People are Crushing Hard on the South Korean ‘Garlic Girls’ Curling Team
South Korea’s women’s curling team has been winning lots of fans around the world not just for their amazing performance on the ice, but also for their appetizing nicknames.
The host team headed into the 2018 Winter Olympics placed eighth in the world, but beating seasoned teams from Canada, Great Britain, and Sweden have put them ahead of the pack in first place, according to USA Today.
Pyeongchang is the second Olympics South Korea is competing in curling, and as such, the national team wasn’t even expected to be contenders. But Team Kim has rattled 7 straight wins and is going into the semi-finals on top. This is how it all began pic.twitter.com/FkArpNFRz3
After defeating Team USA 9-6 on Tuesday, South Korea is now 6-1 overall and at the top of the standing for the semifinals, NBC reported.
Teammates Kim Eun-jung, Kim Seon-yeong, Kim Kyeong-ae, Kim Yeong-mi and alternate Kim Cho-hi all have the popular last name Kim, which accounts for 20% of South Koreans. But only two of the curlers, sisters Kim Kyong-ae and Kim Yeong-mi, are actually related.
To help others identify team members and brush up on their English, the ladies all came up with nicknames based on what they like to eat for breakfast.
Eun-Jung is “Annie,” after a yogurt brand based in California. Seon-yeong is called “Sunny” because she likes her eggs sunny-side up. Kyeong-ae is “Steak,” and Cho-hi is “Chocho,” a type of cookie.
Their team name is also related to food. The “Garlic Girls” hail from Uiseong, in the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, a region known for growing garlic.
Team Kim all met in high school in the S Korean town of Uiseong. In 2006, the small town famous for its garlic took down sports facilities such as a basketball court and built a curling center. At the time, 10th grade Kim Eun-jung, now the skip, was interested and wanted to play pic.twitter.com/7K8JUHKsIc
But their coach, Kim Min-jung, despises the moniker and is asking “the Internet to help” come up with a prettier name. Regardless of their names, people all over the world have fallen in love with them, particularly the captain, Kim Eun-jung:
She explained the women have worked hard to earn their spot in the Winter Olympics.
“We realize there is a lot of interest about our team,” Min-jung said. “Some people are asking how this curling team suddenly appeared. But it wasn’t a sudden appearance. They had to practice for about 10 years. It’s not like they suddenly came down from the sky.”