SEOUL: South Korea’s two Olympic gold medallists have been awarded free fried chicken for life to celebrate their achievements at the Beijing Winter Games this year. Yoon Hong-geun, head of South Korea’s Olympic delegation, had promised athletes a “chicken pension” if they won gold. Fried chicken is one of the most popular dishes in South Korea, with reports saying almost a third of poultry consumed in the country is fried. Yoon, who owns one of South Korea’s largest fried chicken franchises, Genesis BBQ, is certainly in a position to deliver on his word.
On Thursday short track speed skaters Hwang Dae-heon and Choi Min-jeong were promised free chicken until they reach 60 years of age. Genesis BBQ said the two athletes will receive 30,000 won ($24) worth of coupons to spend at the shop every day, adding that the amount will increase if prices go up. Yoon had made the pledge to cheer up the athletes after the South Korean skaters were involved in an officiating controversy at the Olympics.
“As a chicken lover, it offered me great support and I would like to thank the chairman for delivering on his promise,” Hwang said at a ceremony organised by Genesis BBQ and the Korea Skating Union on Thursday. Choi said sharing some fried chicken with her teammates after a hard day’s training or with her family at home always made her happy. “I sincerely thank the chairman for allowing me to feel such happiness for the rest of my life,” she added. Genesis BBQ said silver medallists will receive a coupon twice a week for 20 years, and bronze medallists for 10 years.