Love Stories Rise to Fore in Coverage of Korean Olympians

During the recently ended Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, some of eye-catching stories related to the romantic interests of current or former Korean athletes.

There was the case of Korea-born Viktor Ahn, who won three gold medals in short track skating as a naturalized Russian, and Woo Na-ri, the woman he later revealed to be his wife. Woo has been staying in Russia with him, and Ahn pinned his first gold medal around her neck in apparent testament to his appreciation of her support.

Then there was the story about speed skater Lee Sang-hwa and her boyfriend Lee Sang-yeop, who is serving as a lieutenant in the Navy. He took special leave to make a surprise visit to Sochi so he could cheer on his girlfriend.

Also drawing much attention was the romantic attachment of Kim Ji-sun, skipper of the Korean women's curling team, and Chinese curler Xu Xiaoming, which showed how athletes can be rivals on the ice and the closest of friends off it.

Chosun Ilbo photographer Joo Wan-joong captured many memorable scenes of these couples together during the Games. He caught Ahn and Woo shedding tears of joy after the skater won gold the in the 1,000 m on Feb. 15, and Lee Sang-yeop cheering his girlfriend on as she competed in the 1,000-m speed skating event on Valentine's Day. Joo found Lee sitting among a group of Russian spectators while looking through the stands with a zoom lens.

On the same day, he followed Kim when she left the arena as he expected Kim and her husband Xiaoming to meet. He was able to take an exclusive picture of the curling couple together.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 25, 2014 10:27 KST