7 inspiring sports K-Dramas to watch: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo, Love All Play, and more

7 inspiring sports K-Dramas to watch
7 inspiring sports K-Dramas to watch (Image via Netflix/Viki/Prime)

In the South Korean film industry, there are many sports K-dramas. Such narratives take sports as the main theme, and the story develops around them. In such sports K-dramas, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo is one of the best as it talks about sports, love, and friendship.

Dramas like Twenty-Five Twenty-One and Run On are among those series where sports is portrayed as the subplot and romanticism plays the main role. Some of the series showcases the background of the bigger athletic teams and the mental pressure of the sportsman.


Some of the best sports K-dramas to watch

The Sportskeeda has cherry-picked some of the sports K-dramas that are currently streaming on different OTT platforms. The list of series is as follows-

  • Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo
  • Love All Play
  • Racket Boys
  • Run On
  • Hot stove League
  • Mental Coach Jegal
  • Twenty-Five Twenty-One

1) Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo (Image via Netflix)
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo (Image via Netflix)

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo is an inspiring sports K-drama that mingles athleticism with romance, comedy, and friendship. The movie features Lee Sung-kyung and Nam Joo-hyuk in the lead roles.

Kim Bok-joo, the protagonist, is an aspiring weightlifter, while her friend, Jung Joon-yung, is a swimmer. The movie discards the traditional way of portraying the protagonists with perfect characteristics by showcasing the impulsive teenager who struggles to hide pimples on her nose. With several realistic elements, this sports K-drama is endearing to fans. The show is streaming on Netflix with a run time of one hour each episode.


2) Love All Play

Love All Play (Image via Prime Video)
Love All Play (Image via Prime Video)

Love All Play was released in 2022, setting a theme of romanticism and sports. Starring Park Ju-hyun and Chae Jong-hyeop, the movie narrates the story of two different badminton players.

Ju-hyun, who played the role of Park Tae-yang, joined the badminton team Eunice after a hiatus of three years, where she met Park Tae-joon, played by Jong-hyeop. While Tae-yang is a passionate athlete, Tae-joon takes his talents as taken for granted. With this contradiction, the movie weaves a love story between these two, streaming on Disney+.


3) Racket Boys

Racket Boys (Image via Netflix)
Racket Boys (Image via Netflix)

Racket Boys is purely based on the sports theme, highlighting different stories regarding badminton. Yoon Hyeon-jong (Kim Sang-kyung), who was the champion player in his youth, joined Haenam Seo Middle School.

This sports K-drama series brings a lot of teachings like how to mitigate the pain of failing and more. This series consists of 16 episodes that are streaming on Netflix.

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4) Run On

Run On (Image via Netflix)
Run On (Image via Netflix)

On Netflix, Run On was released in 2020, depicting the story of a sprinter. The story presents the narratives of Oh Mi-joo, a translator, played by Shin Se-kyung. On the other hand, the male protagonist, Ki Seon-gymo (Im Si-wan), is privileged and one of the best sprinters in the country.

The story brings the context of intense bullying, which causes the crisis in this sports K-drama. For this reason, Seon-gymo has to leave running. The drama is available on Netflix.


5) Hot Stove League

Hot Stove League (Image via Netflix)
Hot Stove League (Image via Netflix)

Another sports K-drama, Hot Stove League, is themed on a baseball team manager. The protagonist, Baek Seung-soo, portrayed by Namgoong Min, is the newly hired manager of the baseball team for the next four seasons.

People with minimum knowledge of baseball can enjoy the drama series as the plot development revolves around the roles of managers, PRs, and the marketing team. In 2019, the series came live on the SBS network and concluded with 16 episodes.

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6) Mental Coach Jegal

Mental Coach Jegal ( Image via VIKI)
Mental Coach Jegal ( Image via VIKI)

Mental Coach Jegal was released in 2022, portraying the story of Je Gal-gil, a former national Taekwondo athlete. Jung Woo, who played the role of Gal-gil, met an accident in his village and had to leave his sports.

Later, he returned as the mental coach, where he met a female athlete, Cha Ga-eu. This female athlete faces issues with a breakdown due to the slump. The drama is available on Viki.


7) Twenty-Five Twenty-One

Twenty-Five Twenty-One (Image via Netflix)
Twenty-Five Twenty-One (Image via Netflix)

Twenty-Five Twenty-One is another sports K-drama that blends a love story with aspiration. The female lead, Na Hee-do, aspires to become a famous athlete in fencing. The beginning of the show portrays a teenage love story between Na Hee-do and Baek Yi-jin.

Later, the story shows the scenario after seven years, when Na Hee-do is seen as a married woman. The story ends with unpredictable turns. One can watch the series on Netflix.


Apart from these series, there are several other shows one can check out. Other titles worth watching include Thumping Spike, Birdie Buddy, Cheer Up, and Heading to the Ground.

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Edited by Ivanna Lalsangzuali
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