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Tokyo 2020: who is An San, the Olympic archery champion and Kpop fan

On Day 1 of Tokyo 2020, a South Korean athlete lived up to her country’s reputation in archery. Not only did he place first in the preliminary individual standings, he did so by setting an Olympic record intact for more than two decades. His name is An San.

At the age of 20, the archer has already achieved (3 times) the maximum dream to which any athlete aspires: to hang a medal and listen to the anthem of her country at the Olympic Games. But she can also boast another personal achievement: having been cheered on by her favorite K-pop singers.

An San and Kim Je Deok on the podium after winning the archery final (mixed). Photo: AFP / Korean Archery Asociation

Who is An San?

An San is a senior archer and student at Gwanju Women’s University. He has obtained international medals since 2018, when he won bronze and silver laurels in two categories of the Asian Cup tournament.

This is her first Olympic Games experience, but the young woman has already made a mark on her sport.

Owns the olympic record of 680 points with 36 arrows and achieved the coveted ‘triple crown’ in Tokyo 2020: An San won the gold medal in the mixed event and in the women’s team. On Friday, July 30, he also climbed to the top of the podium in the individual category.

An San is Olympic champion in three archery events in Tokyo 2020. Photo: ADEK BERRY / AFP

An San y el K-pop

Among the unexpected crossovers of sports and Korean music at Tokyo 2020, discovering that there are successful athletes with a fondness for K-pop fills fans of the genre with pride.

When An San obtained his first medal in Tokyo, fans of MAMAMOO They noticed that the archer is also part of the fandom. In the official photo and videos of his federation, he appears with a radish pin (the lightstick of the girlband).

That reached the ears of Solar, the singer of the quartet, who shared a photo of the athlete on Instagram and affectionately joked about “stealing An San” when he returns to Korea.

She replied very excited. “My tears are flowing. I love so much. I have this pin since 2017 but I am very grateful. (…) I can’t believe it’s real. If you want, pick me up and I can live in Yongki’s (Solar’s pet) house! ”

MAMAMOO’s Hwasa, Moonbyul, Wheein, and Solar. Photo: Rainbow Bridge World

Solar, MAMAMOO, Tokio 2020, An San

He also had an exciting interaction with WJSN’s Eun Seo and Yeoureum. Both K-pop stars commented on the photo where he is seen celebrating Team Korea’s gold medal.

“Oh! I got a comment when I’m just a little UJUNG (WJSN fandom) How did I get to be such a successful fan? Thank you very much! ”An San replied.

Then, the idols showed their support for the athlete with a video prepared by the SBS news network.

An San was applauded by two members of the girl band Cosmic Girls. Photo: SBS

An San also follows the band’s music LUCY and from Japan he was aware of the IG Live of the violinist Shin Ye Chan. When she left her comment, the artist said “it was an honor” to have her on the broadcast and played the national anthem for her.

The archer said, “I am so happy to have LUCY to cheer me up in life.”

An San’s Instagram profile shows that he also supports Korean singers like Jannabi, ODD, Jeong Sewoon, Kim Sejeong, CNBlue, Yeri de Red Velvet and Yoo Seungwoo.

Campaign to support An San

Although An San’s athletic accomplishments are enough to make her nation proud, it is surprising that a group of male netizens have targeted her with misogynistic criticism for her haircut. These users even sent messages to the federation to request that the medals they won in competition be withdrawn.

Her social networks have received hateful comments accusing her of being a “feminist”, a term that has a different meaning in Korea. Among the common people, they associate the idea with radical communities with misandrist nuances.

The cyberbullying against An San was reported on the BBC. Photo: via Twitter @ojk_sb

Given this fact, parliamentarians such as Sim Sang Jung and Jang Hye Young expressed solidarity with the athlete and asked that she be protected by the national archery association.

Likewise, international news agencies report that, between Wednesday and Thursday, at least 6,000 women have published photos wearing short hair to confront prejudice. Among them is Boys over flowers actress Goo Hye Sun.

Goo Hye Sun: “the freedom of short hair”. Photo: Instagram

“We are all free,” the artist wrote the end of another long support post that she uploaded to Instagram.

Goo Hye Sun en Instagram. Foto: @ kookoo900

On the association’s website, An San has received 1,500 endorsement messages highlighting that “women’s short hair is not something that deserves to be criticized in 2021.” Fans of K-pop They also went to the athlete’s profile to encourage her in her competitions.

Update

Relive the victory of An San

An San’s latest competition at Tokyo 2020 made her the first South Korean athlete to achieve three golds at the Summer Olympics. It is already part of the history of the sport, the best answer against its haters.

Relive the exciting individual finale here:

Lazy loaded componentLazy loaded component

An San: “I heard about the controversy”

After her impressive day where she became three-time Olympic champion, An San gave some statements through the Korean Archery Association.

“I heard about the controversy. But I tried to focus on the game without paying much attention to it. I think I was able to get good results because I received a lot of support, “he told Yonhap News,

Archery is a discipline that requires not only precision, but also great mettle and concentration. An San was not intimidated by external situations and therefore netizens do not stop praising his triumph.

An San became a three-time Olympic champion in just 4 days. Photo: Yonhap

South Korean President backs An San

After sweeping the medals in Tokyo, the South Korean President Moon Jae In He dedicated an extensive message of congratulations to An San. In the text, a paragraph stands out in which it refers to the criticism that the archer received during the week.

“Behind the achievements of a person there is a lot of training and loneliness. Sometimes you have to fight extreme expectations or discrimination. We tend to focus only on the end results, but there is not a single easy moment in the process. An San, the athlete who won all the medals. I hope that all citizens send you applause and encouragement, ”Moon invoked.

President of Korea congratulates An San on the gold medals. Photo: Twitter capture

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