Korean Sporting Icons Serve as Beacons of Hope in 2013

Athletes occupied the top three spots in a poll of 300 Chosun Ilbo reporters to determine which Korean celebrities had given the nation the most cause for joy in 2013.

Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, who had 14 wins in his debut season in Major League Baseball, topped the list with 43.01 percent of the votes.

From left, Ryu Hyun-jin, Kim Yu-na and Park In-bee From left, Ryu Hyun-jin, Kim Yu-na and Park In-bee

Kim Yu-na, who won this year's World Figure Skating Championships in Canada in March after returning to competition following a two-year layoff, came second with 8.6 percent.

And Park In-bee, who won the LPGA's Rolex Player of the Year award after collecting six titles including three majors, ranked third with 4.3 percent.

Their achievements in their respective fields put them in the same stable as golfer Pak Se-ri and pitcher Park Chan-ho, whose triumphs in the LPGA and MLB made them both sporting pioneers and figures of consolation for the Korean public during the Asian Financial Crisis of the late 1990s.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 31, 2013 09:45 KST