Figure skating champion Kim Yu-na is Korean advertisers' favorite Olympian, according to Innocean Worldwide, which analyzed commercials featuring national athletes who have competed at either the Summer or Winter Games.
Kim has appeared in 136 ads and commercials, making her one of just 28 Korean Olympians who have ever been selected by advertisers to model for them. This number amounts to just 1.8 percent of all 1,548 athletes who have represented Korea at the Games from Barcelona 1992 to the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Over this 18-year period, Korea has produced 180 Olympic medalists.
The very first local Olympian to appear in a TV commercial was Hyun Jung-hwa, a female table tennis player who won gold in the doubles competition at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Four years later, Hyun took bronze medals in the singles and doubles events in Barcelona. She modeled for Hankook Cosmetics in 1993.
Swimmer Park Tae-hwan, the reigning Olympic champion in the men's 400-m freestyle, came second with 43 appearances, and Jang Mi-ran, gold medalist in the women's +75kg weightlifting in 2008, was third with eight. Marathoner Lee Bong-ju ranked fourth with seven.