Kim Yu-na will skate to tango at 2014 Olympics

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Kim Yu-na will skate to tango at 2014 Olympics

Defending Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na has chosen tango for her swan song Olympic program. The 22-year-old Korean star will skate to “Adios Nonino,” by Argentine tango musician Astor Piazzolla, in her free-skate program for the 2013-14 season, her agency, All That Sports, said yesterday.

It is the second time that Kim picked tango music after she made an impressive senior debut with “Roxanne’s Tango” in the 2006-07 season. She performed to music from the 2001 film “Moulin Rouge” in her short program, with which she won the 2006-07 Grand Prix Final and finished third at the world championships in the same season.

Her short program music for the new season is “Send in the Clowns” by Stephen Sondheim, the agency said. “It is strong tango music, the style of which is quite contrary to that of a short program,” Kim said in a statement issued by the agency. “It will be a whole different style of tango performance compared to the previous one.

“I think it will be the most difficult program that I would have ever taken on, but is a satisfying one.”

Kim performed to the musical number “Les Miserables” in her free skate to win her first appearance at the world championships in two years in March, a perfect warm-up for her title defense at the Sochi Olympics. After returning from a 20-month break last July, Kim said that she will retire after the Sochi Games.

Speaking of the new short program using “Send in the Clowns,” which will replace “The Kiss of the Vampire,” Kim said that she had long thought of doing a short with the music since she first heard it. “This music came to my mind when I was in the process of selecting music [for the new season], and I really wanted to do a figure skating performance with it, so I made a final decision to do it,” Kim said.

From “A Little Night Music,” a musical that premiered in 1973, “Send in the Clowns” is a romantic song with a tinge of sadness that will help Kim’s graceful performance, the agency said. The songs are a departure from Kim’s usual choices of strong, charismatic music for short programs and graceful music for free skates. David Wilson, Kim’s longtime choreographer, chose both songs.

“These are the programs for what will be my final event as an athlete, and I am happy that I have been able to select music that I have wanted to skate to,” Kim said. “I will try to show a good performance commensurate with the music.”



BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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