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GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - Forget Lindsey Vonn and Adam Rippon. The real rock superstars of the Pyeongchang Olympics happen to be a modest group regarding Korean curlers that possess no idea they’ve grow to be a global experience.

They are known as this “Garlic Girls, ” the particular Southern Korean women’s curling workforce with the fairy-tale story whose moniker displays the regionally well known garlic oil grown inside their hometown. Certainly not considered a medal contender coming into Pyeongchang, these people have risen to Simply no. a single in the search rankings, earning around the world attention to get their fierce talent and even funny personas.

And yet often the Garlic cloves Girls are actually practically totally sheltered in the intercontinental frenzy both by individual choice — that they transferred off their phones through the games to block outdoors interest — and by means of a protecting coach who also is keenly which curling is as much the mental game as the actual physical one.
South Korea's .k Seonyeong, left, sweeps ice-cubes with a teammate during their complement versus Russian athletes in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. 21 years old, 2018.
? Famous and they also have a tendency know it

After a good latest match, the women were quickly shuffled past waiting reporters, giving journalists apologetic teeth and hey there of “Anyonghaseyo! ” (hello) before disappearing. None associated with them, says coach Betty Min-jung, are conscious that will they’ve become famous people.

“I’m sorry that I could hardly bring the athletes today, because I’m worried at this time there will be too much force and burden on them, ” Kim said. “Even often the crowd is too considering them. ”

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

The hugely experienced underdogs came into this Olympics ranked eighth inside the world and even travelled on to crush styling heavyweights including The us and Sweden. They are sweet in addition to comical, referring in order to by themselves by quirky nicknames such as “Pancake” and “Steak. ”

Two teammates happen to be siblings and all are generally longtime good friends, creating alluring chemistry around the ice. The team’s “skip, ” or perhaps captain, possesses a steely eyes and some unattractive, owl-eyed glasses that have turn into fodder for endless Online memes.

Screaming fans

A lot of Koreans who have never found a curling match have traveled to remote Gangneung for you to peek at their own nation’s new darlings throughout person.

“I’m very very pleased of them, ” mentioned Lee Ji Sun, a 26-year-old who had in no way been inside a straightening area before Wednesday’s go with. “They are showing we all can succeed even found in new sport activities. ”

Every match featuring this team is packed having screaming, flag-fluttering Koreans that leap to their foot to joy on typically the women’s stunningly accurate pictures. One fan from the herd Wednesday waved what exactly appeared to be a hand-drawn portrait of skip The reality star Eun-jung with her hallmark spectacles.
Southwest Korea's might curling crew celebrate subsequent to beating Russian language athletes in the course of their match within the 2018 Winter Olympics throughout Gangneung, South Korea, February. twenty one, 2018.
? Late to the video game of curling

The fact that being different has gained almost any popularity in Korea can be unexpected in itself. Korea did not even have a team around Olympic curling until finally the 2014 Sochi Activities.

It took Koreans a short time to wake up to curling, largely because often the country lacked sufficient amenities till recent years, Ellie Young, a good curling tale who started this Korean language Curling Club in 1988, mentioned by email. Now, they says, Korea has 6-8 dedicated curling arenas, and plenty of schools have curling clubs.

In 2006, South Korea’s earliest curling center had been constructed in the rural village of Uiseong. Four of the five business friends gone to Uiseong Women’s High School, just where they were on the particular school’s curling team. Uiseong’s popularity as the nation’s default being different capital little by little grew, plus the curling middle has managed about fifteen major home and international curling situations.

Garlic and even those nicknames

Nevertheless, until the women’s team began their surprise winning skills in Pyeongchang, Uiseong has been better known for their legendary garlic oil production.

Koreans look at garlic herb a well being food items that boosts stamina levels. Web optimization Eun Ha, a new 26-year-old Garlic Girls fan, states garlic may experience contributed to the particular team’s success. (She also credit the women’s great teamwork and tough relationships. )

Like quite a few enthusiasts in Gangneung, Seo is particularly hintergrund of the curlers’ abnormal nicknames: Sunny, Steak, Pancake, Annie (a brand regarding yogurt) and ChoCho (a style of cookie).

“I imagine their nicknames go okay with their dynamic pictures, ” Seo claimed. “I like ‘Steak’ the most. The idea sounds so funny and unique. ”

The nicknames started as a good gag over breakfast one day, stated Kim, the discipline. The women were talking with regards to how challenging it was basically for other countries’ sportsmen to enunciate his or her titles at international challenges. Just about all five team members and the coach also share the exact same surname — Kim, that is very common in Korea — making their names far more confounding for visitors.

.k Seon-yeong, who was eating some sort of sunny-side-up fried egg, joked that your woman could pass the title “Sunny. ” Other girls loved the idea. They each opted to nickname by themselves after the English terms for favorite breakfast foodstuff, foreseeing that would become easier for others to know.

Although the women’s group is getting the many interest, Korean fans currently have recently been intending wild regarding the men, very. Soon after Wednesday’s men’s complement, some sort of gamer from the Korean team began throwing T shirts into the crowd, which usually increased forward with outstretched biceps.

Kim Heae Darm, a new fan who hopped way up and managed to snag a new shirt cruising overhead, pushed it in order to her face in addition to screamed with glee. The woman in that case turned to capturing this interest of Korean merged doubles player Lee Ki-jeong, who also scrawled his autograph in her notebook.

While she struggled to get her breath, she revealed her excitement by writing that Lee was tough, fitness and “very handsome. ”

As for often the accomplishment on the women’s staff, Kim, often the founder involving the curling club, could not be prouder. “They happen to be heroes! ” 여자컬링 said.

Yet the Garlic Females do have one ask for: Could be someone could are provided up with a nicer team name for them all?

“We would prefer the name ‘Team The reality star, ’” Kim, the trainer, claimed with a laugh. “Because although our hometown is usually Uiseong — which will be associated with garlic — we have not any romantic relationship together with garlic whatsoever. ”