Confident Kim set for Turin

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Confident Kim set for Turin

Kim Yu-na is confident about her chances at the upcoming World Figure Skating Championships in Turin, Italy, March 22 to 28, but she's undecided about her future plans.

After a hectic two days, the 19-year-old Olympic gold medalist concluded her visit to Korea with a press conference at Incheon International Airport at 6 p.m. yesterday.

Kim, who was accompanied by her coach, Brian Orser, boarded a flight for Toronto at 8:30 p.m. after the press conference.

Once back in Toronto, Kim will begin preparations to defend the world title she won last March in Los Angeles, and continue the impressive pace she's displayed since last year.

“If I manage to win the world championships, I will have the distinction of winning all the competitions I entered this season. I think I have done a great job up until now,” said Kim.

“I think I can compete without any pressure. That’s when I produce better results. I got a boost of confidence at the Olympics and think I have a good shot.”

After returning to Korea with the country's Olympic delegation on Tuesday, Kim had a tight schedule.

She attended a national team ceremony yesterday morning at the National Training Center in Taeneung, northern Seoul, then a Korean Olympic delegation lunch with President Lee Myung-bak at the Blue House.

“It felt great to be among other athletes when we were greeted by fans. I went to the Blue House today and got the feeling that the Olympics were really over,” said Kim.

Kim had hinted in the past that she would like to retire at the height of her career. Those statements prompted speculation among the Korean media about her future plans, with some predicting she will retire from the amateur ranks and move on to the pros, while others guess Kim will try her hand at a singing or acting career.

Kim flatly denied the latter.

“I do not have any plans whatsoever of starting a career in the entertainment industry,” she stated.

“I thought for a long time that the Vancouver Winter Olympics would be the end of my amateur career. But as my career progressed, I thought that I could compete at this level a little longer.

“I am not sure at this moment,” Kim added. “I have not given deep thought to my future plans. I want to take some time to rest and then I'll start thinking about it.”

At the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships later this month, Kim will compete in the women’s short program on March 26 and the free skating program the following day.

She will return to Korea at the end of the month to host the “2010 Festa on Ice.”


By Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]

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