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[VIDEO NEWS] The South Korean women’s curling team is full of surprises

Feb 21,2018
1) “Our path is not a highway but a thorny one. We feel a sense of responsibility and duty. We hope to make history for Korean curling.” - Coach Kim Min-jung of the South Korean women’s Olympic curling team

2) The South Korean women’s curling team is the ‘Cinderella’ of the PyeongChang Olympics.

3) On the sixth preliminary match, they defeated Sweden (ranked No. 5 in the world) 7-6.

4) Earlier, Korea defeated Canada, Switzerland and Britain, ranked No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 in the world, respectively. They even defeated China and, yesterday, the United States, thus securing their ticket to the semifinals.

5) Foreign media was stunned not only by their prowess in the sport, but also by the fact that the five players and the coach all had the same surname “Kim.”

6) “Many foreigners asked if we were all related, but we are not. The last name is just common in Korea.” - Coach Kim Min-jung of the South Korean women’s Olympic curling team

7) Kim Yeong-mi and Kim Kyung-ae are sisters, but the rest are not related.

8) Kim Eun-jung and Kim Yeong-mi are friends from high school, while Kim Kyung-ae and Kim Sun-yeong are middle school friends.

9) In 2006, when a curling center was built in Uiseong, a rural county located in South Gyeongsang, Kim Yeong-mi and Kim Eun-jeong began the sport as an after school activity. They were 17 at the time.

10) Kim Kyung-ae, Kim Yeong-mi’s younger sister, started curling quite spontaneously as she joined the team when she visited the center to bring her sister’s forgotten things.

11) “Curling team members needed.” Kim Sun-yeong’s career began when saw the notice written on the blackboard and applied.

12) Because four of the five team members are from Uiseong, some are calling them the “Garlic Girls” as the county is well known for its garlic.

13) The popularity of the team has increased after each game, but the athletes themselves have no idea of the buzz they caused.

14) “The athletes and I made a collective decision. We thought we wouldn’t be able to handle it if an anonymous someone said something bad on Internet.” - Coach Kim Min-jung of the South Korean women’s Olympic curling team

15) The curlers voluntarily handed in their phones before entering the Olympic village to prevent becoming mentally shaken by mean comments.

16) Currently, the whole country’s attention is on the sport, but the team suffered many hardships as curling was an unpopular sport until now.

17) In 2014, the curling team could not eat in the cafeteria at the training center and had to eat and sleep at nearby diners and motels instead.

18) The hardships did not end in PyeongChang as the team could not properly make use of the Gangneung Curling Center due to maintenance work.

19) The women curlers’ advancement to the semifinals is a testament to their hard work even in such unfavorable conditions.

20) The country is hoping for the “Uiseong Garlic Girls” to show that they are as strong as the taste of garlic.

Video sourced from JoongAng Ilbo
Directed by Park Hae-lee
Produced by Oh Da-seul
Translated by Kim Hyo-jung
Edited by Ho-yeon Yoo