Winter Olympics - Women's Curling Final

Olympics

ByTheMinWinterSports

Morning all! Britain’s curling hopes may be over, but there’s still a gold medal left to be fought for. It’s Hannah here with live coverage of South Korea vs Sweden in the women’s curling final.

Now, everyone knows that curling is by far the best part of the Winter Olympics. But I’m here to tell you why this year’s women’s curling competition has been the best yet. And it’s all because of one squad: The Garlic Girls, aka Team Kim, aka the South Korean women’s curlers.

For most South Koreans, the Winter Olympics is associated with people such as legendary figure skater Kim Yuna, and speed skater Lee Sanghwa, but during the past two weeks, all eyes of the host nation have been fixed on the curling rink. This has come as something of a surprise; South Korea has virtually no curling history, and in the lead up to the games it was expected to be much the same.

Step forward, Team Kim, a group of childhood friends who’ve been curling together for the past decade: Kim Eunjung (aka Annie), Kim Yeongmi (aka Pancake), Kim Kyeongae (aka Steak), and Kim Seonyeong (aka Sunny).

Nicknamed the Garlic Girls after their hometown Uiseong’s main export, they have beaten every other team in the competition on their way to the final, losing only once to rivals Japan in the round robin (who they went on to beat in a semi-final rematch).

In South Korea, they’ve become overnight sensations. The stands are packed with journalists reporting on the fairytale, and bars in Seoul on Friday evening were packed with people watching the semi-final. Team skip, Kim Eunjung, has in particular become the face of dozens of memes and gifs as a result of her piercing stare as she throws the stones.

Everyone loves an underdog story, and this is certainly that. They’re facing off against Sweden for what would be South Korea’s second gold medal of this Winter Olympics. I’m unashamedly rooting for them to bring it home. We're just getting underway in the first end. Sweden with the first stone, both just taking it in turns to knock each other out the house in the opening stages.

First mistake by Sweden with their third stone, they miss an easy take out and that'll give Team Kim the chance to set up for two points. ROK with the hammer in the first end. But Korea stick their stones too close together and Sweden takes them both out in one swoop.

South Korea with their hammer throw to finish the first end...an easy take out and it's 1-0 to Team Kim.

Second end underway, Sweden have the hammer and they set up a corner guard with their first stone, South Korea place a guard of their own close to the house and dead centre. Biiiiig cheers from the crowd as South Korea find a channel between the two guards to take out a Swedish stone and place their own right behind their own guard.