Updated January. 04, 2014 00:51
Figure skating sensation Kim Yu-na is set to participate at the National General Figure Skating Championships that takes place at Eeoullim Ice Rink in Goyang City, Gyeonggi Province on Saturday and Sunday. It will be her final rehearsal for the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics and her last stage to present to Korean fans ahead of her retirement. The Dong-A Ilbo examined Kims situation ahead of the championships.
Kim Yu-na shed a flurry of tears in Goyang five years ago. The World Figure Skating Grand Prix finals took place in the city, northwest of Seoul, in December 2008. Due to the sense of pressure from staging performance in the presence of Korean fans for the first time since January 2006, she felt big burden at the time. After all, she committed an uncommon error and was defeated by Mao Asada of Japan to rank second. Kim cried heavily in the locker room. I felt hugely disappointed due to an error since I wanted to perform even better at the championships, which took place in Korea. But I learned a lot about myself, and came to gain confidence that I can perform well at a big event. Kim had her first career win at the World Championships that took place three months later. Goyang was a stage implying a turnaround to Kim and she is now trying to regain confidence by participating in the championships held in the same city again in five years.
The phrase Kim spoke the most often in various interviews ahead of the upcoming championships was that It is tough for me. She said, I find it is very challenging both physically and mentally. I sometimes think that I hope this period passes as quickly as possible. Since I think I have done what I could, I have no regret. Kim has said she will retire after the end of the Sochi Olympics. However, some say that Kim should participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in Korea as well. In figure skating, the host country has no special privilege to field a player without having its skaters at qualifying events, and Kims absence could result in Korea having no skater competing in ladies individual competition. Kims recent remarks, however, seem to be reiteration of her plan to retire after the Sochi event.
Kim has said, Achieving my own goal is most important. Rather than being too ambitious and trying to win the gold medal, my goal is to conclude my athletic career beautifully, as I planned when resuming my athletic career (for the Olympics). On circulation of news on remarks that she never actually made, she rather sensitively responded, saying that All I have to do is to take responsibility for what I said. Nonetheless, she says she will display good performance to her fans at this event. Perhaps Kim wishes to ask fans to cheer for her, who tries hard to make a beautiful finale of her career, irrespective the medals color she will win at the Olympics.