Kim Eun-jung (curler)
Kim Eun-jung, nicknamed "Annie" (born 29 November 1990) is a South Korean curler. She currently skips the South Korean national team, and represented the country on home ice at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Kim Eun-jung in 2018
|Born||29 November 1990|
|Curling club||Uiseong CC,|
|2 (2017, 2018)|
|4 (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017)|
|Revised Romanization||Gim Eunjeong|
As a junior skip, Kim led South Korea to three-straight silver medals at the Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships. In 2010, she lost in the final to China's Liu Jinli, in 2011 she lost to Japan's Sayaka Yoshimura, and in 2012 she lost to Yoshimura again.
Right after juniors in April 2012, Kim earned her first non-junior national title at the South Korean Curling Championships, which are held every spring to qualify the winner as the national team for the following season. At the 2012 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships, the South Korean team skipped by her finished in third place after losing the semifinal to Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa, and therefore failed to qualify for the world championships.
Kim captured the national championship again in April 2014. At the 2014 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships, she skipped South Korea to an unbeaten 8-0 round-robin record and a semifinal win over New Zealand. However, in the final, she lost against China's Liu Sijia on an extra-end steal, narrowly missing a berth to the world championships.
In April 2016, Kim Eun-jung claimed her third national championship by beating in the final a high school curling team skipped by Kim Min-ji, which had earned bronze at the world junior championships the previous month. At the 2016 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships, the South Korean team skipped by her went through the round-robin with a 6-1 record and won the semifinal over New Zealand. Then in the final, she defeated China's Wang Bingyu to capture her first Asia-Pacific title. Later that season, marking her debut at the world championships, Kim and her South Korean team finished the 2017 World Women's Curling Championship round-robin in sixth place with a 5-6 record and failed to make the playoffs.
In May 2017, Kim Eun-jung defended her national title at the 2017 South Korean Curling Championships, which also served as trials for the 2018 Winter Olympics, by winning the best-of-seven final over Kim Min-ji 4-1 after defeating Gim Un-chi in the best-of-five semifinal 3-2. This qualified her and her longtime squad of vice Kim Kyeong-ae, second Kim Seon-yeong and lead Kim Yeong-mi for their first Olympic berth, which they had missed four years before with a loss to Kim Ji-sun in the final of the 2013 South Korean Curling Championships. Later that year Kim and her team won the gold medal at the 2017 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships.
The 2018 Olympic curling team of skip Kim Eun-jung, vice Kim Kyeong-ae, second Kim Seon-yeong and lead Kim Yeong-mi, coached by Peter Gallant of Canada, received celebrity status for their strong performances despite entering the tournament as underdogs. Korea topped the round robin standings with just one loss while defeating heavily favoured Canada and Sweden, and then advanced to the final where they lost to Sweden to claim the silver medal. They also gained international recognition due to fans dubbing them the "Garlic Girls", since they all came from Uiseong which was long known for its garlic production but has recently become Korea's curling capital. Since all five team members shared the same surname Kim, and as their actual names were hard to pronounce, the team members adopted breakfast-themed nicknames Sunny, Steak, Pancake, Annie (a brand of yogurt) and ChoCho (a type of cookie). Kim Eun-jung "Annie" was also known for her owl-eyed glasses. The next month, the team then played in the 2018 Ford World Women's Curling Championship where they lost in the quarterfinals.
The garlic girls did not play much in the 2018-19 season, amidst a coaching scandal, which involved the country's sport federation vice president verbally abusing the team. As she was preparing to give birth, Kim Eun-jung did not play in the 2019 WCT Arctic Cup with her team. Alternate Kim Cho-hi played lead as the rest of the team moved up the line-up a position. They finished with a 1-3 record, missing the playoffs.
Team Kim returned to the World Curling Tour for the 2019–20 season but Kim would not play in their first few events. Her team qualified for the playoffs at the 2019 Cameron's Brewing Oakville Fall Classic, the 2019 Stu Sells Oakville Tankard and finished runner-up at the inaugural WCT Uiseong International Curling Cup. Her first event was the 2019 Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic where she threw second rocks but still skipped the team. They made it to the quarterfinals. Team Kim also made it to the quarterfinals at the 2019 Canad Inns Women's Classic the week after, where she returned to throwing skip stones.
Kim graduated from Uiseong Girls' High School, which has produced many talented curlers in educational cooperation with the Uiseong Curling Center. She also graduated from Daegu University. She married in the summer of 2018.
Grand Slam record
|F||Lost in Final|
|SF||Lost in Semifinal|
|QF||Lost in Quarterfinals|
|R16||Lost in the round of 16|
|Q||Did not advance to playoffs|
|T2||Played in Tier 2 event|
|DNP||Did not participate in event|
|N/A||Not a Grand Slam event that season|
- "Team EunJung Kim". www.thegrandslamofcurling.com. Archived from the original on 2017-03-22.
- "Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 - "If sketching is dreaming, participating in the Olympics is colouring" … meet Team Korea". Archived from the original on 2018-02-24.
- "South Korea's curling silver brings Olympic spirit to life". cbc.ca. February 25, 2018. Archived from the original on February 25, 2018.
- Gelineau, Kristen; Kim, Hyung-Jin (February 23, 2018). "The 'Garlic Girls' Are the Real Rock Stars of the PyeongChang Olympics". time.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018.
- Armstrong, Laura (February 23, 2018). "Garlic Girls give South Korea a taste for curling". Toronto Star.
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