http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iyfoYByf48 So beautiful <3
Indeed! Now if only we could somehow get these suggestions to Team Yu-na and Mao... I do hope they visit goldenskate and will see them :3
Yuna has no intention of skating anymore. If she does it's only because her federation needs her to maintain 2 spots for Worlds. I personally only want to see her skate if she really wants to and not just halfassing it like she did at Worlds. Yes she almost won but you can't just show up at Worlds and expect to win. Speaking of which can anyone remember a ladies gold medalist who seems as miserable as Yuna? What's the deal with her?
Yuna's problems at Worlds weren't a mental slump from last year but from not competing at all this year.
Most skaters, assuming they don't immediately retire, go through a major slump following their Worlds or Olympic victory. Considering how Yuna did in the 09-10 season, it's actually a lot more surprising she hasn't simply vanished.
Look at it this way--of all the Worlds and Olympic podium finishers last season, only Yuna remained:
1. Joannie Rochette took the entire season off
2. Laura Lepisto took the whole season off (injuries)
3. Mao Asada struggled with her new technique
I generally give skaters the benefit of the doubt in these matters, and I'm especially likely to give YuNa the benefit of the doubt. As various posters (including me) have often pointed out, she's in a unique position in terms of pressure and national obligation. Mao has pressure to remain on top, of course, but if she (Heaven forbid!) left skating, Japan would still have three spots, because there are several other splendid Japanese ladies. Even the Finnish ladies have at least one spare--Kiira, who has a triple-triple. YuNa stands alone. Did she have a tough Worlds because of the coaching dramas, the pressure from her federation, or her lack of prior competitions through the season? Who knows? I'm glad she showed up, and I hope she is able to continue next year. But I have to say, if she decides to hang it up, I certainly wouldn't fault her for it.
First (heehee), I remember the days when I would feel the need to defend YuNa in a highly aggressive manner...and I'm glad to see others taking on that job without the aggression.
Second, I can say that many YuNa fans as myself (OK, Yunatic ) were thrilled just to see YuNa back on the ice. I am grateful for especially her Arirang LP and I hope to see it again. However, over on the YuNa forum, there is a lot of guilt floating around as well, as many of us fans realize these are our selfish wishes. It is clearly evident that YuNa was not completely committed--mentally and emotionally--to staying in competition, and with that came concern for her. I also would not fault her for not continuing. What's there for us to fault her for? She's done more than we could have imagined, let alone asked from her. In fact, some fans question whether they want to see her in competition anymore, wondering if she is unhappy with her predicament in the context of possible obligations to her federation/country.
It heartens me when non-Yunatics acknowledge her unique circumstances because sometimes I feel others, especially her more vocal critics, forget that she is a major outlier of a top skater considering her background, history, and ongoing situation. Even I, as a Canadian-born ethnic Korean, cannot understand some of her difficulties; it seems impossible. For example, YuNa's first language and culture is Korean, so I imagine that trying to express herself on the ice to usually foreign audiences is quite different from my understanding, given that Canadian/American sensibilities seem intuitive and familiar to me. Performance involves a form of communication/expression, so this difference may play a part as to why some people say she looks either "cold" or like she is "acting." Furthermore, YuNa does not skate competitively in Korea for the most part. She is not used to "communicating" to familiar audiences in the setting of a competition, and I think this contributes to some of her competition jitters.
So, although I would also love to see her continue, I also would only want her to if she can be happy and at ease. And even still, I don't think that it should go on for too long, she has missed out on so much for figure skating, and I imagine that even when she retires, her life will not have some of the blessings of ordinariness that we take for granted.
Should we call her Yunigma now?
I'm guessing Yuna thinks that since she's won the Olympic gold, there's nothing more to do in the sport. What is there to achieve? There's always a second gold medal, but considering the pain and hard work and exhaustion required of her body, she's probably not too keen on that idea.
Seeing Yuna ponder retirement makes me sort of glad that Michelle got silver in Nagano. If Michelle had won, she probably would've called it a day and quit too. But that puts us in a weird alternate universe in which Tara fights her hip injury, continues to skate, gets recognition from the general public, and people squeal "Taraaaaa!!!" whenever they see her in movies.
Yeah, looking back I can see the advantage in Michelle's winning silver and then bronze in her two active Olympics. It meant that she kept going, and we got to see her for a decade instead of just a few years. Even with a healthy pro circuit, I suspect that Michelle wouldn't have stuck around to skate in shows and pro-ams the way Kurt and Scott did but would have gone to college right away. So her career would have been that of a Tenley Albright, with lifelong praise for winning the gold but a relatively short list of "immortal" moments on the ice.
Who knows what YuNa will do in terms of competing? At least it looks as if she will remain active in skating, with her show and her work to bring championships to Korea. But if she wants to end her competitive career now, it's easy to understand why.
Last edited by Olympia; 05-11-2011 at 07:04 AM.
I am not convinced that Michelle would have quit after Nagano. She was young and seemed to love competing more than Yu-na does. With the endorsement money she would have gotten after winning ( i think she got a lot after silver) she could have continued without being a big financial burden on her family.