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GANGNEUNG, SOUTHERLY KOREA - Forget Lindsey Vonn and Adam Rippon. The real rock stars from the Pyeongchang Olympics are a respectful group associated with Korean curlers that possess no idea they’ve turn into a international feeling.

Many people are known as the “Garlic Girls, ” often the Southern area Korean women’s styling crew with the fairy-tale story in whose moniker echos the in the area popular garlic cloves grown into their hometown. Certainly not considered some sort of medal combatir coming into Pyeongchang, these people have risen to Simply no. a single in the ranks, earning globally attention regarding their fierce skill plus funny individuality.

Yet often the Garlic oil Girls have been pretty much totally sheltered from the foreign frenzy both by means of individual choice — they changed off their phones throughout the games to block outdoor interest — and by simply a safety coach who also is acutely which curling is as much a good psychological game as some sort of actual one.
South Korea's Ellie Seonyeong, left, sweeps snow with a teammate during their go with against Russian athletes in the 2018 Winter Olympics throughout Gangneung, South Korea, February. 21, 2018.
? Famous and so they have a tendency know it

After some sort of latest match, the females were immediately shuffled former waiting reporters, giving correspondents apologetic smiles and hello of “Anyonghaseyo! ” (hello) before disappearing. 컬링 involving them, says coach .k Min-jung, are knowledgeable the fact that they’ve become famous people.

“I’m sorry that I actually could not bring the athletes nowadays, due to the fact I’m worried right now there will be a lot strain and burden in it, ” Kim said. “Even this crowd is too serious about them. ”

That fascination is understandable. The Garlic clove Girls seem tailor-made intended for stardom.

The significantly competent underdogs came into typically the Olympics ranked eighth at the world and even moved on to crush styling heavyweights including The us together with Sweden. They are lovely plus comical, mentioning in order to on their own by quirky nicknames for example “Pancake” and “Steak. ”

Two teammates happen to be sisters and all are generally longtime buddies, creating impressive chemistry within the ice. The particular team’s “skip, ” or captain, includes a steely look and odd, owl-eyed glasses that have become fodder for endless Web memes.

Screaming fans

Quite a few Koreans who have never seen a curling match have got traveled to remote Gangneung for you to peek at their own nation’s new darlings throughout person.

“I’m very extremely pleased of them, ” stated Lee Ji Sun, a new 26-year-old who had never ever been inside a curling arena before Wednesday’s complement. “They are showing most of us can flourish even at new sport events. ”

Every match offering this team is packed having shouting, flag-fluttering Koreans who else jump to their feet to perk on often the women’s stunningly accurate photographs. One fan inside group Wednesday waved what exactly made an appearance to be a hand-drawn face of skip Kim Eun-jung with her hallmark spectacles.
Down Korea's ladies curling staff celebrate just after beating Russian language athletes while in their match on the 2018 Winter Olympics throughout Gangneung, South Korea, February. 21 years of age, 2018.
? Late for the online game of curling

That will being different has gained almost any importance in Korea is usually amazing in itself. Korea didn’t even have a staff throughout Olympic curling until finally the 2014 Sochi Video games.

It took Koreans a long time to wake up in order to curling, largely because the state lacked sufficient establishments until recent years, Ellie Young, a good curling star who started this Korean Curling Club 23 years ago, explained by email. Now, he says, Korea has 6-8 dedicated curling circles, and several schools have curling groups.

In 2006, South Korea’s earliest curling center seemed to be built-in the rural area of Uiseong. Four regarding the five business friends attended Uiseong Women’s Secondary school, exactly where they were on often the school’s curling team. Uiseong’s status as the nation’s default being different capital slowly and gradually grew, plus the curling facility has managed about 15 major national and foreign curling activities.

Garlic and even those nicknames

However, until the women’s team started out their surprise winning streak in Pyeongchang, Uiseong was better known for the respected garlic clove production.

Koreans look at garlic a health and fitness foodstuff that boosts vigor. Seo Eun Ha, a 26-year-old Garlic oil Girls lover, is convinced garlic may now have contributed to typically the team’s success. (She likewise loans the women’s good team-work and robust human relationships. )

Like many enthusiasts from Gangneung, Seo is very fond of the curlers’ unusual nicknames: Sunny, Steak, Hot cake, Annie (a brand involving yogurt) and ChoCho (a form of cookie).

“I imagine his or her nicknames go good with their energetic photographs, ” Seo mentioned. “I like ‘Steak’ the most. The idea sounds so funny and even unique. ”

The nicknames started as the gag over breakfast one day time, explained Kim, the prepare. The women have been talking about how difficult it has been for some other countries’ athletes to pronounce their particular brands at international competitive events. All five team members and the coach also share exactly the same surname — Kim, which can be very common in Korea — making their names more confounding for foreign people.

Ellie Seon-yeong, who had been eating the sunny-side-up melted egg, joked that the woman could pass the name “Sunny. ” Other females loved the idea. Both opted to nickname them selves after the English thoughts with regard to their favorite breakfast food items, foreseeing that would end up being easier for others to know.

Nevertheless the women’s workforce is getting the nearly all consideration, Korean fans possess recently been heading wild regarding the men, very. Following Wednesday’s men’s go with, some sort of person from the Korean team began throwing Tees into the crowd, which usually increased forward with outstretched biceps and triceps.

Kim Heae Darm, some sort of fan who hopped up and managed in order to snag some sort of shirt marining overhead, pushed it to help her face plus cried with glee. The woman after that turned to capturing the particular focus of Korean mixed doubles player Lee Ki-jeong, that scrawled his autograph in her notebook.

Like she struggled to get her breath, she discussed her excitement by observing that Lee was strong, specific sport and “very fine. ”

As for this achievements with the women’s group, Kim, often the founder connected with the curling club, could not be prouder. “They are usually heroes! ” they claimed.

Yet the Garlic Young ladies do have one ask: Could be someone could are available up with a more relaxing team name for them?

“We would prefer this name ‘Team Ellie, ’” Kim, the mentor, explained with a laugh. “Because although our hometown is Uiseong — which is usually linked to garlic — many of us have not any relationship with garlic whatsoever. ”