Quote Originally Posted by DesertRoad View Post
If anybody has more articles about how Yu Na Kim's is regarded in South Korea, please do post them! I find it fascinating from a sociological point of view. It's very rare that an athlete has this kind of pull in a country. I can't think of too many comparisons. Maybe Usain Bolt in Jamaica? It's even rarer for that athlete to be female. I think Yu Na may be the first woman to be in this kind of situation. It definitely merits studying.
A lot of it has to do with the celebrity culture there, which is also very similar in Japan. In Korea, celebrities are often lofted into very high positions politically as well... for example, Korean popstar BoA (best example I can give, because she was indisputably the most famous celebrity in Korea at a young age as well) served as cultural ambassador to the US at 15. Her fame in Korea became so astronomical, that she couldn't even live in the country and was unable to see her family for years at a time. Yu-Na is in a similar situation now... she has been put into the Korean spotlight, and they will expect a lot out of her. Unfortunately, it also doesn't take a whole lot for public opinion to change. When BoA announced she would release an album in the US instead of Korea one year, she lost all of her Korean endorsements except one, despite the fact that it seemed like people used to worship the ground she walked on. Hopefully, Yu-Na never finds herself in that position... if she had failed to medal, Korea's general opinion might have been along the lines of "she has been having too many photo shoot or press conferences to be taken seriously." The popularity Yu-Na has in Korea now is a very big burden; everything she does on or iff the ice will be disected and examined. Right now, she truly is their golden girl (and well deserved) and hopefully it stays that way.

Here is another article for you: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb...im11-2010feb11 "Kim Yu-na has South Korea's full attention" from the Los Angeles Times