Extra! Korea

March 24, 2010

Will the Turin world championships be Kim Yu-na’s final competition?

Filed under: sports — extrakorea @ 2:33 pm

I’ve mentioned before that Kim Yu-na has gone to Turin to defend her world title. If successful, she’ll be the first in decades to do so successfully (Katarina Witt: 1984-85, 1987-88; Kristi Yamaguchi: 1991-92; Michelle Kwan: 2000-2001).

She admitted that she lost her motivation after winning the Olympic gold medal:

“Whether you win or lose, it’s hard. You`ve won the biggest prize in the history of the sport. And then, if you haven’t won, you’re defeated and you have the ‘why bother’ attitude,” he [coach Brian Orser] said.

“All the athletes have that,” he added. “And I told Yu-na that: `You`re not special.’”

This was the first time Kim lacked the motivation to train before a competition. Orser said it was very tough to prepare for this event, adding Kim would not have known that it was this hard.

Kim confessed her feelings about this event. After practice, she said, “After realizing my dream, the Olympic gold medal, I think I got a little bit loose.”

There is speculation that this may be her final competition:

After winning the gold medal at the Olympics, Kim insinuated that she may retire, saying she has “achieved everything.” Later she took a more cautious approach, saying she would focus on the World Championships and then think about her future direction afterward.

It is uncertain whether Kim will continue to compete or turn professional, but experts say that to keep her marketability high it would be better to remain in competition. Kim’s brand value soared with her winning the Olympic gold.

[ snip ]

Kim will return to Seoul after the World Championships on March 31 and perform in an ice show for three days from April 16 at Olympic Park’s Gymnastics Stadium. With the ice show, her contract with IB Sports will expire. The management agency is naturally eager to renew its contract with the biggest sports icon in Korea.

[ snip ]

The chemistry between the company and Kim is said to be very good, so many expect the contract will be renewed. However, it all depends on what decisions Kim makes about her future after the championships.

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