Remember how the Hallyu goddess Lee Sung Kyung transformed into Weightlifting Fairy: Kim Bok Joo? She put on a tiny bit of weight, got a cute bob haircut with bangs, and made wacky, childish faces. All that to distract you from her actual fairy-like beauty. If you ever wondered if such gorgeous Korean athletes exist IRL, well, you won’t be disappointed.
We know, the talent and dedication make all Olympic athletes so admirable already. But if you’re searching for a new crush that looks like those K-drama stars we love, we’ve got you covered. Check out these Korean Olympians that should be on your radar.
Korean Olympic Athletes To Follow On Instagram
Soccer player Jung Seung Won
Jung Seung Won seems like he belongs to a poster of a dreamy rom-com. He’s one of the most attractive Korean athletes, according to K-netizens. The midfielder is part of the Daegu Football Club and the national football squad in the 2020 summer Olympics.
You might just start tuning in to matches and looking for South Korea’s player #18. Feel free to stalk his IG feed—you won’t get enough of his duality. Some days, he’s hot as hell, and other days, he’s full of aegyo. And, he’s not embarrassed to sport a BT21 RJ headband, by the way. Could he be an ARMY?
Fencers Kim Jun Ho and Oh Sang Uk
These tall, handsome men are part of “The Avengers” (men’s team) of Korean fencing, who bagged gold in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Kim Jun Ho is 27 and married with a baby on the way (sorry, ladies!) He’s won various medals already, including silver at the Fencing World Cup in 2016.
Meanwhile, the maknae, Oh Sang Uk, is 24. He has brought home numerous gold medals to the Land of Morning Calm. That includes four in the sport’s Grand Prix competition and three in the World Cup. Curious about his height? He’s 1.91m or 6’3”!
TBH, the rest of the men's sabre fencing team also look like they could star in an action film or thrilling drama, too. And fun fact: One of them will call to mind the swoon-worthy K-drama oppa from Reply 1988: Kim Jung Hwan. (The athlete, though, has different charms compared to the actor behind that iconic character.)
Taekwondo athletes Lee Dae Hoon and Sim Jae Young
Once upon a time, Lee Dae Hoon became trending in South Korea for his resemblance to EXO’s Chanyeol. The 29-year-old has been called a “baby-face assassin” for his killer moves despite an innocent-looking face.
Dae Hoon is actually married and has a son as adorable as him. Sadly, the gold medal is still elusive for the three-time world champ and two-time Olympic podium finisher. He was taken out early in the competition after losing his first match in the recent Tokyo Olympics.
In the women’s division, there’s the doe-eyed 25-year-old Sim Jae Young. Browsing her close-up photos, you might assume she can’t hurt a fly. However, she’s known for her cold, unchanging look while competing in her dobok (Taekwondo uniform). She’s won the world championship (fin weight category) twice already.
Like Dae Hoon, though, Jae Young suffered a defeat in her most recent Olympic match. Here’s to hoping she gets to bounce back in other competitions soon!
Judokas Kim Won Jin and An Chang Rim
Their vibe: The protective kuya of the lead in a melodrama. Their physiques look intimidating, but their faces seem loveable and warm. In reality, they have tackled and beat a lot of opponents around the world.
Kim Won Jin has represented SoKor in the Asian Games, World Championships, and International Judo Federation Competitions. He missed the podium in the 2020 Summer Olympics (finishing in fifth place in the -60kg category). But earlier this year, he won the 2021 Judo World Masters gold medal.
Then, there’s An Chang Rim, one of the top lightweights in the world at age 27. He has also conquered World Championships and IJF Tours, among other competitions. In the Tokyo Olympics, he emerged with the bronze medal for the -73kg division.
Volleyball player Kim Yeon Koung
The 6’3” captain of the South Korean pro volleyball team is another potential girl crush. Based on her photos, she seems like a great fit for roles like the fierce rival of the lead actress. However, she seems to have a sweet side, as well, and you can see her genuine joy whenever her team scores in volleyball rallies.
Her awards? Too many to mention! She’s been part of the national team in several events (including 3 Olympic Games since 2012) and named MVP multiple times. At present, she also creates vlogs on YouTube and her channel has amassed 1.03M subscribers. We wouldn’t be surprised if she makes cameos in dramas soon.
Baseball player Lee Jung Hoo
The 22-year-old was known as the son of a legendary Korean baseball player, but recently, he’s making a name of his own. Lee Jung Hoo, an outfielder, has both Hallyu-worthy visuals and buzz-worthy skills. In fact, he was the Korean Baseball Organization’s Rookie of the Year in 2017.
Jung Hoo has also won the Golden Glove award for three years in a row. Fans of the K-drama Hot Stove League would know why it’s a big deal. This prestigious prize is given to the best players of each baseball team position—outfield in Lee’s case. Who knows? He might star in the movie of his own life story someday!
Aside from these Olympians, there are many other athletes that will make you do a double take. Why don’t you start watching out for their sports events and supporting them from a distance, just like your favorite Korean idols? Hopefully, that’s alongside supporting our own Filipino athletes and artists, too!
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