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Ice Bucket Challenge drenching Korea

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Published : 2014-08-22 20:08
Updated : 2014-08-22 20:09

Suzy (JYP Youtube)
Yoo Jae-suk (Actor Lee Kwang-soo’s Facebook)
K-pop idol Suzy, “Roaring Currents” actor Choi Min-sik and comedian Yoo Jae-suk are among the many Korean celebrities who have had buckets of ice water poured over their heads, joining the viral worldwide sensation to raise funds and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The Ice Bucket Challenge asks people to make a recording of themselves getting drenched with ice water, post it online and nominate others to do the same within 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS research. But many have done both, raising millions of dollars for the ALS Association.

Since the challenge began in the United States in late June, many high-profile celebrities, athletes, CEOs and politicians have joined the cause, including Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, David Beckham, Bill Gates and George W. Bush.

In Korea, the challenge began when Korean singer Tim was nominated by his friend in the United States. He then nominated singer Sean, Brian Joo and K-pop idol Choi Si-won.

So far, many celebrities including G-Dragon, BoA, Jang Geun-suk and Jo In-sung have doused themselves.

LA Dodgers pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, Samsung Lions first baseman Lee Seung-yeop and Bayer Leverkusen player Son Heung-min have also joined the soaking challenge. 
Ryu Hyun-jin (LA Dodgers’ Facebook/Yonhap)

Businessmen and politicians have also accepted the challenge themselves, including Park Yong-maan, Doosan Group chairman and the head of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Grand National Party lawmaker Na Kyung-won.

Many Korean celebrities are sending their funds directly to Seungil Hope Foundation, co-founded by singer Sean and Park Seung-il, a former basketball coach for Ulsan Mobis Phoebus who is currently fighting ALS.

Park also accepted the challenge by spraying faux snow in his house while lying in bed. He later commented through the foundation, “I couldn’t sleep out of excitement that people are interested in ALS. If you can take a cool ice water shower, you are a happy person.”

ALS is a disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which often leads to progressive total paralysis and death within two to five years from the time of occurrence. The exact cause and treatment of the disease is yet be found.

The purpose of using ice water in the challenge is to let participants know what it is like to have a muscle spasm even if for a short time.

Recently, Corey Griffin, an American cofounder of the Ice Bucket Challenge, died in a diving accident on Aug. 16 at age 27. He started the cause to help his friend Peter Frates, a U.S. baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS two years ago.

By Ahn Sung-mi & Cho Han-na
(sahn@heraldcorp.com) (hnncho@heraldcorp.com)

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