Any husband who fails to pick up flowers on his way home for Valentine's Day can now point to Chinese curler Xu Xiaoming to put his absentmindedness in perspective. For Xu may be the least romantic of all.
Xu is a member of China's 4-0 men's curling team, and his wife of nine months, Kim Ji-sun, captains South Korea's women's team. Friday will mark their first Valentine's Day as a married couple. Kim's Facebook photo reportedly portrays the two canoodling on the ice together in their respective uniforms. That's where the romance between the two ends and a love for country takes over — at least from Xu's perspective.
According to the Washington Post, Xu will be openly rooting against his wife on Valentine's Day, instead cheering on the Chinese women against Kim's South Korean squad. Both teams enter Day 7 of the Sochi Olympics with a 2-2 record, so there could very well be medal implications on the line.
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"I think the Chinese team is very strong," Xu told reporters, predicting a win for his homeland. "Through curling we have a lot of interaction with the Chinese female team, so I would be very happy if they won."
As you might expect, Kim isn't in total agreement with her husband, whom she met on Chinese ice in 2007.
"Of course I would cheer for the Korean team, because those are my countrymen," she countered. "But I would at the same time be cheering for China because that is my husband. In the end, I would hope for my husband that he would win."
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Sounds like someone might be sleeping on a couch somewhere in the Olympic Village.
Then again, Xu might've pulled up a cultural defense. South Korea does celebrate Valentine's Day, although in a twist, it's the women who are supposed to ply the men with chocolates. (The quid pro quo comes a month later on White Day, when the ladies are on the receiving end.) However, while a Westernized Hong Kong gets suckered into observes the event, China doesn't, although it does have a romantic occasion called the Yuen Siu Festival. And as luck would have it, the South China Morning Post notes that this year, it falls on Valentine's Day.
Better hope that couch is a fold-out.
More Winter Olympics coverage from Yahoo Sports:
- Sports & Recreation
- Xu Xiaoming