Son Yeon-jae’s Dating News With FT Island’s Jong-hoon
It was reported that Son Yeon-jae was in a relationship with FT Island’s Jong-hoon. On June 14th, 2017, media outlet Dispatch, that is already infamous for revealing the public figures’ relationships released some photos of Son Yeon-jae and FT Island’s Jong-hoon’s afternoon and evening date in a public space.
FNC Entertainment, as the agency of FT Island’s Jong-hoon, confirmed the news and asked the public for their blessings. Some netizens pointed out that Son Yeon-jae was initially dating the older brother of actress Jo Hye-jung, while FT Island’s Jong-hoon was seen close to Jung Bo-a from Law of the Jungle.
Unfortunately, Son Yeon-jae and FT Island’s Jong-hoon’s relationship did not last long as the male idol announced his breakup with the athlete on his band’s Japan fan meeting on August 1st, which was later confirmed by his agency.
Son Yeon-jae in Infinite Challenge
Son Yeon-jae made her first appearance on MBC’s Infinite Challenge on September 22nd, 2012. She trained the regular cast members of the show in the special gymnastics episode, starting by watching her performance and exercising with a hula hoop in the arm and hand. In the same episode, Son Yeon-jae also picked out the best and worst members of the show, naming Yoo Jae-suk and Jung Joon-ha respectively.
In early October 2012, Son Yeon-jae thanked the cast and crew of Infinite Challenge for their support. She received a bouquet of flowers which was sent by the show’s team.
The bouquet reads, “From the whole Infinity Challenge oppa uncle crew, pretty, cute, our Yeon Jae professor is awesome~ awesome~” Son Yeon-jae posed in front of the flower display and put a caption, “Infinite Challenge is the best. Thank you~ hehe.”
Son Yeon-jae in Running Man
Back in 2012, Son Yeon-jae appeared in SBS’ Running Man, in episode 109 and 110. She came along with national swimmer Park Tae-hwan. In one of the game sessions, the netizens criticized her for being selfish as she kept changing the rules which caused the regular cast to experience some difficulties in tackling the game.
Son Yeon-jae was also invited one more time to Running Man for the Autumn Sports Day, in episode 322. She did not come alone as other female celebrities, such as Girl’s Day’s Yura, Park Mi-sun, Ye Ji-won, and Kang Min-kyung were also invited as guests of the show.
In the episode, Son Yeon-jae picked Lee Kwang-soo as her ideal type as he is the closest one among the other regular cast members.
The rest of the cast then noted that Son Yeon-jae does not take appearance as a part of the criteria.
Son Yeon-jae’s Scandal and Controversies
As has been mentioned briefly in the previous section, Son Yeon-jae has often been involved in certain hullabaloos thanks to her attitude which made her figure disliked by the netizens. Back in 2015, a series of the blind item were posted on an internet forum, telling about two different athletes who have completely opposite traits, “B became a CF queen after numerous CFs and is praised as a ‘loyal girl’ by the industry. B is silently staying loyal to an accessory brand that she’s been a model for, for a very long time. At every big and small event she attends, she wears the brand’s accessories. On the other hand, C is controversial for her opposite attitude. C is also an athlete and she does not promote her accessory brand at all. The industry and insiders say ‘C is not good enough to be a model’ and criticize her.” The netizens got the clue and guessed that athlete B is ice skater Kim Yuna who has been a model of J.Estina for six years, while athlete C is Son Yeon-jae, who is often seen wearing iPhone, Adidas, and Nike despite being the brand ambassador of LG and Fila.
Not only her manner, but Son Yeon-jae was also accused of her connection with former South Korean president Park Geun-hye and Choi Soon-shil. The netizens have gathered pieces of evidence that show how Son Yeon-jae got special treatment from the former president. The first one is her attendance of the Neul Poom exercise event run by Park Geun-hye and her personal friends. Initially, the event was supposed to be attended by ice skater Kim Yuna as well, but she cited a busy schedule, hence she was blacklisted and excluded from the 2015 Sports Heroes. On the other hand, Son Yeon-jae accepted the invitation and received a sports award from the Korean Government three years in a row despite not having a single World or Olympic Medal. Besides Son Yeon-jae, all of the other winners are Olympic gold medalist or have won a World gold in their sport.
The second matter that makes the netizens suspicious of Son Yeon-jae is her frequent visit to a beauty clinic that Park Geun-hye also frequented, as well as receiving gifts from the former president after her performance at Rio. Son Yeon-jae’s mother reportedly had an access card to accompany her around restricted areas at Rio as well as her Russian coach, her Korean coach, her agency CEO, and her personal physical therapist. The situation is very contrast to South Korea’s other sports teams and athletes who have not had such flashy privileges.
Son Yeon-jae’s admission at Yonsei University has also been deemed unfair because even though she has not been able to attend her classes due to her training in Russia, the athlete has not been kicked out. Son Yeon-jae frequently skipped out on national team selection meets for years, reasoning her poor condition, yet able to attend every public event just fine and got selected on the national team every year. Her biggest achievement of winning gold at the Asian Games is also being questioned because some people have pointed out that she has been seen hugging one of the judges after the meet. The netizens also found out that Son Yeon-jae’s retirement coincides with Park Geun-hye’s scandal.
In late January 2018, Son Yeon-jae got involved in SNS controversy as she was seen liking a picture of Adelina Sotnikova’s gold medal in 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The gold medal was awarded over Kim Yuna and was very controversial globally, especially in South Korea because Sotnikova seemed to benefit from Russian judges and crowd. Some harsh comments were put out by the netizens, “She knows that our entire nation was enraged over Sotnikova and yet she pressed ‘like’ on her picture? No wonder she got hate. She must have been soooo happy when Kim Yuna won her silver medal then, right?,” “Don’t defend her, she messed this up… Everyone knows that Sotnikova is a thief who stole the gold medal from Kim Yuna. No Korean would ever think of pressing like on her picture unless they were out of their minds…” and “If it is her ‘freedom of expression’ to press like on that picture, then it’s our freedom of expression to hate her for it too.”
Eventually, Son Yeon-jae deactivated her Instagram account and apologized to the public, “I apologize for causing concerns. Yesterday, I was very surprised by all the malicious comments on my Instagram account, so I deactivated it. When I got myself together, I realized that my Instagram account has liked Adelina Sotnikova’s photo. I was also very shocked. I sincerely apologize for disappointing everyone with my mistake. To be honest, I was very scared. It was hard to say anything. There are people who negatively perceive me no matter what I say so it was hard for me to muster the courage and I was not able to speak up until now. Through this incident, I will deeply reflect, look back on my actions, and make sure such a thing will never occur again.” Despite having apologized, the public continues to bash Son Yeon-jae, saying that she is a liar and should never mess with Kim Yuna. While we do agree that she committed a mistake, we believe that Son Yeon-jae should not be criticized maliciously, don’t you agree, dear readers?
Son Yeon-jae’s Instagram Feed
As a national athlete, Son Yeon-jae’s status in front of the public is equal to celebrities. Thus, her Instagram account (@yeonjae_son) has been followed by many citizens. Created on March 10th, 2015, Son Yeon-jae’s Instagram account was previously named @syj0528 but was later changed to @yeonjae_son after the controversy of liking Sotnikova’s post. Her account has been verified and she has posted approximately 360 posts, gained 132,000 followers, and follows 319 accounts. Here are Son Yeon-jae’s Instagram Posts that you must see!