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GANGNEUNG, DOWN KOREA - Forget Lindsey Vonn and Adam Rippon. The real rock superstars on the Pyeongchang Olympics can be a respectful group regarding Korean curlers that include no idea they’ve turn out to be a global experience.

They will are known as typically the “Garlic Girls, ” the Southern region Korean women’s curling staff with the fairy-tale story whose moniker echos the regionally renowned garlic grown in their hometown. Never considered the medal contender coming into Pyeongchang, these people have risen to No. one in the rankings, earning world-wide attention with regard to their fierce natural talent and funny individuality.

But often the Garlic clove Girls are already almost totally sheltered through the foreign frenzy both by individual choice — these people turned off their phones throughout the games to block exterior awareness — and simply by a shielding coach which is acutely which curling is as much a intellectual game as the actual one.
South Korea's .k Seonyeong, left, sweeps ice-cubes with a teammate during their match up towards Russian athletes in the 2018 Winter Olympics around Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. twenty one, 2018.
? Famous and in addition they don't know it

After a new modern match, the ladies were quickly shuffled history waiting reporters, giving press apologetic happiness and hello of “Anyonghaseyo! ” (hello) before disappearing. None involving them, says coach Ellie Min-jung, are informed that they’ve become superstars.

“I’m sorry that My spouse and i could not bring the athletes currently, due to the fact I’m worried presently there will be excessive force and burden with them, ” Kim said. “Even typically the crowd is too enthusiastic about them. ”

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

The largely knowledgeable underdogs came into typically the Olympics ranked eighth at the world and even travelled on to crush curling heavyweights including Canada together with Sweden. They are adorable plus comical, referring to their selves by quirky nicknames for example “Pancake” and “Steak. ”

Two teammates happen to be sisters and all are generally longtime friends, creating impressive chemistry in the ice. This team’s “skip, ” as well as captain, has a steely gaze and some unattractive, owl-eyed cups that have turn into hitch for endless Net memes.

Screaming fans

A lot of Koreans who have never viewed a curling match include traveled to remote Gangneung to peek at their very own nation’s new darlings within person.

“I’m very extremely pleased of them, ” explained Lee Ji Sunshine, a good 26-year-old who had never been inside a curling arena before Wednesday’s match up. “They are showing we can excel even found in new sport situations. ”

Every match showcasing typically the team is packed with screaming, flag-fluttering Koreans who else start to their ft to brighten on often the women’s stunningly specific photos. One fan inside the masses Wednesday waved what exactly seemed to be a hand-drawn family portrait of skip Betty Eun-jung with her trademark spectacles.
Southwest Korea's women's curling workforce celebrate following beating Russian language athletes through their match within the 2018 Winter Olympics throughout Gangneung, South Korea, February. twenty one, 2018.
? Late on the game of curling

The fact that being different has gained any popularity in Korea is definitely unusual in itself. Korea did not even have a crew inside Olympic curling until finally the 2014 Sochi Online games.

It took Koreans a short time to wake up in order to curling, largely because this nation lacked sufficient establishments until recent years, The reality star Young, a curling story who started the Korean language Curling Club 23 years ago, claimed by email. Presently, he says, Korea has 6 dedicated curling circles, and several schools have curling groups.

In 2006, South Korea’s first curling center was initially built-in the rural area of Uiseong. Four regarding the five affiliates joined in Uiseong Women’s High school graduation, exactly where they were on the school’s curling team. Uiseong’s popularity as the nation’s default curling capital slowly and gradually grew, as well as the curling centre has hosted about 15 major home and worldwide curling events.

Garlic in addition to those nicknames

Nonetheless, right up until the women’s team started out their surprise winning ability in Pyeongchang, Uiseong seemed to be better known for it has the high profile garlic production.

Koreans look at garlic oil a wellness foodstuff that boosts stamina. Search engine marketing Eun Ha, the 26-year-old Garlic clove Girls lover, is convinced garlic oil may have contributed to this team’s success. (She as well credit the women’s good team-work and robust romantic relationships. )

Like several fans from Gangneung, Seo is specially affectionate towards of the curlers’ uncommon nicknames: Sunny, Steak, Pancake, Annie (a brand regarding yogurt) and ChoCho (a form of cookie).

“I assume their very own nicknames go okay with their lively image samples, ” Seo mentioned. “I like ‘Steak’ the best. 컬링 sounds so funny plus unique. ”

The nicknames started as a new fun over breakfast one day time, claimed Kim, the coach. The women ended up talking concerning how hard it was for various other countries’ sports athletes to pronounce their particular companies at international tournaments. Just about all five team members and their coach also share exactly the same surname — Kim, which is very common in Korea — making their labels a lot more confounding for outsiders.

Ellie Seon-yeong, who was eating a good sunny-side-up toast egg, joked that the lady could pass the label “Sunny. ” Another females loved the idea. Both opted to nickname themselves after the English thoughts with regard to their favorite breakfast food, foreseeing that would possibly be easier for others to hold.

Nevertheless the women’s staff is getting the most consideration, Korean fans currently have been proceeding wild to get the men, very. Soon after Wednesday’s men’s complement, a participant from the Korean team began throwing Tee shirts into the crowd, which in turn surged forward with outstretched forearms.

Kim Heae Darm, a fan who hopped upward and managed for you to snag the shirt wind-surfing overhead, pressed it to her face together with cried with glee. Your woman after that turned to capturing the interest of Korean mixed doubles player Lee Ki-jeong, who also scrawled his autograph in her notebook.

Like she struggled to hook her breath, she revealed her excitement by noting that Lee was robust, athletic and “very fine. ”

As for typically the achievement with the women’s workforce, Kim, often the founder connected with the curling membership, could not be prouder. “They are usually heroes! ” he or she stated.

Yet the Garlic Ladies do have one ask for: Might be someone could take place up with a greater team name for them?

“We would prefer often the name ‘Team Betty, ’” Kim, the discipline, stated with a laugh. “Because although our hometown is usually Uiseong — which will be associated with garlic — most of us have not any relationship with garlic in any way. ”