Agency for Yu-na asks odd Web site to stop
Seoul-based All That Sports said it demanded closure of the Web site addressed www.kimyu-na.com and threatened legal action if it opened again. The site had popped up on Monday, with an online poll asking visitors whether they supported Kim becoming an IOC member.
It also featured a photo of Kim during her gold medal-winning performance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
On the right side of the Web site, a man introduced himself as Thomas. There was also a Korean-language introduction that claimed he was from Austria. The site presented a logo for next year’s inaugural Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, for which Kim is an honorary ambassador.
“I am very interested in Kim Yu-na,” the man wrote. “She is a wonderful skater. I hope she will be an IOC member soon. Enjoy voting.”
All That Sports, however, said the domain for the Web site was based in Korea and the person who launched the site was actually Korean.
At the bottom of the site, the operator had left a Korean bank account number to send donations to help underprivileged people.
But Kim’s agency said the operator was running a “private fund raiser” using bank accounts both in Korea and Austria.
“This Web site made unauthorized use of Kim Yu-na’s English name and her photos,” the agency said in a statement. “While touting her as an IOC member, the Web site was running dubious fund-raising and advertising campaigns, and we felt there could be innocent victims from this.”
The agency said it will respond to the growing number of illegal commercial activities using Kim’s image. Groundless accusations have also been made against the skater.
The Web site had argued that the 21-year-old Kim contributed a great deal to the Korean city PyeongChang’s successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and her age shouldn’t be an obstacle.
Currently, there are 113 IOC members from 78 nations. Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung Electronics, and Moon Dae-sung, a former Olympic gold medalist in men’s taekwondo, are two Korean members.