IOC also expect Kim is the heavy favorite for the gold medal but ice is slippery...... anything can happen especially in the Olympics
Amen to that. Kim is due to be less then perfect in a big competition and it worries me that she's not competed much this season. I know it didn't matter last year but i don't expect her to be that dominant again. Ice is slippery as Scott Hamilton always says.
I think Yu-Na's chances are great but by no means is she a lock for the gold medal. In a field that stacked with competitors, there is never a lock for gold b/c too many things can happen. I would go so far as to say she's a lock for a medal and a favorite for gold but she's not a lock for gold.
Yes, I'm never comfortable calling someone a lock for any medal, but especially in a sport where it's so easy to slip (both metaphorically and literally). You also can't count on all the other competitors behaving exactly as they did previously. This could be the night where, to paraphrase Brian Boitano describing his 1988 long program, angels hold up Mao Asada as she executes two perfect triple axels, or where Julia or Akiko reach that magical level where time stands still and gravity becomes a servant instead of a master.
i think it is safe to say if Kim is clean she will win gold. Near clean a medal is almost assured. But this could be an ARakawa or Hughes moment. Nice story for those win but it kind of is sad to see the big guns just fizzle out without oly gold ie. Kwan, Orser, Browning, Slutskaya or even headcase Cohen. That's life though.
Meh. Being a Yu-Na fan and a skating fan who has watched a lot of Olympics with surprising results, I wouldn't call Yu-Na a lock either.
Yu-Na was in better condition going into Vancouver, without the question mark of the injury recovery, so that made her chances better then now. Still, I like the position Yu-Na is in now. She has her key jumps, there's no obsessing over the flip like there was in the 2009-2010 season. Her programs are great. She's gotten in a clean SP and a near clean FS.
She has most definitely not committed to a goal of winning a second OGM. She said it more eloquently than I could--if she gets a good result, she'll be happy, but she's focused on her performances, enjoying the Olympics experience, and having a happy ending to her career. Mentally, she's in the right place, physically, she's on track.
If a second OGM happens, great. But if it doesn't happen though, I am still grateful to her for coming back and proving that an Olympic gold medal doesn't have to be the end of one's career. She risked her reputation by continuing to compete (one only has to look at Sarah Hughes at 2003 Worlds to see the risks of competing after your Olympic triumph, and Yu-Na herself took a few knocks for not being at her best at either 2010 or 2011 Worlds), and though there were ups and downs, she persevered, and has another world title and world medal with a historic Worlds performance already in the bag.
Since Katarina Witt continued to compete, the only Olympic champion that competed for another season is Sarah Hughes and Yu-Na Kim. Sarah reinforced the idea that it's best to retire after winning the OGM. Yu-Na reversed that and proved that the OGM doesn't have to be the end as soon as you win it, setting the standard higher for later Olympic ladies champions to come.
TAHbKA at FSU translated a terrific interview with Alexei Urmanov, and he had this to say in response to a question about retirement:
Yu-Na has had a real career. Don't know what the end will be, but it's a real career with just about every achievement a skater could want.I think if you retire at the age of 20 - was there a career? Take Tara Lipinski - she won at the age of 14 and retired. Was there a sport in her career? Not much. I think an athlete has to go through the build up, the success, the nerves, the fight - it makes it a real career. When you come, win and run away as a kid - I don't get it. No one said an athlete has to retire at the age of 30 rather than 15, you're right, there is no limit when to start and when to finish, it's individual. Sometimes the injures make the athlete retire earlier, sometimes there is a right moment to retire, sometimes athletes remain for too long. It's really hard to figure what the right time is.
Also this thread should have been titled, Kim is looking like a lock once again for a podium finish. I think THAT should be the real story because that is the most amazing thing about her career.
She was injured, it is so obvious when you watch her performace in golden spin. Last year, she couldnt get a gp slot because she didnt compete.
The sport is far more demanding now than it ever was in Witt's time. I don't think Yu-Na "picked and chose" so much as she really needed a break physically and mentally. It was VERY unclear in 2011-2012 if Yu-Na would ever compete again. Many (most?) fans thought no, that was it.
I suppose you can criticize Yu-Na for not doing the GP, but every other Olympic champion since Witt just retired, except Sarah Hughes. Why should Yu-Na get more criticism than them when they just stopped competing entirely? So I do think Yu-Na deserves more credit than she gets for coming back and showing that a ladies Olympic champion can continue to have success competitively after the Olympic win.