A surprise visit by US Olympian Shaun White to the Ssanta burger restaurant raised the owner's morale during a difficult business period, as he recalled in Bongpyeong-myeon, Wednesday.
Joong Cheon Yoon originally ran a ski and snowboard rental station, but was forced to turn his business into a burger restaurant in order to stay afloat. The nearby alpine resort has been closed for tourists by the Korean government for the period of the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, putting local businesses under pressure. Many other rentals closed down or decided to stay open, despite the lack of business in the normally crowded nearby mountain resort villages.
As a gimmick he and chef Cha Gwen Sol added a one million WON ($920; €750) 'Flying Tomato' burger to the menu, in honour of US snowboarder Shaun White who goes by that nickname. They didn't expect to see the man himself walking into the place on Sunday, however.
Cha Gwen Sol said: "Shaun entered here. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it. Shaun ordered to me a Flying Tomato burger and I cooked the burger for Shaun White. My hand was shaking during, while cooking." The burger was given to White on the house.
On Wednesday afternoon Shaun White won his third Olympic gold medal in the men's halfpipe. Thanks to an outstanding performance in the third and final attempt, White received a score of 97.75 and overcame Japan’s Ayumu Hirano and Australia's Scotty James, bringing the anniversary 100th gold medal to the collection of the United States in all Winter Olympic Games.