‘Fresh-faced 20-year-old’ Kim Yoon-woo’s happy lifestyle, not a slacker

IBK’s Kim Yoon-woo was drafted in the fifth round of the first round for his attractive 176cm height and good fundamentals as a setter. Having just turned 20, the year 2023 was full of new things for him. He made his professional debut on September 5, 2022, when he played in his first V-League game. His first season was sure to have its ups and downs, but as the youngest member of the IBK team, he served as a vitamin.

At the 2022-2023 awards ceremony, he served as the MC for the season’s issue summaries and showed off his hidden talents. Contrary to her bubbly and refreshing image, we were impressed by her cautiousness and ability to appreciate the little things in life. The Spike caught up with Kim Yoon-woo, who is showing off her maturity as the eldest daughter of K.

Q. This is your first interview with The Spike.
I’ve known about The Spike since I was a student, and when I was in high school, I often said to my friends, “I want to win and be interviewed by The Spike,” so I’m more nervous and excited to be interviewed today.

Q. You’ve always had a knack for photography, do you take pictures often?
I think I’ve gotten used to it because I’ve been on Altos TV a lot, and I actually like taking pictures more than I like being photographed, because I know how to take a good picture (laughs).

1st year pro #20s 1st year pro

Q. How did you spend your first vacation after turning pro?
I don’t get vacations this long when I was in middle school and high school, so at first I was like, ‘Can I take this long of a break?’ I was most worried about the feeling of the ball falling, but I traveled and had fun.

Q. Now that you’re legally an adult, is there anything you’d like to do as soon as you turn 20?
I wanted to go to a bar with my friends. (Have you been?) No (laughs). We had a game against Hyundai E&C on January 1. My friends posted on social media that they went to a bar on January 1. At the time, I was honestly jealous. But I thought, ‘I’m earning money… I’m a professional.

Q. So did anything happen that made you realize you were 20?
After the season, my teammates said, “Yoon-woo, come with us. We’ll introduce you,” so I followed them around. Nowadays, even if it’s not a bar, there are a lot of places that require a resident’s ID. It’s strange to be able to go to places like that.

Q. What’s the biggest difference between being a high school student and a 20-year-old working professional?
Last year, I was in third grade, so there were a lot of things that I would lead. Now, I have a lot of older sisters, so I think I’m more of a follower.

Q. What did you spend your first paycheck on?
I sent it to my juniors (Gangneung Girls’ High School) for a barbecue (laughs). Then I sent it to my parents. (No gifts for myself.) I’ve always liked saving since I was a kid. I save and then buy only what I need. I rarely buy unnecessary things.

Q. You’re about halfway to 20, do you have a bucket list for this year?
I’ve always wanted to get my driver’s license, but I don’t think I’m going to get it this year. My vacation is over, so the timing is a little tricky (laughs). Then there was saving 10 million won, which I saved and gave to my parents.

10,000 points for wit and humor

Q. If you become a YouTuber, what kind of YouTuber do you want to be?
I’d like to do a daily v-log, because my daily life is also funny. I’d like to name my channel ‘YounuYunu’ (laughs).

Q. If you weren’t an athlete, what would be your favorite college major?
If I wasn’t a volleyball player, I think I would have gone to a physical education school. I’ve always liked to move around a lot since I was a kid. (Conversely, what major would you have never gone to?) Um… something math-related. Of course, I like brains (laughs). I’d do it if I had to, but I’m like, “I don’t want to wear my hair.” (laughs) Again, if I have to, I can do it (laughs).

Q. What’s the most comforting thing you’ve ever read?
It’s a book called “Victor the Idiot.” 메이저사이트 (Can you tell me about it?) The main character thought he had autism, and he made a lot of mistakes, and his mom kept saying, “It’s okay,” and she believed in him until the end, and he turned out to be a genius (laughs). When I read a book, sometimes the flow is interrupted and I have to read it in several sittings, but with this book, I read it in one sitting without any interruptions. I felt comforted for no reason.

Q. Is there one thing you’ve been stuck on lately?
I listen to a lot of oldies, and the other day I was listening to this song at home, and my mom was like, “Isn’t this my playlist?” (laughs). She said she used to listen to it a lot, so I guess we have similar tastes (laughs). (If you had to recommend a song, it would be) Lee Seung Chul’s “Mali Flower” and Yoon Mirae’s “Black Happiness.” They’re really good, so you should definitely listen to them!

Q. You went pro straight out of high school, did you have any college aspirations?
Everyone dreams of being a college couple at least once (laughs). I went to a girls’ middle school and a girls’ high school, and I wanted to walk around the campus and feel that kind of connection (laughs). But romance is romance, so it’s okay.

Q. What kind of person is Kim Yoon-woo?
I’m a person who may look thoughtless on the outside, but I’m a deep, thoughtful person on the inside. I know I’m a silly image, but I’m a person who thinks a lot when I’m alone.

Q. Do you have a nickname that your teammates call you?
(Park) Minji calls me ‘Yoon’, so when I asked her, “Is that because you don’t want to call all your sisters by their names?” she said yes. And because I’m weak, my sisters call me a paper man. And because I kept pretending to be a paper man to make everyone laugh, I became a real paper man (laughs). So I’m also called Munchie.

Now I’m giving it back!

Before he was an athlete, Kim Yun-woo was surrounded by the love of his family, and now he wants to give back. Let’s take a look at his story, which is full of affection for his family.

Q. (Pauses and transfers call to mother) What kind of daughter is Kim Yoon-woo to your mother?
I nag her a lot, but she’s a wise daughter who always decides her own things (laughs). (Asked if she agrees with her mother.) Yes, I agree. You nag a lot, and you really emphasize manners.

Q. What kind of daughter do you consider yourself to be?
I’m a Tsundere daughter. Sometimes I whine, but if my mom wants something, I buy it for her. I even direct deposit some of my salary into her bank account (laughs).

Q. Do you have any recent memorable episodes with your parents?
My mom recently said, “Pick up some soju on the way home,” so I picked it up on the way, and she said, “It’s so convenient that you can buy it for me.” It’s kind of weird that I can run errands like that, but at the same time, I feel like I’ll be doing it a lot in the future…. Yeah (laughs).

Q. What is your happiest memory?
When I was in school, I couldn’t do anything with my family because the time didn’t work out. This vacation, I went with my maternal grandmother and my mom to eat meat and go to cafes, and I saw my grandmother for the first time in a long time, and it was very touching to see how much gray hair she had. I thought it was a good thing that I got a job so I could do something for her before it was too late, so I changed her sofa, bought her some sneakers, and we walked hand-in-hand, and I felt very relaxed and happy. I think it’s because I spent a lot of time with her when I was younger (laughs). I’m grateful to be able to do something for the people I love (laughs).

Lifestyle of Kim Yoon-woo who can’t live without volleyball

Q. Do you have any favorite cheers?
I remember them all, but if I had to pick one, it would be ‘Kim Ho-cheol, Kim Yoon-woo is cute’ (laughs). It was an unexpected combination of placards, so it was memorable.

Q. I can’t leave out a question about coach Kim Ho-cheol. He used to give you a lot of high fives before the game, was there a reason for that?
Actually, I didn’t think about it at first, but suddenly I wanted to give him one hard one, so I gave him one hard one, and his reaction was so good. He just grimaced and said it hurt, but it was so funny, so I kept doing it (laughs).

Q. Is there anything that director Kim Ho-cheol often says to you?

He says ‘slacker’ a lot. (For some reason.) He kept calling me ‘slacker,’ so I looked up the meaning. (Slacker – not working hard enough, not working hard enough, not working hard enough_Source Korean Dictionary) But I work out really hard. So I said, “Director, I’m a hard worker,” and he laughed so hard and said, “Yes, you’re a hard worker, Pansyul.” So I said, “I’m really hardworking, but I’m upset when I’m called Pansyul,” so I made a promise with my finger on it earlier (May 3, the day of the interview) that I wouldn’t call him Pansyul (laughs).

Q. What kind of person is director Kim Ho-cheol to Kim Yoon-woo?
He’s like a grandfather. Sometimes he says to me, “Granddaughter, youngest daughter”. When he’s working out, he’s really like a coach, but afterward, he’s like a family.

Q. Did you ever realize your popularity after your professional debut?
Actually, I didn’t have a lot of placards at first, and it was nice to see my placards grow as the season went on. (If anyone recognized me outside.) No, not yet (laughs). There’s one episode where my grandfather was preparing for a family trip and he wrote my name down at a travel agency, and the guy asked him if he was Kim Yoon-woo of IBK, and he said he liked it because his shoulders went up this high (laughs). Oh, and one more thing: I went to Samsan Gymnasium in Incheon with my sister Choi Jung-min to watch the championship game. When I got home, I got a message on social media saying, “I didn’t know it was Yoon-woo, I thought it was a model” (laughs).

Q. How did you choose the anthem?
It’s the most exciting song in my opinion. I’m a bit of a ‘romantic cat’, don’t you think? That’s why I did it (laughs).

Q. How was the interview without volleyball?
Sometimes it’s hard to answer when you talk about volleyball. When I talked about my life, it made me reflect on myself.

Q. Finally, do you have any words for the fans?
We had a lot of ups and downs in our first season, and I’ll show you how we did well next season without any ups and downs. Thank you for your support!

The first time is always awkward, but Kim Yoon-woo is bravely navigating his 20s and the professional stage for the first time in his life. Through his story, we learned about his big ambitions and deep inner thoughts. Kim Yoon-woo is happy and grateful for even the smallest things. supports his future, which will be brighter than anyone else’s.

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