Kim Yu-na to compete in the 2014 Olympics
Speculation had been growing that the 21-year-old would end her decorative career, which includes a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and a 2009 World Championship title, after taking a year off from international competition.
Kim sat out the 2011-12 Grand Prix Series after finishing second at the World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow in April 2011.
At a hastily scheduled press conference at the National Training Center in Seoul yesterday, Kim said pressure has been mounting to repeat her gold-medal success from Vancouver.
“After winning the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics, I had a hard time finding a higher goal, but expectations from the fans grew more and more,” Kim said. “Honestly, I wanted to be relieved from the pressure at least for a day.”
But Kim said she would not cease to inspire because of the pressure mounting on her to defend the gold.
“I thought that maybe the reason I had difficulty continuing my athletic career was that I was too focused on the public’s expectations of me,” Kim said. “I have to realize that it would be OK if I lower my expectations of myself and set the goal of pursuing figure skating for myself only.
“If I don’t continue my athletic career because of the pressure to be the best and give it up, it would remain a big regret later in life.”
Declaring that it would be a new beginning, Kim also disclosed a bid to run for a membership position at the athletes’ commission of the International Olympic Committee, the world’s governing body for the Olympics.
“While I was helping Pyeongchang’s bid to host the Winter Games, I fostered a dream as an IOC member,” Kim said.
Kim, along with President Lee Myung-bak, was among the presenters for Pyeongchang in its successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Games.
By Moon Gwang-lip[firstname.lastname@example.org]