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Yuna Kim “My goal is to win Olympic tickets for Korean skaters” 
   OhmyNews | Jung Hye-Jung | 2012.10.15

 

 

The 2012-2013 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating(JGP) series ended with the Korean skaters performing brilliantly. Kim Jin-Seo started off by placing 3rd at JGP Austria which happened to be his international debut competition. After that, Park So-Youn won the silver medal at JGP Bosphorus, Istanbul. One week later, Kim Hae-Jin won the gold at the JGP Sencila Bled Cup. It was a narrow win; Kim Hae-Jin’s total score was 147.30 (short program 53.26 + free program 93.66) was just 0.11 points higher than Barbie Long’s (16, U.S.A.) 147.19 points. Kim Hae-Jin’s gold ended the 8 year gold drought after Kim Yuna won Korea’s first international figure skating gold medal during the 2004-2005 season.

 

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▲ Kim Yuna signing autographs for her fans ⓒ Jung Hye-Jung

 

As the ‘Kim Yuna Kids’ started to shine, attention gradually headed towards Kim Yuna. The young skaters who reaped great results credited their successes to their parents, coaches, and Kim Yuna. The next generation of skaters are training at the Taereung Training Center along with Kim Yuna, who announced that she would be returning to competition in July. Training alongside their idol is acting as a great motivation for the young skaters. “She isn’t the type to offer lengthy advice but simply training with her at Taereung helps a lot,” said Kim Hae-Jin.

 

“The children’s attitudes change by just Yuna’s presence. Even if they were hanging around the fence, exhausted from training, when they see Yuna enter the rink they start to skate and jump. They want to make a good impression on Yuna (laughs). I think her sheer presence acts as a motivation for the young skaters,” said Cho Kyung-Ah’s mother, trying to explain the ‘Yuna Affect’.

 

Kim Yuna found herself thrust under the spotlight due to the great performances of the Korean junior skaters. She is currently training hard at the Taereung Training Center but she appeared at a charity auction event in Busan on the 13th. The auction was held at the Lotte Department Store in Haeundae and Kim answered a few questions about her future plans and offered some advice to young skaters while she was there.

 

“Because I took the season off, I need to go through some preparations in order to participate in the Sochi Olympic Games. I have about 3 competitions ahead of me. One in December (either NRW Trophy(Germany, Dec. 5-9), Gold Spin(Croatia, Dec. 13-16), Istanbul Cup(Turkey, Dec. 18-22) , one in January (South Korean Nationals, Jan. 4-6), and one in March(2013 World Frigure Skating Championships, Mar.10-17).“

 

“I’m a bit worried because I took a season off… no actually I’m worried a lot (laughs). I’m working hard. I want to do my best so I can go to the Olympics with my fellow Korean skaters. I want to earn at least 2 tickets to the Games.”

 

She also offered some advice to junior skaters. “Taking care of your body is the most important. Skaters usually suffer from numerous injuries during their growth spurts and many fail to overcome this difficult period. It is vital to overcome the physical pain. That is important because only after you conquer your physical pain, can you tackle the psychological challenges.”

 

When asked “When was the most difficult time during your skating career?” she replied, “During my 16 years of skating, joy felt over a great performance or result was short-lived. The struggle starts the very next day when training resumes so I think each day is difficult.”

 

Her happiest moment she recalls was “After the free skating at the Olympics just before the scores were announced. I was just happy that everything was over. I felt relieved,” she said. 

 

 

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▲ Kim Yuna is smiling at her fans at a charity auction. ⓒ Jung Hye-Jung

 

From a little girl from Busan who was learning to skate to a 76 year old man who came from Daegu just to see Kim Yuna, fans from all walks of life attended the event. The outfits that Kim wore during a commercial shoot were auctioned off with the proceeding going to charity. She also signed autographs and took pictures with her fans during the event which lasted about 2 hours.

 

Translation ⓒ abyss / FEVERSKATING

The Original: [OhmyNews] http://bit.ly/QoWhad

   

 

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