Nippon TV says sorry for airing videos of Kim Yu-na

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Nippon TV says sorry for airing videos of Kim Yu-na

A Japanese television station that recently aired secretly filmed shots of Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na has apologized, Kim’s agency said Friday.

All That Sports, the Seoul-based management company, said Nippon TV sent an apology for its action.

“We acknowledge that we filmed [Kim Yu-na] at a training facility in Los Angeles without your preapproval,” the statement read, according to All That Sports. “We are very sorry for this incident ... Every effort is being made to ensure that such problems will never occur again.”

On Dec. 26 last year, Nippon TV aired some footage of Kim, the Vancouver Winter Olympics gold medalist, in training at East West Ice Palace in Lose Angeles. She was filmed doing her strengthening exercises and later dining at a restaurant.

All That Sports lodged a complaint with the station and demanded an apology. Practice sessions for figure skaters are usually held behind closed doors to prevent their programs and choreography from leaking to the public ahead of competition.

Kim has not skated competitively since finishing second at the world championships in Italy in March and only announced her music for her short and free skating programs a month ago.

Kim, who has only appeared in ice shows after the world championships, will return to competitive skating at the 2011 world championships in Tokyo in March this year.

Her short program will be performed to a theme from the classic ballet “Giselle,” and her free skating music will be a compilation of traditional Korean music called “Homage to Korea.”

Incidentally, Nippon TV aired Kim’s shots on the same day that Mao Asada, a Japanese star, qualified for the world championships by finishing second at the Japanese national championship. This set up a fifth world championships showdown between Kim and Asada, who have been bitter rivals since their junior years.

Asada won world titles in 2008 and 2010, sandwiching Kim’s lone championship in 2009. Asada was a distant second to Kim in Vancouver, where the Korean set an all-time high score of 228.56 points under the revamped judging scale.

Kim has been training with her new American coach, Peter Oppegard, in Los Angeles since bitterly parting ways in a public war of words with Canadian coach Brian Orser in August of last year.

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