of Lee Man-gi and Kang Ho-dong.” Sports wrestling runs to recreate past glory. In the last 2-3 years, the popularity of wrestling has increased significantly. There was a time when it was popular as a national sport, but since the 2000s, the competition has been held in an empty stadium where only players parents and old fans visit. The reality is that the genealogy of wrestling stars has stopped in the legends Lee Man-gi and Kang Ho-dong, who were active in the 1980s and 1990s.
But lately it’s different. Ssireum is a ‘hot’ sport. The wind started to blow on YouTube first, and then even TV entertainment programs based on wrestling appeared. Since then, interest in the ‘ulzzang’ and ‘body’ players has grown even hotter due to the splendid technology of the lightweight class. Every stadium where the competition is held is crowded with people again. It is noticeable that the MZ generation, especially young female fans, gather.
It is also unfamiliar to Choi Won-joon (24, Changwon City Hall), Taebaek class (80 kg or less), who is considered the next generation runner of the revival of wrestling popularity as a rabbit born in 1999. In a recent phone interview, Choi Won-joon said, “Actually, I never thought this day would come. There are many times when the players show their gratitude to the fans because they show so much interest.”
Choi Won-joon started wrestling in the 4th grade of Inpyeong Elementary School in Tongyeong. He was at a time when wrestling was an unpopular event. Regarding his relationship with wrestling, he said, “I started exercising because of frequent illnesses. At first, he played soccer as an after-school activity, but because soccer was so popular, he changed it to ssireum, which had vacancies.” It was fun because I kept winning.”
The determination of young wrestlers is also different in that they are the generation responsible for the revival of wrestling’s popularity. Ssireum is popular with wrestlers in their 20s, including Taebaek class Heo Seon-haeng, who is the same age as Choi Won-jun, Kim Ki-soo (Suwon City Hall), Cha Min-soo (Yeongam County Folk Ssireum Team), Kim Moo-ho (Ulju-gun Office), and Oh Chang-rok (MG Saemaul Geumgo) Halla class. is leading Choi Won-joon said, “As interest has increased, his players also feel a great sense of responsibility. In my case, when training is difficult or when I am lazy, thinking about the fans gives me an opportunity to calm myself down.” At the same time, he added a pledge, “In a situation where only seniors Lee Man-ki and Kang Ho-dong are remembered when wrestling still, we must work hard so that our generation can stand out more.” 바카라사이트
Finally, on the 10th, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the ‘K-Ssireum Promotion Plan’ to help the rebirth of Ssireum, a traditional sport, to make a leap forward as Korea’s representative sports brand. The main points are fostering four major competitions such as holidays and world trade competitions, establishing a new ‘Sobaek (lightweight)’ class, reorganizing game rules, and launching a semi-pro league. And in about 7 years, a corporate team, MG Saemaul Geumgo Ssireumdan, was also established. Choi Won-joon said, “It is news that the players taste like exercising. A lot of spectators come to visit us, so we exercise more and more with fun.”
The resolution to welcome the new year with the year of the rabbit is also special. Choi Won-joon, who is in his second year of unemployment, said, “I prepared for the new season with the mindset that ‘good energy will come to me'” and “I am always training, dreaming of becoming a world champion. The last business in our team came out in 2018, and I will challenge with the thought of reopening the glory door of the old ‘prestigious’ Changwon Special City Hall.”
It’s not just the players. Even in the field, efforts are being made to revive the popularity of wrestling. Director Mo Je-wook of Changwon Special City Hall said, “It was our own league for a while, but now there are many people who view wrestling differently.” We need to make content that captivates fans with more aggressive wrestling and fast tempo wrestling,” he emphasized. “Ssireum is more fun when you see it on the field. Please visit the stadium a lot, and I will try to hear the words, ‘It’s more fun after coming to the stadium’, so please spread word of mouth.”
From the 19th, the first competition of 2023, the New Year’s Day Business Ssireum Competition, has been held at the Yeongam Indoor Gymnasium in Yeongam-gun, Jeollanam-do. The competition will continue until the 24th, the Lunar New Year holiday period.