Kim may skip skating events for 12 months

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Kim may skip skating events for 12 months


Korea’s Kim Yu-na performs during the ice show “Samsung Galaxy-Hauzen All That Skate Summer 2011” at the Olympic Gymnasium in Seoul, Monday. [YONHAP]

Korean figure skating icon Kim Yu-na said she has not decided whether to compete at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships next year.

After finishing her ice show, Samsung Galaxy-Hauzen All That Skate Summer 2011, at the Olympic Gymnasium in southern Seoul on Monday, Kim told reporters that she has not made up her mind on whether to participate at the Worlds, which start in March in Nice, France.

“Nothing is confirmed,” Kim said.

If she decides not to take part, Kim will miss almost a year of competitive skating as she is already set to skip the 2011-2012 ISU Grand Prix series from October to December.

After taking the silver medal at this year’s World Championships in April, the 20-year-old announced that she would not feature in the Grand Prix series because she needs to focus on her role as an honorary ambassador for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic bidding committee.

Kim also missed the Grand Prix last season. After clinching the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, she decided not to participate at the Grand Prix citing a need for rest, but she did make it to this year’s Worlds in Moscow.

When asked about her future plans, Kim said she will go to the United States in a few weeks to train.

Figure skating pundits say this would give Kim enough time to develop a new program for the Worlds. For this year’s event, she needed only several months of preparation after starting in October and still managed to finish with a silver medal.

Kim, the 2009 world champion, has fallen short against Japanese figure skaters in the last two editions of the World Championships. In 2010, she finished second behind Mao Asada, while this year, she came runner up again after Miki Ando earned 1.29 points more to claim the gold with 195.79 points.

Kim said her best memory of this year was helping the alpine town of Pyeongchang win its bid to secure the Winter Games.

“Last year, I had many special moments and good results,” she said. “But if I had to pick one, it would be the moment when Pyeongchang won the Olympic bid.”

Kim was one of eight representatives who made the final presentation to International Olympic Committee (IOC) members in Durban, South Africa, last month.

“I got very tired, but many people helped me to get back on my feet,” said Kim, who reportedly came down with mild flu symptoms on the flight home and was said to be exhausted. “Sometimes I felt fatigued, but I also felt proud of what we’d accomplished.”

Kim will also serve as the global honorary ambassador for the Pyeongchang Special Olympic Winter Games, which will be held in 2013. She will be officially appointed tomorrow by the event’s organizing committee and Special Olympics International (SOI).

The biannual event for children and adults with intellectual disabilities will be held from Jan. 26 to Feb. 6 in Pyeongchang next year. Kim will join other global ambassadors like swimming star Michael Phelps and retired NBA star Yao Ming to promote the event.

By Joo Kyung-don []

한글 관련 기사 [일간스포츠]

김연아, 내년 세계선수권대회 참가 불투명

“내년 세계선수권대회에 나갈 지는 아직 잘 모르겠어요.”

'피겨 여왕' 김연아가 고민 중이다. 지난 시즌에는 세계선수권에는 출전했지만 이번에는 그마저도 불투명하다.

김연아는 15일 오후 서울 방이동 올림픽공원 체조경기장 특설링크에서 열린 아이스쇼 '삼성갤럭시·하우젠 올댓스케이트서머 2011'을 마친 뒤 2012년 3월 프랑스 니스에서 열리는 세계선수권대회 출전 여부에 대해 "아직 확정되지 않았다. 정확하게 대답해 드릴 수 없다"고 말했다.

지난 시즌과 마찬가지로 이번에도 2011~2012시즌 그랑프리 대회 불참은 이미 결정됐다. 2018년 평창 동계올림픽 유치 활동 등으로 새 시즌을 준비할 시간적 여유가 없었기 때문이다. 만일 내년 3월 프랑스에서 열리는 세계선수권에도 불참한다면 김연아는 한 시즌을 완전히 쉬게 된다.

김연아는 앞으로의 일정에 대해 "몇 주간 남은 일정을 소화하고 8월 말에 LA로 돌아갈 것 같다.”고 밝혔다. 8월 말부터 훈련에 돌입한다면 내년 세계선수권까지 새 프로그램을 소화할 시간이 충분하다. 따라서 그랑프리 시리즈의 불참 의사를 밝힌 김연아가 이번에도 세계선수권에만 나설 가능성이 아직은 남아있다. 김연아는 3월 러시아 모스크바에서 열린 세계선수권에서 안도 미키에 이어 2위를 차지했다.

김연아와 함께 아이스쇼에 참가한 핀란드 여자 싱글 간판 키이라 코르피는 "(김)연아는 지난해에도 그랑프리 시리즈에 뛰어 넘고 세계선수권대회에 참가했지만 좋은 성적을 거뒀다"며 "연아는 이미 스케이터로서 모든 것을 이루었다. 앞으로의 행보는 전적으로 본인 결정에 달려있다"고 밝혔다.
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