Sat, Feb 09, 2019 - Page 8 News List

Olympic dream turns into a nightmare for South Korea’s ‘Garlic Girls’ curlers

AFP, SEOUL

In the face of the growing #MeToo movement, the South Korean government last month announced an investigation into sexual and other abuses in sport, and increased penalties for perpetrators.

“We need to walk away from the winning-at-all-costs philosophy,” South Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jong-hwan said.

However, Yeo Jun-hyung, a former skating coach who now leads a group of activists against abuse in sports, cautioned that the issue might rapidly fade from public and media consciousness.

“That’s the thing about sports [in South Korea], people forget about them when athletes are not on TV,” he said.

Choi pointed out that the campaign against abuse was initiated by the athletes themselves — including the curlers — rather than authorities.

“Most [South] Korean athletes in the past, many of whom work as coaches or sports officials today, shared this thinking that if you want to succeed in the sports field, you just have to endure everything — even if it means being beaten and cursed all the time,” he said.

“But the new generation is saying that they are not going to put up with it anymore,” he added.

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