Updated February. 15, 2014 02:25
An official with the Korea Skating Union once had dinner with Kim Yu-na, when she was taking a training session in Toronto, Canada, ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Upon arriving at a meat restaurant, the 24-year-old started devouring beef without hesitance. Wary of her gaining weight, people around her tried to stop her, saying, Dont eat too much, but Kim continuously moved her chopsticks as if it was a great chance to satisfy her appetite. An official with the union said, She would have always wanted to eat freely. I never knew that Yu-na was such a big eater.
Kims diet that was revealed for the first time around that time graphically showcased the difficulties that a figure skater must endure. After eating Korean food in the morning, she was only allowed to eat fruits and vegetable, yogurt and cereal for lunch and dinner. Kim once confessed that During my growth period, I gained weight even when I only drank water and ate greens.
Ahead of competitions at the Sochi Olympics, her final stage as career athlete, Kim eats freely as she pleases, and exercises. In a recent interview, Kim even said, These days, I am losing weight perhaps due to aging, and I am trying to gain weight.
A source at All That Sports, Kims management firm, said, We brought a lot of Korean food. We also brought a rice cooker. Yu-na is eating meat, vegetables and fish freely as she pleases. Kim will also use Korean lunchboxes that are prepared by chefs from Taeneung Athletic Village. In contrast, Park So-yeon and Kim Hae-jin, both 17, are strictly controlling their diet, as they are in the peak growth period.
Some things in Sochi are similar to Kim`s situation in Vancouver. As in Vancouver, Kim stays at a hotel in lieu of Olympic Village in Sochi. Officials say that her lodging is not distant from Iceberg Skating Palace, where she will compete.
Kim visits the rink or skating training center, only when she engages in official exercise sessions. She uses facilities within the Olympic village when conducting physical exercise.
The skating training center, where her first and second training sessions were conducted on Thursday and Friday, were packed with journalists from around the world. More than 20 television cameras were seen tracking Kims every single move.
On Thursday, the first day of her onsite exercise, Kim had difficulties adapting herself to ice condition there. As she could not perform triple flip jump, she only tried the same jump three or four times repeatedly. Some 30 minutes later, she seamlessly displayed higher difficulty-level jumps such as triple lutz - triple toe loop combination, as if she adapted herself to the ice condition to some extent. Then, she performed her short program Send in the Clowns. After the end of her performance, several reporters applauded.
Kim said, The most important thing is to adapt myself to ice condition. Ice conditions widely vary from rink to rink. Since I have ample experience, ice at this rink is the kind that I have skated on before. At the latter half of the exercise, I got comfortable and attempted to perform all different technical factors. Asked about her duel with Yulia Lipnitskaya, 16, a rising star from Russia, Kim said, I saw her perform on video. She is a young athlete who just debuted, and I am a skater who is about to end my career. The meaning of the Olympics is different to us.