You might be into sports or you might just love to see your favorite people on screen, and ISAC is the perfect combination of both. With so many idols bringing that competitive spirit, hanging out with their friends, and trying out different sports activities, it's almost like a peek to an alternate universe in which we could imagine what it would look like if they chose a different career path. As September is close by, let’s see what it will bring back to our television screens.
First, let’s focus on answering the question: What is ISAC? As mysterious as it sounds, ISAC actually stands for Idol Star Athletics Championships, a South Korean television program broadcasted on MBC, where many celebrities show off their athletic skills on camera as well as meet their idol friends during a break. Ever since 2010, the program mostly aired two times a year; during winter season as a New Year Special and in September as a Chuseok Special program. Mokdong Stadium, Jamsil Arena, Goyang Gymnasium, Samsan World Gymnasium have all been places where the event was broadcasted.
There are many sports activities happening during the program, from short to long distance sprint races, swimming, basketball, archery, gymnastics and many more; some impressionable performances even going viral! A traditional national sport of Korea called ssireum (씨름), or Korean wrestling, is also a part of the program. Even if you are not a fan of sports, you can still root for your favorite idols, and it is very entertaining to see the reactions of other contestants while their team members or friends are competing.
Some idols have shown exceptional skills or created a very memorable performance, which in the end, made them win a medal and become viral. In 2017, ASTRO impressed the judges and won the gold medal for aerobics with their pirate-style performance, and SEVENTEEN won silver for their memorable transformer show in the same category. One move in particular named the “spider” became very popular, and many idols watching the show were impressed by SEVENTEEN’s performance team.
Another group made a truly unforgettable entrance and performance in 2016 during the archery championship. BTOB members Yook Sungjae, dressed in a traditional Korean outfit, and Seo Eunkwang dressed as a horse; decided to make the most of their athletic performance and make it more entertaining. The match between Jackson from GOT7 and Yook Sungjae showed how well both idols can keep the audience’s attention and make everyone laugh.
Like in any athletic event, there are sports commentators, who seem to be the most fired up during futsal (similar to football) and running track races. It is easy to become excited when watching the race as the commentators root for the potential winner. Girls from Twice, GFRIEND, WJSN, EXID, Oh My Girl, and Hello Venus have shown that it is easy to glue everyone to their screens as they ran the 60-meter track. It was especially exciting before the start, when the dramatic music created an intense atmosphere making everyone hold their breath.
Have you ever watched the championships before? It has been going on for a while, so there are many episodes to enjoy and catch up before the Chuseok Special this year in September.
Do you have a favorite moment from ISAC? Feel free to share it with us in the comments below!
Cover Image: SEVENTEEN (Pledis Entertainment)
Written by Ruta Balzekaite