Olympic athletes jam to K-pop groups, from BTS to BLACKPINK

Songs by popular K-pop groups have kept athletes’ spirits high throughout this Olympics season.  

What’s being played: Tunes by BTS, BLACKPINK, ITZY, Seventeen, NCT 127, OH MY GIRL, EXO and more, have given athletes something to dance, compete and celebrate to, The Korea Times reported.

  • During the archery mixed team event on July 24, BTS’ “Dynamite” (2020) filled the stadium.
  • Another BTS smash hit, “Butter” (2021), was played during a rugby game between South Korea and New Zealand on July 26. It was also played during the women’s boxing match between Uganda and Japan on July 25.
  • During the women’s volleyball match between China and Turkey on July 25, BLACKPINK’s “Lovesick Girls” (2020) was featured. 
  • “Dun Dun Dance” (2021) by OH MY GIRL was played during South Korea’s volleyball match with Brazil on July 25, as well as during the July 31 volleyball match between South Korea and Japan. 
  • The Olympics playlist also featured other songs, including ITZY’s “Don’t Give a What” (2020), Seventeen’s “Very Nice” (2016), TWICE’s “Feel Special” (2019) and EXO’s “Don’t Fight the Feeling” (2021).

Why K-pop?: According to The Korea Times, “once a K-pop anthem is featured in a game, it immediately generates buzz on multiple social media platforms such as Twitter.”

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  • The South Korean newspaper also claimed that K-pop songs are “big mood-lifters” that help the Olympics garner more attention among younger viewers. 
  • Music critic Han Dong-yoon shared that most of these tunes “include English lyrics and are bright and uplifting…. They are also likely to suit the tastes of numerous young athletes.”

Song requests: Several Olympic athletes have shared their love for K-pop, even sending special requests to have their favorite songs played.

  • South Korea’s Kang Chae-young, who won gold in the women’s team event in archery, asked for a BTS song, Reuters reported.
  • Instead, BLACKPINK’s “Boombayah” (2016) was played during the event. 
  • Other South Korean athletes who are K-pop fans include archer An San, swimmer Hwang Sun-woo and table tennis player Shin Yu-bin, who received a special message from BTS member V supporting her Olympic bid.

Featured Image via HYPE LABELS

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