Posted December. 30, 2005 03:21,
It was the year of Park Ji-sung (Manchester United) and Choi Hong-man.
Park Ji-sung was the keyword typed in most frequently by web surfers this year in all categories. In the Naver and Yahoo search engines, Choi Hong-man became the number one sport-related search word.
Every move of Park, the first Korean to play for British Premier League, seemed to become news.
Bulletin boards on news web sites filled up with threads that complained of sleepless nights spent waiting for news of Parks games. Snippets of Park Ji-sungs highlight videos were downloaded with much popularity.
Choi Hong-man who left the world of ssireum for the lure of K-1 mixed martial arts came back as a world-class fighter.
Park Chan-ho (32, San Diego Padres) and Lee Seung-yup (29, Lotte Marines) stood out in the baseball world. Park achieved his 100th victory and got married. Lee carried Japanese baseballs least-competitive team, Lotte, to the top for the first time in 31 years.
Park Joo-young (20, FC Seoul) had his days in the spotlight as well. As he matured into the best striker in Korean pro soccer after an incredible run in the Asian Youth Championships, Park won the leagues Rookie of the Year award by unanimous vote.
Other soccer stars such as Lee Young-pyo, Ahn Jung-hwan, and Lee dong-gook rounded out the top 10 most searched keywords, reflecting the interest of web surfers who are looking forward to the 2006 Germany World Cup.
As for foreign sports figures, ex-Korean national team coach Johannes Bonfrere, WWF pro wrestling star Eddy Guerrero who died from a heart attack, and tennis sensation Maria Sharapova were the personalities that drew the most attention from Korean web surfers.