korea's The reality star Seonyeong, left, sweeps ice with a teammate during their match towards Russian athletes within the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. twenty one, 2018.
? Famous and they avoid know it

After a latest match, the women of all ages were immediately shuffled history waiting reporters, giving journalists apologetic delight and hola of “Anyonghaseyo! ” (hello) before disappearing. None regarding them, says coach .k Min-jung, are knowledgeable of which they’ve become high flyers.

“I’m sorry that My spouse and i could not bring the athletes nowadays, since I’m worried right now there will be a lot of strain and burden about them, ” Kim said. “Even this crowd is too interested in them. ”

That interest is understandable. The Garlic cloves Girls seem tailor-made for stardom.

The hugely knowledgeable underdogs came into the particular Olympics ranked eighth found in the world and even went on to crush styling heavyweights including Canada together with Sweden. They are sweet plus comical, mentioning to help their selves by quirky nicknames for example “Pancake” and “Steak. ”

Two teammates are siblings and all are really longtime close friends, creating irresistible chemistry in the ice. Typically the team’s “skip, ” or maybe captain, has a steely eyes and way-out, owl-eyed glasses that have grow to be hitch for endless Online memes.

Screaming fans

A lot of Koreans who have never noticed a curling match have traveled to remote Gangneung in order to peek at his or her nation’s new darlings around person.

“I’m very pleased of them, ” stated Lee Ji Sunlight, some sort of 26-year-old who had never ever been inside a styling area before Wednesday’s complement. “They are showing many of us can do well even at new sport situations. ”

Every match showcasing the team is packed using shouting, flag-fluttering Koreans who else soar to their feet to delight on this women’s stunningly precise shots. One fan inside group Wednesday waved exactly what appeared to be a hand-drawn portrait of skip .k Eun-jung with her hallmark spectacles.
Southwest Korea's might curling team celebrate subsequent to beating Russian language athletes through their match on the 2018 Winter Olympics around Gangneung, South Korea, February. 21, 2018.
? Late to the activity of curling

Of which curling has gained just about any importance in Korea is usually unusual in itself. Korea did not even have a workforce in Olympic curling till the 2014 Sochi Online games.

It took Koreans a short time to wake up in order to curling, largely because typically the nation lacked sufficient services until recent years, .k Young, the curling fable who started typically the Korean Curling Club 23 years ago, mentioned by email. Today, he says, Korea has 6-8 dedicated curling arenas, and several schools have curling squads.

In 2006, South Korea’s initially curling center had been built in the rural village of Uiseong. Four involving the five affiliates went to Uiseong Women’s High School, in which they were on often the school’s curling team. Uiseong’s standing as the nation’s default being different capital slowly but surely grew, as well as curling facility has published about 15 major national and international curling functions.

Garlic and those nicknames

However, right until the women’s team commenced their surprise winning talent in Pyeongchang, Uiseong was initially better known for the productive garlic cloves production.

Koreans take into account garlic herb a overall health food that boosts stamina levels. Seo Eun Ha, the 26-year-old Garlic clove Girls lover, thinks garlic cloves may have contributed to this team’s success. (She also breaks the women’s very good team-work and strong interactions. )

Like a lot of lovers at Gangneung, Seo is very hintergrund of the curlers’ abnormal nicknames: Sunny, Steak, Hot cake, Annie (a brand of yogurt) and ChoCho (a form of cookie).

“I believe his or her nicknames go in fact with their vibrant images, ” Seo mentioned. “I like ‘Steak’ the most. That sounds so funny in addition to unique. ”

The nicknames started as some sort of gag over breakfast one day, explained Kim, the mentor. The women have been talking concerning how hard it has been for additional countries’ players to enunciate their particular companies at international tournaments. Most five team members and the coach also share exactly the same surname — Kim, and that is very common in Korea — making their brands even more confounding for and also the.

Betty Seon-yeong, who was eating a good sunny-side-up melted egg, joked that the lady could use the identify “Sunny. ” One other women of all ages loved the idea. They each opted to nickname their selves after the English words and phrases for his or her favorite breakfast food, figuring that would end up being easier for others to know.

Even though the women’s crew is getting the the majority of consideration, Korean language fans possess been going wild for the men, as well. After Wednesday’s men’s complement, a good player from the Korean language team began throwing Tee shirts into the crowd, which will surged forward with outstretched hands.

Kim Heae Darm, a new fan who hopped upward and managed to help snag a new shirt wind-surfing overhead, forced it for you to her face together with screamed with glee. She after that turned to capturing the particular attention of Korean combined doubles player Lee Ki-jeong, that scrawled his autograph in her notebook.

Because she struggled to catch her breath, she described her excitement by writing that Lee was robust, athletic and “very handsome. ”

As for the success of the women’s workforce, Kim, the founder associated with the curling pub, could not be prouder. “They are usually heroes! ” he claimed.

Yet the Garlic Ladies do have one demand: Maybe someone could are provided up with a better team name for them?

“We would prefer often the name ‘Team Kim, ’” Kim, the instructor, stated with a laugh. “Because although our hometown is definitely Uiseong — which will be relevant to garlic — most of us have zero partnership with garlic at all. ”
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