South Korean Olympic curling team keeping cool heads, says their P.E.I. coach
Korean women's curling comes out tops in round robin
It may be an old cliché, but taking the Olympics one game at a time has been an essential part of the surprising success of South Korea's women's curling team, says their P.E.I. coach.
"There must be pressure," said Peter Gallant.
"Playing in their home country. They've never won a medal at the Olympics, so it's a big thing."
South Korea finished eighth in Sochi in 2014, but completed an 8-1 record to secure a first place finish in the round robin.
Gallant said staying focused on the game, rather than on the Olympics, has been central to the team's success.
"Our key this week is trying to normalize it as well as we can, and not get ahead of ourselves," he said.
"It's been exciting when we think about it but we try to stay as calm as we can."
The team's skip, Kim Eunjung, has become known for her game face. A popular meme on Twitter is a block of dozens of Kim photographs, all with the same focused expression.
Gallant said while the first place finish is a pleasant surprise, he always thought his team had a shot at making the playoffs. Now that they have, he said, the round robin record means little. Getting to the podium will require another win, and holding on to that top ranking for a gold medal will take two.
The team will have its work cut out for them in their first playoff game Friday. They face Japan, the only team to beat them in round robin play.
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With files from Devin Heroux