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Wednesday, 14 February 2018 | MYT 7:42 AM

Malaysian contingent treated like film stars in South Korea

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s first-ever Winter Olympic participants Julian Yee and Jeffrey Webb are treated like film stars in South Korea.

“They are the centre of attention here, almost every day they get interviewed,” said chef de mission and former sprint queen Datuk Mumtaz Jaafar.

“Even I’m the target of foreign journalists. They’re excited that Malaysia are participating for the first time although our country is in the tropics.”

She said Malaysia’s souvenirs – the pin flags and badges – had been snapped up.

“Malaysia is a big hit. We brought hundreds of badges but it’s all gone. Everyone wants to collect our badges and pins. Malaysia is a famous nation here.

“It has been a one-of-a-kind experience for all of us here,” she said.

Mumtaz said the athletes had settled down and were eager to begin their challenge at the Games.

Julian’s figure skating event is at Gangneung and begins on Friday while Jeffrey will be in action in the alpine skiing (slalom) in Pyeongchang on Sunday.

“The distance between the two venues is 50km. The temperature at Julian’s venue is –2°C while it’s snowing at Jeffrey’s place. I’ve been moving between these two places to make sure all is in place,” said Mumtaz.

“Our athletes are doing fine. Julian has gone through training at the ice rink while Jeffrey, who is of American-Malaysian parentage, has had his share of sessions too at the snow-capped slopes.

“The Malaysian contingent is covered up in several layers here. It’s super cold but we are keeping ourselves warm. We are one of the smallest contingents but we are certainly a big hit here. Julian and Jeffrey will be out to give their best,” added Mumtaz.