Updated January. 28, 2014 05:50
In the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Korea`s national ski jump team attracted heated attention equivalent to that toward figure skating star Kim Yu-na. The movie "National Team" released in 2009 with a story of national ski jump team had gained explosive popularity. With the Sochi Olympics just 10 days away, the popularity of ski jump has plunged to pre-2009.
The Dong-A Ilbo reporter met the Korean ski jump team at Alpensia Resort in Gangwon Province last Wednesday. Choi Heung-chul, Kim Hyun-ki, Choi Seo-woo, and Kang Chil-gu have won a team competition ticket for the first time in eight years since the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics. At Vancouver games, Kang failed to pass and thus team competition fell through. The two Chois and Kim are competing for the fifth straight Olympics since the 1998 Nagano games.
Choi Heung-chul said, "I was very burdened back in Vancouver due to craze for ski jumping. I feel much better now to play at a typical unpopular game." Kim said, "It is natural that popularity has declined since this season`s performance was not good. Yet we have gained confidence since all four of us can play together."
The national ski jump team`s best record was made in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics finishing in eighth place in team competition, which is the highest ranking at the outdoor snow Olympics competition. The Korean ski jump team has played for more than 20 years, and is poised to achieve something. The team members are also determined to win medals in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics by gaining attention through ability, and not through the movie.