Winning in Unpopular Sports
Winning in Unpopular Sports
  • Lee Jun-jong (EEE 15)
  • 승인 2018.03.07 13:25
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On Feb. 16, Yun Sung-bin won a gold medal in skeleton. That day, every Korean was really surprised about this news because skeleton was an unpopular sport in Korea. Nobody thought a Korean player would win this game. Almost every Korean didn’t even know skeleton before he won a gold medal. Like skeleton, curling was another unpopular sport, but Korean team has defeated top-ranked team from Canada. Women’s curling team finished preliminary as the first grade. Therefore, people are really interested about curling these days. Especially, it makes popular fad word like ‘Yeong-mi’.
Before 2010, Korea had only got medals in short tracks and speed skating. Other entries were really not popular in Korea, so people didn’t even know about the rule or name of many entries. At that time, figure skating was unpopular sport too. Nobody was interested about it. However, Kim Yeon-ah won medals in figure skating consecutively in 2010 and 2014 Olympic. After that, she was received with much acclamation, and it had a big influence on the development of Korea figure skating. Many young children tried to become the ‘second Kim Yeon-ah’, and they participated 2018 Olympic. They didn’t win a medal, but they showed good performance and high grade. In that sense, it would be appropriate to claim that the field of figure skating has been significantly developed under the influence of Kim Yeon-ah.
Like figure skating, skeleton and curling are unpopular sport now. However, athletes achieved high grades in PyeongChang Olympic, and every Korean is really excited about these sports. Just like figure skating, I think the historically unprecedented victory of these Korean players’ victory would eventually make skeleton and curling more famous in Korea and thus produce more competitive players in the future. Of course, it is really difficult to try these sports, but I predict that a lot more athletes will challenge for it. Athletes who have achieved a high grade in Olympic can train young athletes, and more and more players will be able to get high grade on these entries. In addition, people will cheer their challenge, and they can get more support like money. I expect that Korea skeleton and curling will be developed a lot.
It is very difficult for unpopular sports to develop. I think trigger like medal or popularity is necessary for development of unpopular sports. Every Olympic, many athletes participate about unpopular sports, but most of them can’t draw attention from people. Therefore, these entries can’t develop more. Fortunately, skeleton and curling get high grade in the Olympic. I predict that these sports will extend border of Korean sports. It is really hard to get high grade in unpopular entries, so I really proud of our Korean athletes. I hope that athletes get good results in the remaining unpopular games. Their challenge can develop Korea sports. I cheer athletes who are trained a lot about unpopular sport.