[PyeongChang 2018] Korean wheelchair curlers at Paralympics buoyed by elementary students

By Yonhap
  • Published : Mar 12, 2018 - 16:20
  • Updated : Mar 12, 2018 - 16:20

GANGNEUNG, Gangwon Province -- South Korea's wheelchair curlers at the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics said Monday they were buoyed by local elementary students' support in their victory against Canada.

The South Korean wheelchair curling team collected its fourth straight win at the PyeongChang Paralympics after beating defending champions Canada 7-5 at Gangneung Curling Center in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Monday.

The match between South Korea and Canada started at 9:05 a.m. and unlike previous weekend matches, the curling center was mostly packed with students from local elementary schools. The noise from the young students could have been disruptive to the curlers' performance on the ice, but the South Korean athletes said they actually liked the center with young students. 

South Korea`s Jung Seung-won raises his arms after his team beat Canada 7-5 in the wheelchair curling competition at the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics at Gangneung Curling Centre in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on March 12. (Yonhap)

"It was actually great to see young South Korean kids screaming," said Jung Seung-won, who plays third for the national team. "For foreign players, that kind of stadium atmosphere could be stressful, but for us, it was helpful."

The elementary students were busy playing each other, but when South Korea collected points, they made noise and cheered for the national team.

Seo Seon-sook, who serves as the skip, said he actually wants to hear a lot of noise from the stands whether spectators are adults or not.

"I didn't expect many spectators since our match was scheduled for Monday morning, but I'm happy to see many fans," Seo said. "If many spectators can give us a loud cheer, it can really give us a lot of energy, but for our opponents, it's going to be a lot of pressure."

Canada's skip Mark Ideson said he was also impressed by the South Korean crowd.

"Korea are a strong team," Ideson was quoted as saying to the PyeongChang Paralympics media information provider myInfo 2018. "They got the energy of the crowd out there, which was fun to be around. We definitely respect them and hope to get the chance to play them again."

South Korea will play their fifth round-robin match against Germany later Monday. The wheelchair curling competition at the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics features 12-member mixed-gender teams and based on the results of the round-robin qualifying round, the top four teams will advance to the semifinals. (Yonhap)