Korea’s biggest contribution to the world of sports is Tae Kwon Do. It is the most recognizable Korean sport and features some of the most beautiful moves in the world of martial arts. It has been said that while most martial arts can be compared to grasshoppers and bees, Tae Kwon Do is more like a butterfly because of the grace involved in each move.
But South Korea is slowly getting westernized in many aspects and that includes sports. Most South Koreans enjoy football and baseball. Some of their more traditional sports include bull fighting, wrestling and kite flying. Yes, kite flying is considered a sport for the most part of East Asia.
For the average modern South Korean though, more often than not, football is king. 41% of South Koreans still enjoy football and about 25% likes baseball according to the most recent polls. Their national football team was the first Asian Football Confederation member to ever reach the FIFA World Cup semi’s in 2002 which they did again in 2010. They have qualified for every World Cup since 1986.
Baseball is also one of the most popular sports in South Korea. They are as a matter of fact one of the best baseball teams competing in the international stage such as the World Baseball Classic. Other sports that have gained popularity in Korea include basketball, golf and rugby union. South Korea has also hosted various world sporting events most notably the 1988 Summer Olympics and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to South Korea.
Popular sports of South Korea
- Football (Soccer), basketball, baseball, basketball, golf and rugby union
Traditional or Regional Sports
- Tae Kwon Do — a self defense discipline that originated in Korea
- Jokgu — a Korean sport which resembles a mix of football and volleyball.
- Ssireum — a folk wrestling style and traditional national sport of Korea, with the aim to bring any part of the opponent's body above the knee to the ground.
South Korean's Sporting Success
- South Korea defeated United States 8–0 to win the first WBSC Premier12 title.
Great athletes from South Korea
South Korea Sports trivia
- South Korea's football team was the first Asian Football Confederation member to ever reach the FIFA World Cup semi finals in 2002
- South Korea participates in the East Asian Games.
South Korea at major events
- South Korea at the Summer Olympics
- South Korea at the Winter Olympics
- South Korea at the FIFA World Cup
- South Korea at the AFC Asian Cup
- South Korea women's football team at the FIFA Women's World Cup
Past sporting events hosted in South Korea
- 1988 Olympic Games summer host Seoul
- 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul
- 1997 East Asian Games host, held in Busan.
- 2002 FIFA World Cup was hosted in Japan & South Korea
- 2013 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, Incheon
- 2014 Asian Games in Incheon
- 2014 Women's World Boxing Championships in Jeju City
- 2015 World Military Games (Summer)
- 2015 Presidents Cup in Incheon, South Korea
- 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang
- 2019 World Swimming Championships, Gwangju
Upcoming sporting events in Sth Korea
- 2024 Winter Youth Olympics to be held in Gangwon.
- 2024 Table Tennis World Championship in Busan.
- 2027 Summer World University Games (Universiade) in Chungcheong
- 2027 Special Olympics World Summer Games: Seoul
Annual sporting events held in South Korea
Sporting Facilities in South Korea
Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let me know.