4 K-pop idols who dated sports stars, from Girls' Generation's Yuri and baseball star Oh Seung-hwan, to T-ara's Soyeon and football Cho Yu-min – who just got engaged

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notoriously secretive about romance, the pair officially tied the knot, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

The K-pop world is notoriously secretive about romance, but many of the relationships that do get confirmed typically involve an idol dating a fellow music or TV celebrity. Yet while a Korean idol dating someone from outside the entertainment industry is pretty rare, it does happen. Indeed, a few idols have dated athletes – and some have even gotten married! Read on for the evidence…

1. Soyeon of T-ara and football player Cho Yu-min

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notoriously secretive about romance, the pair officially tied the knot, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Cho Yu-min and Soyeon of T-ara surprised fans with their engagement announcement. Photo: @melodysoyani/Instagram

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Most lately, Soyeon of T-ara, 34, surprised fans on January 18, when she announced through an Instagram post that she would be getting married to her football player beau, Cho Yu-min, 25. The couple had never been public about their relationship before the announcement.

Think Entertainment, Soyeon’s management agency, made a statement on the same day, explaining that the couple plans to hold their wedding ceremony in November after Cho ends his season with his team, Suwon FC.

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In her post, Soyeon said, “I decided to spend the rest of my life with someone I’m grateful to who always supports and believes in the artist Soyeon and the person Park So-yeon, who cheers me on so that I can take on challenges without giving up whenever I’m tired, and who makes a sincere effort towards my beloved parents.”

2. Yuri of Girls’ Generation and baseball star Oh Seung-hwan

In April 2015, Dispatch released pictures of Yuri from Girls’ Generation with Oh Seung-hwan, a pitcher for the Hanshin Tigers at the time. The photos showed the pair on a date, where Oh even gave a shopping bag full of gifts to Yuri.

Soon after, SM Entertainment, Yuri’s agency at the time, confirmed that the couple had been seeing each other for five months. The two had “met at a gathering of acquaintances in 2014”.

Unfortunately, the pair eventually called it quits in October 2015 due their conflicting busy schedules.

3. Girl’s Day’s Minah and football player Son Heung-min

notoriously secretive about romance, the pair officially tied the knot, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Football player Son Heung-min and Girl’s Day member Minah used to date. Photos: @hm_son7, @bbang_93/Instagram

In July 2014, Korean media outlet The Fact reported that Minah of Girl’s Day was spotted on dates with Premier League football player Son Heung-min.

The pair were photographed at Gangnam Station and Han River Park, with Minah even holding a bouquet of flowers. After denying it at first, Girl’s Day’s agency DreamT eventually confirmed that the two were indeed beginning a relationship.

However, the pair broke up after just a few months due to Son’s busy schedule playing for Bayer Leverkusen in Germany and Minah’s own activities with Girl’s Day. They only managed to meet up in person twice throughout their entire relationship, according to Koreaboo.

Son has since been romantically linked with Blackpink member Jisoo.

4. Wonder Girls’ Hyerim and taekwondo star Shin Min-chul

notoriously secretive about romance, the pair officially tied the knot, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Wonder Girls’ Hyerim and taekwondo star Shin Min-chul got married in 2020. Photo: @studio_kama/Instagram

Wonder Girl member Hyerim dated taekwondo star Shin Min-chul for seven years before the couple went public during an appearance on the reality show Don’t Be Jealous. There, they shared how they met: Shin’s taekwondo coach and Hyerim’s father, who also practices taekwondo, had dinner plans and decided to bring Shin and Hyerim along with them.

notoriously secretive about romance, the pair officially tied the knot, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter

Hyerim and Shin Min-chul are expecting their first child. Photo: @wg_lim/Instagram

By July 2020, only a few months after going public, the pair officially tied the knot in a private ceremony. In October 2021, Hyerim announced that she and Shin are expecting their first child.

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