Another interesting thing about (male) athletes in South Korea is their fraught relationship with mandatory military service. Korean men have to serve two years before they turn 28, but exceptions are made for exceptional performances in international competitions, including winning Olympic medals. So South Korea failed to advance to the round of 16 in the World Cup, and Korean star footballer Son Heung-min (25) will have to give up two years of his career (and two years salary, of course) to do his duty.
Alas, some cheeky Korean netizens have put together a petition that would allow them to do a four-year tour and allow Son to continue racking up goals in England.
It's a genuine burden on these athletes to have to serve at basically the peak period of their physical abilities, but nationalism and a sense of obligation to the country are as strong here as they are anywhere else.