4 Olympic athletes who love K-pop: BTS, Blackpink and Mamamoo are all on these Korean sports stars' pre-competition playlists

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This summer, Olympic athletes have not only grabbed the attention of sports fans but also that of K-pop fans, as they share a sense of unity around their love for the music genre.

Shin Yu-bin, the youngest member of the women’s table tennis team, who earned first place in the team competition, has revealed that she is a huge fan of BTS.

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South Korean table tennis player Shin Yu-bin trains at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 21. Photo: YNA/DPA

She carries photos of BTS members in her backpack and listens to BTS’s songs, such as Dynamite and DNA, when she warms up before her matches. On June 15, she shared a photo of herself holding an autographed album by BTS on her Instagram account with the comment, “I’m a successful fan”.

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Shin Yu-bin received a signed album from the BTS members recently. Photo: @shin_yubin_/Instagram

In previous interviews, the teenage athlete picked members V and Jin as her favourites, saying, “I have a crush on them. They’re so handsome”.

In a screenshot posted on the fan community platform Weverse, which shows Shin saying that she uses BTS’s music to get pumped up, V left a comment saying, “Fighting”, in Korean with a thumbs-up emoji.

The 17-year-old Shin beat Luxembourg’s Ni Xia Lian, the former world champion and the oldest table tennis player at the Tokyo Olympics at 58, in the women’s singles second round match on Sunday, July 15.

Shin was introduced as a “table tennis prodigy” on several TV shows, including SBS’s Star King in 2009 and MBC’s Infinite Challenge in 2014.

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At five years old, Shin Yu-bin was already called a “table tennis prodigy” when she appeared on Star King in 2009. Photo: @9979×9999/Twitter

Archer An San left a heartfelt message on Saturday, July 24, thanking Mamamoo’s Solar for supporting her.

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South Korea’s An San shoots an arrow during the women’s team competition at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics on July 25, in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: AP Photo

Archer An San, who won two gold medals in the mixed team and women’s team events, proudly shared that she is a fan of Mamamoo. K-pop fans spotted An wearing a pin on her archery chest guard that resembles a Mamamoo light stick.

Mamamoo member Solar returned the love by posting a message of support for An. “I’m going to steal An San when she comes back to Korea,” she joked on her Instagram account.

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After seeing that Solar from Mamamoo noticed the group’s pin on her uniform, An San shared the singer’s Instagram story. Photo: @ssaaaann__22/Instagram

An was overwhelmed by the message and later commented, “I’m crying right now. I love you so much, Solar. I’ve been wearing this pin on my chest guard since 2017”.

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Kang Chae-young of South Korea in action during the ranking round for the women’s individual archery event at the Yumenoshima Archery Field, Tokyo, Japan, on July 23. Photo: Reuters

Meanwhile, archer Kang Chae-young hinted that she is also a BTS Army fan club member, by saying that it was “too bad” that the songs by BTS that she requested were not played during the medal ceremony, after winning the gold medal in the women’s team event.

Swimmer Hwang Sun-woo, who set a new Korean record in the men’s 200-metre freestyle at the games, revealed that he is a fan of Blackpink’s Jennie and Itzy’s Yeji.

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South Korea’s Hwang Sun-woo competes in a semi-final of the men’s 100-metre freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo, Japan, on July 28. Photo: AFP

The 18-year-old Hwang qualified for the final by finishing sixth overall in the semi-finals on Monday, July 26.

This article originally on Korea Times.

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