What’s better than seeing your favorite pop star in concert? Seeing all of your favorite pop stars compete head-to-head in an archery tournament. We know they can rock a stage with impeccable vocals and fierce dance moves, but can they shoot a bow and arrow?
Korea’s Idol Star Athletics Championships puts electrifying performers to the archery test, giving us another reason to love K-pop and pick up a bow and arrow.
Why K-Pop is Dominating the Internet
“K-pop” is short for “Korean popular music,” a South Korean musical genre that includes pop, rock, hip-hop, electronic and R&B music. You might know K-pop’s often large, acronymic groups: PSY, A-Pink, Girls’ Generation, BIGBANG, EXO, 2NE1 and SHINee, to name a few.
Don’t recognize any of those? Two words: Gangnam Style!
That’s right. The beat that broke YouTube and swept the nation’s biggest and best dance parties boasts K-pop roots. Music gurus worldwide are drawn to K-pop’s dance-intensive, movie-like music videos. Diverse choreography, intriguing outfits and fluorescent hair and makeup all contribute to a captivating viewing experience.
I mean, who else can pull off such a look with sass and confidence?
If Gangnam Style’s whopping 2.5 million views aren’t enough of an indicator of K-pop’s influence, consider EXO’s Belieber-busting social-media influence. “Is it too late now to say sorry?” Yes. Yes, it is. According to The Guardian, EXO fans crushed Beliebers and Directioners in MTV’s 2013 social-buzz competition.
And that’s only the beginning. K-pop dominates more than just music, social media and the Internet.
Archery Dominates in ISAC
Korea held its 12th Idol Star Athletics Championship in January 2016. The Olympic-style competition is held twice a year – on Korea’s Thanksgiving and the lunar New Year – and pits K-pop idols head-to-head in archery, wrestling, sprints, relays and more.
Over 300 artists competed in the ISAC, which aired on the Munhwa Broadcasting Corp. in early February. Archery was a staple of the two-day event, with female-only and co-ed rounds. Their outfits were on point – as they always are in K-pop productions – and so was their shooting. They mastered the recurve bow, wowing fans with bull’s-eye shots.
Check out that pleated skirt and spunky ponytail. Sign me up!
The semifinal came down to female groups 4minute, EXID, Red Velvet and MAMAMOO. It was a tight competition, with EXID outshooting Red Velvet by 4 points to take gold.
Meanwhile, female groups TWICE, CLC, AOA and BTS paired with male groups GOT7, BTOB, VIXX and Lovelyz, respectively, for the co-ed archery tournament. GOT7’s Jackson set an ISAC archery record with no points, knocking them from the competition and paving the way for CLC and BTOB to take the co-ed gold.
The ISAC proved K-pop stars wield more than just microphones. They’re pretty sick with a recurve, too. It’s no wonder Korea has such a rich Olympic history in archery.
Korea Defends Olympic Gold in Rio 2016
Korea has claimed 16 gold medals in individual and team archery events since 1984. That medal count includes top honors at all six women’s Olympic team competitions since the event’s introduction at the 1988 Games. The men have claimed four of six team golds.
Then there’s fan favorite Ki Bo Bae. When she topped the Olympic podium and bit her gold medal like a chocolate coin, she instantly earned a place among all-time favorite Olympic moments. And she’s looking for a repeat performance.
Ki Bo Bae and teammates Kang Chae Young and Choi Misun earned a gold medal at the Rio 2016 test event in September 2015, where Ki Bo Bae put all but one arrow in the 10-ring during the final round. Plus, Korea is rocking the Olympic qualifiers. They’re a force to be reckoned with at the 2016 Games. As if we needed another reason to love K-pop!
Next time you hit the range, stream K-pop in the background. Who knows. Maybe it’ll inspire a bull’s-eye streak!