Let’s dive into our last installment of the “Sports in South Korea” mini-series, as we take a look at former professional athletes who became TV personalities, and how sports has played a role in Korean entertainment.
Kang Ho Dang – Former Korean Traditional Wrestler
Seo Jang Hoon – Former KBL Superstar
Kim Yeon Koung – Volleyball Goddess (with potential as a TV personality!)
Kang Ho Dong and Seo Jang Hoon are the most famous former athletes in South Korea that became TV personalities. While both of them are known to host many variety and reality shows in Korean entertainment, this power duo is mostly known for their push-and-pull relationship on “Ask Us Anything”. And speaking of “Ask Us Anything”, when current volleyball star, Kim Yeon Koung, came onto the show, she did mention that she was thinking about becoming a TV personality once she retires — and if she were to join AUA’s cast…that would be amazing!
Choo Sung Hoon – Mixed Martial Artist
Choo Sung Hoon was very well known as a fighting champion in Asia, but he became even more famous after starring in the hit reality show, “The Return of Superman”, with his daughter, Sarang. Through this entertainment program, he was able to show a whole new side of himself, as we saw him being a loving father, a doting husband, and even a great chef.
“Cool Kiz On The Block” – In order to learn more about sports culture in South Korea, I highly recommend watching this particular unscripted reality show. From basketball to badminton, this show primarily focuses on what the cast can share and/or learn about the sport. Every new season is a new sport, and every new season has a new cast. From casting both Korean and foreign idols, as well as celebrities in the Korean entertainment industry, some know about the sport that they are picked to be a part of, and some don’t — and that’s the exciting part!
“Master in the House” – This variety show is another one that is at the top of the must-watch list. The great thing about this show is that the cast members are learning from actual masters/experts in their field. Now, while this show doesn’t only focus on sports, there are episodes where they learn how to play various sports, such as volleyball and soccer, from former athletes who played in professional leagues in South Korea, and/or even played on the national team.
“Infinite Challenge” – While this variety show is not known for sports, they did have one episode where NBA superstar, Steph Curry, and his younger brother (who is also highly known in the NBA), Seth Curry, guest starred — and it was so fun to watch!