Updated February. 23, 2010 09:06
Its important that Yu-na is satisfied with her own performance.
So says the father of world figure skating champion of Kim Yu-na, Kim Hyeon-seok, 53, who headed for Vancouver yesterday. It has been a long time since he went abroad to watch his daughter perform.
Kim Hyeon-seok spent Lunar New Years Day with his older daughter Eh-ra and other relatives. Though he was visited by relatives, he said he felt lonely since he could not see his wife and Yu-na. His family was last together on the holiday three years ago.
Ive gotten used to living away from my wife and second daughter (Yu-na). I think I have to endure it. I feel nervous and anxious about watching Yu-nas performance at the stadium, Kim Hyeon-seok said.
I sometimes feel the urge to visit my daughter while she trains, but I think I must wait a little longer since she is preparing for a big event.
The skater won all three Grand Prix tournaments she competed in over the 2009-10 season. Since making her debut on the senior circuit, she has won 12 of 16 competitions.
When Yu-na felt pain, she took a painkiller and showed mental toughness in her performance. She just thinks about doing her best whenever she is in a competition, her father said. But Im worried she might suffer from the pressure of winning the competition since she has won most of her competitions.
Myriam Loriol-Oberwiler of Switzerland will join the technical panel to judge the womens figure skating competition. She has attracted controversy through murky deductions from Kim Yu-nas score despite experts saying her jumps are perfect.
Kim Yu-nas father says he is also concerned about the Swiss judge.
I thought that Loriol-Oberwiler might be a member of the technical panel of the womens individual figure skating competition. My daughter should fight herself, but Im worried that she might be obsessed with the idea of showing a perfect performance due to the judge.
In figure skating competitions, judges decide the score. The possibility of a dishonest decision affecting the score was reduced in 2002 with the introduction of a new scoring system. Nevertheless, figure skating powerhouses still have strong influence over competition results.
Sometimes, I even thought I shouldnt have allowed Yu-na to become a figure skater. Had she become a swimmer or an athlete, she wouldnt have had to worry over the misdeeds of judges, Kim Hyeon-seok said.
Despite his rising worry, he said he strongly believes his daughter will win the gold medal.
I strongly believe she will win the gold medal, but Ive never asked her to get it, he said. Whenever I hear my friends or acquaintances say Yu-na must win the gold medal, I ask them not to say that. Ive always said its up to Gods will.
Kim Hyeon-seok has faced much difficulty since his daughter became a figure skater. Yet he says he is grateful to be the father of the worlds top competitor in the sport.
It seems God has sent Yu-na to Earth to nurture her as a figure skater. After considering who would be suitable parents for her, God chose us, he said.
My wife and I have had much difficulty. Sometimes, we even thought about giving up our support for Yu-nas figure skating. But whenever we faced difficulty, we got support and our challenge was surprisingly resolved. God has probably looked after us since he gave Yu-na to us.
Kim Hyeon-seok also says he had to give up a large part of his role as Yu-nas father before and after she became a prominent figure skater.
I think its my destiny and I feel honored to have such a great kid as my own daughter, he said. Many parents undergo all kinds of hardships to give their children a chance to become figure skaters. But most of them have not been as successful as we have.
If she just does her best, she could get the results she wants. I hope shell get the gold medal. Most of all, however, I hope shell be satisfied with her performance.