I recently read a NY times article and I am not sure why the writer says “Never mind that...”:
On Tuesday afternoon, townspeople gathered inside the gymnasium here at Uiseong Girls High School to root for the South Korean women’s curling team, whose match against the United States was shown on a big screen as an M.C. leaned into a microphone and banged on a drum. “I skip dinner whenever they’re playing,” said Chung Poong-ja, 75, who danced on the gym floor once the South Koreans sealed their victory against the Americans. “My focus needs to be on the match.” Kim Sung-hee, 67, said, “I lost my voice from cheering so hard.” It was the biggest, loudest party in the province, and for good reason: The team’s top four players grew up in this small city of about 54,000 people and graduated from this high school. Now, thanks to an improbable run at the Olympics being held in Pyeongchang, about 80 miles to the north, the team- dubbed the Garlic Girls by the Korean press, owing to the region’s production of garlic - seems on the cusp of international celebrity. Never mind that the Garlic Girls, with their dominant record in pool play, have vaulted themselves into medal position in a sport that is still foreign to most South Koreans.
Does it mean “do not be upset with the fact”? I tried to search and I found “do not be upset” and “despite the fact that”, and still I am not sure the meaning of that sentence.
And I also would like to know if “run” of “an improbable run” means “the series of successes”.
I searched for them on dictionaries but still I am not sure. Please help me. Thank you in advance!
(+) Actually I asked this question to my English speaking teacher and he answered Never mind that means despite. But I am so confused cuz if Never mind that means despite, there is no main clause: despite the fact that the girls have vaulted....? It does not make sense to me. If never mind that means despite, how can I rephrase the sentence using despite? My teacher said “despite the fact that the Korean spectators are unfamiliar with the game, there is local enthusiasm” but I don’t know why “never mind that the girls have vaulted...” become that sentence. Does my teacher mean “that” of “never mind that” is a pronoun so that it is like “never mind that, the girls have vaulted...”? Then I understand why he said despite.