The South Korean Women’s Curling Team were the breakout stars of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. But it seems as though they didn’t see any of the millions of dollars that the South Korean National Curling Federation received in sponsorship!
The curling federation received 7.2 billion KRW (roughly 6.7 million USD) in sponsorship from companies like Shinsegae and E-Mart. But only 249.24 million KRW (about 232,000 USD) of that was used on the national team – only 3.4%!
Moreover, in past years, the Federation complained about not being funded well enough to give sufficient support to the national team and experienced multiple budget shortages in the past five years.
So where has all of the money gone? According to the published budget, the remaining 5 billion won was classified into 8 categories and was used for city and provincial support, agency fee, change of domestic tournament, an international tournament for men’s and women’s team. Very little was actually spent on training national teams.
The national teams, including the now-famous Women’s National Team, had to find their own sources of funding, which is something they have been complaining about since November.
Now, after the games are over and the National Women’s Curling Team is enjoying global fame, they haven’t received any prize money for their accomplishments. This is in contrast to Lee Sang-ho, a silver medalist in snowboarding, who received 200 million won (about 186,000 USD) for his efforts.
It is obvious that there is significant financial mismanagement and maybe even corruption in the Korean Curling Federation. These budget problems also make the success of the Women’s National Team even more miraculous!