In addition, I would like to make it straight that it is blatantly false that the Japanese only value Gold. All the media in Japan here is congratulating Mao's achievenment as a silver medalist. Of course she had been stating that she would like to bring the best out of her at the Olys so it was a slight pity that she wasn't able to execute all her jump repertoire, but being the first lady to do 3 axels is still an acomplishment and the media in Japan emphasizes that in their post Olympic reports. They aren't so simple minded as to think or to say "only gold mattered, why didn't you do better? ".
I guess a part of the reason for this would be the Korea-Japan rivalry and an event like the Olympics has really a lot to do with the national pride.
I guess that she will be legendary for decades in Korea for setting the world records at Oly. It's really exciting to watch a pioneer making his/her own way out of scratch and become not only the top of the world, but also the top of the FS history records. There have been many OG medalists, but setting world records at the Oly feels like not only beating the current rivals, but also beating the previous ones (I know the system is relatively new, but you know what I mean).
I don't know if S. Korea's society just differs in its degree of adoration/obsession, or if the circumstances surrounding YuNa are unique. However, I really can't think of any athlete or celebrity who holds a country's attention like YuNa does for Koreans.
Are you an authority on this? I think you're over-exaggerating the phenomena and making it something that it's not. Like one posters above said she's one of the biggest stars right now, but there are other stars that are just as popular. Also, it's very common for a star's celebrity status in Korea to fade really fast, more like a fad. I think Lindsay Vonn is the appropriate equivalent, since she's the "it" girl of the moment.You seriously think stock brokers in the US abandon the trading floor while Lindsey Vonn is competing to watch her ski? Or that the US president is going to meet with Vonn and her coach now? Please, let's not even compare Lindsey Vonn's level of fame to Yu Na's. If you're really going for an American example, you'd have to go back to Muhammed Ali for a sports star of Yu Na's magnitude.
Brian Orser hit the nail on the head when she compared Yuna to Princess Di, in terms of her popularity in Korea. I think it's actually quite common for a country's people to latch onto a young, beautiful (virginal?) female personality who comes to represent all the virtues of their country in their minds. And because sports (along with movies and pop music) are some of the most widely covered events in the world these days, it's not uncommon for athletes to become these national heroine figures. I'm sure there are probably some psych/sociology articles out there on the phenomenon. I'm reminded of Cathy Freeman of Australia, Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, and to a lesser extent Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia.
Last edited by sleepyjl; 02-28-2010 at 03:39 AM.
Princess Diana did not sell Hauzen air conditioners and Samsung phones. Plus, I think she had quite a lot of critics from Great Britain; those who felt she had married into the royal family for its status, those who felt she wasn't a good wife to Prince Charles, etc.
Figure88, I think you're getting a tad too defensive. DesertRoad or Mathman are sharing things as they see or hear them...
Japanese also put too much pressure on their athletes.
I heard that the cameramans and reporters from other countries came to the rink coliseum 12 hours before the event, just to found that the Japanese reporters were sleeping at the rink since last night to get the best spot for taping and photographs.