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Thread: Yu-na Kim cleared to go to Worlds

  1. #1
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    News Yu-na Kim cleared to go to Worlds

    http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/spor...1323711650.htm

    Kim Yu-na, 16, will participate in the World Figure Skating Championships in Japan next March, announced the Korea Skating Union on Monday.

    Last week, Kim, who is plagued by a back injury, withdrew from the 61st National Figure Skating Champions Competition to be held on Jan. 9 where a winner was supposed to be promoted to the World Championships.

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    other Yu-Na Kim articles

    I got the porkpuff's permission to publish her translation of several articles on Yu-Na Kim here.


    Article written by Yonhap News, which is like Korea's version of the Associated Press. One example (among many) is listed below:

    http://news.goodday.co.kr/2007/01/08...54111600.shtml

    The article above notes that the Korean skating federation committee consisted of a short-track skater, a figure skating judge, a speed skater, the chair, vice-chair, and an administrator. They also voted to send those who place in the top 3 of Korean Nationals to 4CC, and that Kim Yu-Na would retain her status as a national representative (I guess this would be equivalent to the USFSA's team envelopes) until April 30. The article adds that should Kim not recover from her injury in time for the Asian Games, that she would be replaced by Ji Eun Choi.

    Incidentally, Choi used to train at the same rink as Kim. Her best result, I think, was a bronze in one of the JGPs. She has never made it past QRs at Senior Worlds in the past.

    Additional context regarding Kim's training is found in another Yonhap article dated today:
    http://news.mk.co.kr/newsRead.php?sc...4%ED%8F%AC%EC% B8%A0%C2%B7%EB%AC%B8%ED%99%94%20%EB%A9%94%EC%9D%B8 &year=2007&no=10044&selFlag=&relatedcode=&wonNo =&s ID=304

    Kim's mom is quoted as saying that the "doctors have said it was alright to let [Yu-Na] do some light skating" and that "after receiving treatment in the morning and afternoon, we're going to the indoor rink to train for an hour." The training will "mostly focus on basic skills on the ice and maybe some low-difficulty jumps." She explained that "if you don't jump for a long time, you can forget how it feels and recovering that "feel" also takes a long time." Kim's mom also added that no promises could be made about the Asian Games because "Kim is still receiving treatment, so it's hard to give a definite answer."

    As a side note, one recalls that the figure skating judge (Mr. SHIN, Kun-jo, head of the figure skating judges' committee in Korea) was extremely vocal in his support of Kim as reported in previous articles. He's been quoted in an article for the <Seoul Ilbo> ㅇdated January 5 with the following:

    http://www.seoulilbo.net/news/sub_re...ction=section7
    "Kim Yu-Na is clearly different than any other Korean skater." Shin was also forceful in stating that the committee's consideration to send Kim to Worlds should not be meant as giving Kim "special treatment."
    --"There are no particular regulations set forth by the [Korea Skating] Union."
    --"Other skaters [in Korea] fall well below the top flight of ladies. Even up til last year, it wasn't even close. Kim [on the other hand] is within striking distance of the top."
    --"Kim's entry into Worlds may do a lot for Korean skating. If she places within the top three, we will be able to send more entries to Worlds."
    --"Because of her condition, Kim has said that she will not be participating in 4CC."
    Shin also noted that Kim's name had already been submitted for the Asian Games, and that barring further injury or a worsened condition, will "absolutely" participate. [My note: Talk about pressure! It certainly doesn't help that the local media is actually pitting Yu-Na against swimming star Park Taehwan, who won three gold medals at the Summer Asian Games plus the Asian Games MVP award.]
    The article ends with Kim's mother saying "Yu-Na received medical treatment from 9 AM this morning to 4 PM. I really hope she gets better."
    Yu-Na Terminates Her Coach 1/08 (Chosun Ilbo article)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When it rains, it pours.

    http://spn.chosun.com/site/data/html...010801560.html

    Published by Korea's largest newspaper, this article states that Park Bun-sun, Kim Yu-Na's coach of 18 months, received word from Yu-Na's mom that the coaching contract would be severed, "our destinies part here," stated Yu-Na's mom.

    The article is rather sympathetic towards the coach, stating that the notice of contract termination was unilaterally initiated on the part of Team Kim and that Team Kim cut off communication just after Yu-Na won the GPF.

    Interestingly, another Korean newspaper printed an editorial warning star athletes "not to forget their countrymen and countrywomen" once they reach the world stage. That particular editorial names a number of people, including Yu-Na. In addition, several newspapers running the exact same Yonhap article feature headlines such as "Reality Over Rules? Kim Yu Na to Compete at Worlds", "Because It's Yu-Na: Yu-Na Going to Worlds," and "Special Treatment for Figure Skating Queen", etc.
    Last Yu-Na Article, I Promise!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Snippets from another interview Yu-Na did on 12/28/06:

    http://news.media.daum.net/politics/...v15208983.html

    --Have you studied ballet?
    "Ballet? I tried a few times, but it wasn't very fun so I quit. People say I should take ballet if I want to skate, but the two are totally different. The movements themselves are different, no?"

    --On the implication that Yu-Na benefits from her competitors' (namely, Ando and Asada) mistakes:
    Yu-Na's mom replies here, "If other athletes impart us with a bit of luck, we are, at turns, grateful and apologetic." Yu-Na replies too, "I will hope to meet again in better condition and a better performance."

    --Who do you think is prettier, you, or Mao Asada?
    The reporter observes that Yu-Na is embarrassed by this (extremely ridiculous!) question. It is further reported that Yu-Na rolls her eyes and then replies, "Whoo! What kind of a question is that? What do *you* say if someone asks you if you think you are prettier than someone else? That question sucks." The reporter notes that Yu-Na immediately changes the subject.

    Yu-Na goes on to state: "I don't have any rivals. I think all the athletes are great and we all have a lot to learn from each other, after all, each competition features so many good skaters. In fact, I think it is an honor just to rub shoulders with my internationally famous elders."

    "A lot of people often compare me with Mao Asada and I think the biggest difference between us is that Mao does the 3X, a jump which is not easy for even then men, while I want to confidently pull off consistent triples rather than learn the 3X. Someday I might learn the 3X, but I think it is more important to upgrade what I'm good at now rather than work on what I can't do at present. [For] I can't afford to lose my confidence."

    --On getting new boots from a legendary Japanese skatemaker:
    "I plan to use my old boots for the remainder of the season. If I use my new boots, I'll have to break them in all over again, and so for Worlds, I'll use my old boots."

    --What Mom thinks of Yu-Na winning the GPF:
    "With this victory, I think Yu-Na has gained some new expectations and hopes. But because she's risen so quickly, so soon, I think there are a lot of people who harbor feelings of jealousy and resentment. [My note: WORD!] I'll have to help Yu-Na a lot, but it will be difficult."

    The article states that Kim's mom says a lot of the jealousy has to do not only with Yu-Na's victories, but the sponsorship offers that are rolling in.

    The article also includes some bits from Yu-Na's now ex-coach. It claims that she (Park Bun-sun) was approached by Yu-Na's mom and the Korea Skating Union to coach Kim in May 2005. Some light may be shed on the coaching question.

    [My note: this sounds kind of weird, since by May 2005 Kim was the World Junior silver medalist; you'd think that the Korean skating federation would have approached someone with more credentials than being a national figure skater for 10 years from a country that never made it past the QRs. Especially since her prior coach was of similar caliber; Yu-Na worked with Kim Seyol, a former men's skater whose best result was 33rd at Worlds who coached Yu-Na in 2003 and then for part of the 2005/6 season. Other coaches include Ryu Jonghyun, a figure skating judge who coached Yu-Na from 1997 to 2000, and Shin Hye-sook, probably one of Korea's most experienced coaches, who worked with Yu-Na from 2000 to 2003. Indeed, Shin is frequently credited as the one who "brought Yu-Na up" as a skater.

    This is not to say that domestic coaches are necessarily inferior -- from my own humble experience, Korean coaches ROCK when it comes to teaching good spinning and proper jump technique; they are not above corporal punishment when it comes to flutzes! -- but Yu-Na is a completely different kind. She is the best skater in Korea, ever, and will likely be so for a long time. Heck, if the Korean skating federation can foot the bill for Lori Nichol to choreograph programs for much lesser Korean skaters, why not shell out the big bucks for Yu-Na who was and is actually capable of winning? Why didn't they find someone at Colorado Springs, where Yu-Na trained for at least three summers? My fantasy match-up is Chris Dean doing a program for Yu-Na.

    On the article, there is a picture of Yu-Na's ex-coach, a very attractive young lady herself. Other articles state her age as 28, or 29, by the Korean system.]

    --On coaching Yu-Na:

    "After retiring from competitive skating, I went to graduate school, and while there, I got a call asking me to coach Yu-Na. I knew that she was moving up to seniors, and that if she did well, it would be good, but if she didn't, I'd get all the blame. So I was hesitant, and accepted the job only 2 days before Yu-Na left for Canada. What convinced me was when I had first seen Yu-Na skate when she was in second grade. She was a real fighter."

    "After we returned from completing three months of training in Canada, Yu-Na began intensive training. But only after meeting three times, Yu-Na's mom raised the possibility of retiring Yu-Na from skating. She said that it, realistically, it was too much pressure and difficulty, and she [Yu-Na's mom] could not possibly go on. I was very surprised to hear that, but after a few such conversations, I just left everything to fate."

    --At the GPF:

    "When we got there, Yu-Na's condition was just not up to scratch. It became impossible, what with her inferior condition, back pains, plus trying to deal with everything without painkillers. Plus it was hard too, since Miki Ando and Mao were flying through practice. Yu-Na was not 100% during the final free skate. It really did help Yu-Na for the two frontrunners to have made mistakes."

    The reporter mentions that Park's contract is to extend until March 2007. It does add that Park herself states that it would be best for the two to part ways so as to allow Yu-Na to grow as a skater.

    "More than any other skater, I work really well with Yu-Na. I grow fonder of her every time I see her. But for her to do well, I think it's best that I go. Personally, I want Yu-Na to rise gradually. At the GPF, it would been just fine for her to have won the bronze. Yu-Na has lots of good fortune, and luck, it seems. Frankly, as a former skater, I really really envy Yu-Na. It is really impossible to be part of the top class of figure skaters. I will always be happy that I even had the chance to work closely with this "ice queen."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Yu Na sounds like a smart and sensible young woman. I like her comments on her fellow competitors, on her triples v. Mao's triple axel, and on her looks v. Mao's.

    I sure hope her handlers (including her mother) know what they are doing about her rehab from the back injury. Personally I'd rather see her skipping the Asian games. I don't like the sound of the Korean judge in his eagerness for national victory (over Japan? poor Yu Na if she is single-handedly restoring Korean prestige after I don't know how many years of Japanese domination). :frown2:

    Thanks for the articles, iloveaxel (and porkpuff).

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    I have to ask: what is the Korean for "That question sucks?"

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    I have the same concerns about the Asian games (1/28-2/04). If Yu-Na is just now on the ice but doing little more than basic skating (no complex jumps), and she is still receiving therapy for her back injury, how can she possibly be ready to compete or even travel in just 20 days from now? She was not supposed to even resume normal practice until about the time of the Asian Games.

    And the South Korean federation said she couldn't go to 4CC (which starts 2/05) because of her back injury. If she can't skate on 2/05, how can she possibly skate in a much more grueling competition a week before that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    I have the same concerns about the Asian games (1/28-2/04). If Yu-Na is just now on the ice but doing little more than basic skating (no complex jumps), and she is still receiving therapy for her back injury, how can she possibly be ready to compete or even travel in just 20 days from now? She was not supposed to even resume normal practice until about the time of the Asian Games.

    And the South Korean federation said she couldn't go to 4CC (which starts 2/05) because of her back injury. If she can't skate on 2/05, how can she possibly skate in a much more grueling competition a week before that?
    A lot of athletes can just go ahead with very minimum recovering time,sometimes the old memory just automatically kicks in. In terms of 4cc, I think a lot of asian skaters have to skip it. Those two competitions are back to back. I read in an interview that shen & zhao originally intended to go to 4cc but just scraped the plan. They said they had to compete the next day or even the same day on arrival at Colorando. The altitude and ice rink(not sure what they meant) is also a concern.

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    With her rehabilitation plan, Yu-Na was not supposed to resume normal practice for 4 weeks, which would have been early February. That means going from very minimal practices into full competition, with all the nerves and pressure, just 3 weeks from the start of the rehabilitation. I can't believe her doctors could approve of such a plan. The end result could be the return of severe back pain even during the Asian games. That would certainly jeopardize her performance there, as well as potentially keep her out of Worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    With her rehabilitation plan, Yu-Na was not supposed to resume normal practice for 4 weeks, which would have been early February. That means going from very minimal practices into full competition, with all the nerves and pressure, just 3 weeks from the start of the rehabilitation. I can't believe her doctors could approve of such a plan. The end result could be the return of severe back pain even during the Asian games. That would certainly jeopardize her performance there, as well as potentially keep her out of Worlds.
    Don't want to sound steoreotype, but South Korea is quite famous for their 'barbaric' training method. Some Chinese national teams suck as cricket team hired a bunch of famous South Korean coaches, and there are a lot of complaint which is quite shocking since Chinese are also notorious for 'overloading' their athletes.

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    So the South Korean federation is perfectly willing to jeopardize Kim's future skating career just to get one-up on the Japanese at the Asian games? They probably will make her go even if she is in pain. How awful for her!

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    Not a good move by them in the long run, if they do indeed proceed.

    OTOH, if Kim is fine, by all means send her to both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I have to ask: what is the Korean for "That question sucks?"
    Well, the Korean text literally reads, "I don't like that question," but the context of the essay requires a stronger wording when translated into English.

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    Quote Originally Posted by porkpuff View Post
    Well, the Korean text literally reads, "I don't like that question," but the context of the essay requires a stronger wording when translated into English.
    Naw, The literal translation is sufficient.

    Thanks for your translation and time

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    With her rehabilitation plan, Yu-Na was not supposed to resume normal practice for 4 weeks, which would have been early February. That means going from very minimal practices into full competition, with all the nerves and pressure, just 3 weeks from the start of the rehabilitation. I can't believe her doctors could approve of such a plan. The end result could be the return of severe back pain even during the Asian games. That would certainly jeopardize her performance there, as well as potentially keep her out of Worlds.
    I agree, it is completely disregarding the health risks and the best care of her body right now. I dont know what her team is thinking having her skate in the Asian Games.

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