Yuna Kim

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Yuna Kim
YuNaKimInVancouver.jpg
Personal information
Country represented South Korea South Korea
Born (1990-09-05) September 5, 1990 (age 27)
Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
Residence Seoul, South Korea
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 4 12 in)
Former coach Shin Hea-sook
Ryu Jong-hyun
Peter Oppegard
Brian Orser
Kim Se-yol
Chi Hyun-jung
Former choreographer David Wilson
Sandra Bezic
Tom Dickson
Brian Orser
Jeffrey Buttle
Jadene Fullen
Kim Se-yol
Catarina Lindgren
Chi Hyun-jung
Garnet
Former skating club East West Ice Palace
TCS & CC
Began skating 1996
Retired February 20, 2014
World standing 24 (2012–2013)[1]
51 (2011–2012)[2]
6 (2010–2011)[3]
1 (2009–2010)[4]
2 (2008–2009)[5]
2 (2007–2008)[6]
2 (2006–2007)[7]
10 (2005–2006)[8]
Season's bests 2 (2013–2014)[9]
1 (2012–2013)[10]
3 (2010–2011)[11]
1 (2009–2010)[12]
1 (2008–2009)[13]
1 (2007–2008)
3 (2006–2007)
8 (2005–2006)
14 (2004–2005)
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 228.56[14]
2010 Winter Olympics
Short program 78.50[15]
2010 Winter Olympics
Free skate 150.06[16]
2010 Winter Olympics
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised Romanization Gim Yeona[17]
McCune–Reischauer Kim Yŏna

Yuna Kim (born on September 5, 1990, in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province), also credited in eastern name order as Kim Yuna or Kim Yeon-ah, is a South Korean former professional figure skater. She is the 2010 Olympic champion and 2014 silver medalist in ladies' singles; the 2009 & 2013 World champion; the 2009 Four Continents champion; a three-time (2006–2007, 2007–2008, 2009–2010) Grand Prix Final champion; the 2006 World Junior champion; the 2005 Junior Grand Prix Final champion; and a six-time (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2013, 2014) South Korean national champion.

Kim is the first South Korean figure skater to win a medal at an ISU Junior or Senior Grand Prix event, ISU Championship, and the Olympic Games. She is the first female skater to win the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the Four Continents Championships, and the Grand Prix Final. She is one of the most highly recognized athletes and media figures in South Korea. She is known as the "ice queen".[18] As a result of her numerous accomplishments, she is frequently referred to as Queen Yuna by various media across the world.[19][20]

She is the former record holder for ladies in the short program, free skate and combined total[21] under the ISU Judging System. She has broken world record scores 11 times[21][22][23] under the ISU Judging System since 2007, eight of which being records she herself set. She is also the first female skater to surpass the 140-point and 150-point free skating mark[23] and the 200-point, 210-point and 220-point total mark[21] under the ISU Judging System. Throughout her entire career, Kim had never finished a competition off the podium. Due to her first rate artistry and musical sense, graceful skating skills, and exceptional speed, consistency, quality of her huge and technically near textbook jumps, and longevity and competitive record at a time of unprecedented depth in ladies skating, she is regarded by many as the best ladies singles skater of all time.[24][25][26]

Kim was the highest paid athlete in the XXI Olympic Winter Games,[27] the 5th, 7th, 6th and 4th top-earning sportswoman in the world in 2010,[28] 2012,[29] 2013[30] and 2014[31] respectively according to Forbes. The business magazine has also listed her in their 30 under 30[32] and Philanthropy[33] lists. She was included in Time magazine's annual Time 100 of World's Most Influential People in 2010.[34] Kim was the first to top Forbes Korea Power Celebrity and was ranked in the Top 10 from 2010 to 2015.[35][36][37][38][39][40] Kim lit the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.[41]

Early life and education[edit]

Kim was born in 1990 in Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do, and moved to Gunpo when she was six years old.[42] In 2013, Kim graduated from Korea University with a degree Sports Education.[43]

Personal life[edit]

Kim became a Roman Catholic in 2008 after a devout Catholic doctor helped heal severe skating injuries that she incurred in 2006–2007.[44] Her Confirmation name is Stella from "Stella Maris" in Latin, meaning Our Lady, Star of the Sea, an ancient title of The Blessed Virgin Mary. She makes the Sign of the Cross and wears a rosary ring during competitions.

Kim has donated more than 3.1 billion won ($2.67 million) to various charitable causes, as of April 2015.[45][46][47]

Name spelling[edit]

The correct transliteration of her name, 김연아, would be "Kim Yeon-a".[48] However, when Kim applied for her passport, she intended to write her name as "Yeon-a", but the official miswrote her name as "Yu-na", which is written as "유나" rather than "연아".[49] From the 2010–2011 season, her name was registered as "Yuna Kim" at her International Skating Union profile,[50] and she has requested media to be referred to in English using western name order as "Yuna Kim" instead of "Kim Yu-na".[51]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Kim began skating at the age of 6.[52] Her coach at the time, Ryu Jong-hyun, strongly suggested to Kim's mother that Kim should continue to skate, predicting that she would become a world-class figure skater in the future.[53] In a 2011 interview, she gave credit to her coaches for noticing her aptness for skating, stating, "My coaches have told me my muscles and body structure are perfect for skating. I was born with a good instrument, maybe more so than the talent. I was lucky my coaches noticed early on and helped me develop that. A lot of people don't know they are born that way."[54]

During her junior years, South Korea had limited facilities for figure skaters. Describing training conditions for competitive figure skaters, Kim said in an October 2010 interview with CNN, "During my early skating years, there were not many ice rinks in Korea and even the few rinks that existed, most of them were public. Even now, when athletes want to practice, they have to use the rink very early [in the] morning or late at night. Also, as there aren't enough ice rinks to facilitate all the figure skating teams, skaters often have to train in different rinks from day to day. Furthermore, as most rinks are too cold, there is always high possibility of injury."[55] As proper skate shops were also lacking, Kim frequently had to wear ill-fitting skates in her teenage years, making it hard for her to balance and resulting in many injuries.[56][57]

In 2002, Kim competed internationally for the first time at the Triglav Trophy in Slovenia, where she won the gold medal in the novice competition.[58] A year later, at age 12, she won the senior title at the South Korean Championships, becoming the youngest skater ever to win that title. She won her second international competition at the Golden Bear of Zagreb, a novice competition.[59] She continued her reign as the South Korean champion in between 2003 and 2005.

Junior career[edit]

2004–2005 season[edit]

In the 2004–2005 season, Kim competed as a junior at the ISU Junior Grand Prix. She won a silver medal at the event in China and a gold medal at the event in Hungary. She won a silver medal at the 2004–2005 Junior Grand Prix Final with an overall score of 137.75 points.

She retained her National Championship title for the third year in a row on her way to the 2005 World Junior Championships. At that competition, she won a silver medal earning 158.93 points and landed her first triple-triple combination jump in the free skating.

2005–2006 season[edit]

For the 2005–2006 season, Kim was not old enough to compete at the 2006 Olympics, instead, she competed in the 2005–2006 Junior Grand Prix and won both of her competitions in Bulgaria and Slovakia. At the 2005–2006 Junior Grand Prix Final, she won the competition 28.34 points ahead of silver medalist Aki Sawada. During her free skate, she landed seven triple jumps, including a triple fliptriple toe loop combination and a double axeltriple toe loop combination.

Kim won her fourth senior national title. At the 2006 World Junior Championships, she won the gold medal scoring 177.54 points overall, with a 24.19-point margin of victory over silver medalist Mao Asada.

Senior career[edit]

2006–2007 season[edit]

Kim performing her free skate to The Lark Ascending at the 2006 Skate Canada.

In order to prepare for her senior debut in the 2006–2007 season, Kim trained extensively at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, during the summer of 2006.[42]

Kim made her senior international debut at 2006 Skate Canada where she won a bronze medal after being placed first at the short program and fourth in the free skate program with a total overall score of 168.48 points.

At the 2006 Trophée Eric Bompard, Kim received a score of 65.22 in the short program and 119.32 in the free skate, placing first both of them and won the event with 184.54 points, 10.10 points ahead of silver medalist Miki Ando. Those performances qualified Kim for the Grand Prix Final for the first time.

At the 2006 Grand Prix Final in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Kim placed third in the short program with 65.06 points and first in the free skating with 119.14. She won the Grand Prix Final earning 184.20 points, by a margin of 11.68 ahead over silver medalist Mao Asada.

Kim was forced to withdraw due to an injury at the 2007 South Korean Championships and was unable to defend her national title. In January 2007, Kim was diagnosed as being in the early stage of lumbar disc herniation (L4~L5).[60]

Kim was selected to compete at the 2007 World Championships based on her performance during the season. Because of the placement of Choi Ji Eun the year before, South Korea had only one spot in the World Championships. During the World Championships in Tokyo, Japan, Kim won the short program with 71.95 points, setting the highest short program score ever under the ISU Judging System and consequently, a world record.[61] She was on her way to a near certain gold medal but two costly falls on triple lutzes dropped her to third place overall, behind Miki Ando and Mao Asada, finishing fourth in the long program. Kim's placement qualified South Korea two ladies entries for the 2008 World Figure Skating Championships.[62]

In March 2007, Brian Orser became her new full-time coach. Satisfied with the training environment in Toronto, Kim made Toronto her training home.[18][63]

2007–2008 season[edit]

Kim was assigned to the 2007 Cup of China and the 2007 Cup of Russia Grand Prix for the 2007–2008 ISU Grand Prix season.

Kim started off the 2007–2008 season winning the 2007 Cup of China with a total score of 180.68 points, which was 24.34 ahead of silver medalist Caroline Zhang. She landed a triple flip-single toe loop combination, a triple Lutz, a double Axel and placed 3rd in the short program. But the next day, she hit a triple flip-triple toe loop combination, a triple loop, triple lutz-double toe loop combination, double axel-triple toe loop combination, a single lutz, a triple salchow, a double axel and three level-four spins to score 122.36 points in the free skating.

At the 2007 Cup of Russia, Kim won both the short program scoring 63.50 points and the free skate with 133.70 points, to finish first overall with 197.20 points, 24.43 ahead of silver medalist Yukari Nakano, which set a world record for the free skate score under the ISU Judging System. She executed triple flip-triple toe loop combination, a triple loop, a triple lutz-double toe loop combination, a double axel-triple toe loop combination, a triple lutz, triple salchow, and double axel.[64]

Kim qualified for the 2007–2008 Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy. She won the short program with 64.62 points and was placed second in the free skate earning 132.21. With a total score of 196.83 points, Kim won her second Grand Prix Final.

Kim did not compete at the 2008 Korean National Championships and the 2008 Four Continents Championships due to a hip injury.

With persistent hip injury and back pain, she competed at the 2008 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.[42] She was placed fifth in the short program with 59.85 points, but rebounded in the free skate to win the program with 123.38. She scored 183.23 points overall, winning her second consecutive bronze medal at the World Championships. Despite being injured and not near her best, some believed she was hard done by in the long program scoring, and perhaps should have scored highly enough to win the overall title ahead of Mao Asada and Carolina Kostner.[65] Kostner's silver was especially controversial as she made five jumping errors in the long program, and the crowd booed loudly when both Kim and fourth-place finisher Yukari Nakano finished beneath her.

2008–2009 season[edit]

Kim performing her short program to Danse Macabre at the 2009 World Championships.

Kim was assigned to the 2008 Skate America and the 2008 Cup of China Grand Prix for the 2008–2009 ISU Grand Prix season.

At the 2008 Skate America, Kim was placed first in the short program with a score of 69.50, standing out by the margin of 11.70 points despite a trouble in her double axel.[66] She went on to capture the ladies title by winning the free skate as well with a score of 123.95. She won the event earning 193.45 points overall, a score that was more than 20 points ahead of silver medalist Yukari Nakano of Japan.

Her success continued at the 2008 Cup of China, where she received a score of 63.64 in the short program and 128.11 in the free skate, placing first in both of them. The combined total of 191.75 was nearly 21 points ahead of silver medalist Miki Ando of Japan. Her performance qualified her for a spot in the Grand Prix Final.

During the 2008–2009 Grand Prix Final, which was held in Goyang, South Korea, she was placed first in the short program with 65.94 points and second in the free skate where she earned 120.41 points. She won a silver medal with a total score of 186.35 points, 2.20 behind Mao Asada of Japan.

Kim competed in the 2009 Four Continents in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She set a new world record of 72.24 points in the short program with a clean performance.[67] She scored 116.83 in the free skating program, keeping the lead with 189.07 points overall and winning the gold medal.

During the 2009 World Championships, held in Los Angeles, United States, she set another new world record of 76.12 points in the short program, surpassing her previous record by almost four points.[68] She performed a triple fliptriple toe loop combination, a triple lutz and a double axel as well as earning a level four on all her spins and her spiral sequence. She also won the free skating program, scoring 131.59 points and showing great presentation skills with her artistry and her musicality. She executed a triple flip-triple toe loop combination, a double axel, a triple lutz-double toe loop-double loop combination, a double axel-triple toe loop combination, a triple lutz and a double axel. As a result, she set a new world record total of 207.71 as well as winning her first World Championship title and she became the first female skater to surpass 200 points[69] under the ISU Judging System. Her margin of victory was 16.42 points ahead of silver medalist Joannie Rochette. Also, she was the only competitor who earned eights in program components marks in both the short program and the free skate at the competition.[70][71] She was the only female skater whose figure skating combination was recognized by the judges in both the short and free programs during the 2008–2009 season.[72][73]

2009–2010 season[edit]

Kim performing her short program to the 007 James Bond Medley at the 2009 Trophée Eric Bompard.

Kim was assigned to the 2009 Trophée Eric Bompard and the 2009 Skate America in the 2009–2010 ISU Grand Prix season.

At the Trophée Eric Bompard, she placed first in the short program with the score of 76.08 points, 16.44 points ahead of Yukari Nakano. She successfully executed a triple lutztriple toe loop combination, followed by a triple flip and a double axel. Her spiral sequence and all three spins were graded a level four. Opening with a triple lutztriple toe loop combination and showing great artistic skills, she won the free skate scoring 133.95 points. She also executed a double axeldouble toe loopdouble loop, a double axeltriple toe loop, a triple salchow, a triple lutz and a double axel. She won the event with 210.03 points, 36.04 ahead of silver medalist Mao Asada. Kim set world records for the free skate and the overall score under the ISU Judging System at the competition.[63][74]

At the 2009 Skate America, Kim placed first again after the short program with the score of 76.28, which was 17.48 points ahead of her closest competitor Rachael Flatt. She received +2.20 grade of execution for her triple lutztriple toe loop combination,[75] the highest ever given for jumps by the ISU in ladies' figure skating. She placed second in the free skate with the score of 111.70 points, due to mistakes in her jumps. Although it was one of her lowest scores, she still won the event with 187.98 points, beating silver medalist Rachael Flatt with a lead of 13.07. At the competition, she set a new world record again for the short program under the ISU Judging System.[76]

Her victories in both Grand Prix events qualified her for the 2009–2010 Grand Prix Final in Tokyo, Japan, in December 2009. At the event, she placed second in the short program with 65.64 points, 0.56 behind Miki Ando. The next day, she won the free skate with 123.22 points. As a result, Kim won her 3rd Grand Prix Final title with a total of 188.86 points.

In February 2010, Kim competed in the ladies event at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, where she captured Olympic gold.

In March 2010, Kim competed at the 2010 World Championships in Turin, Italy. Kim said she had struggled with finding the motivation to compete at the World Championships after winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games.[77] Kim placed seventh in the short program with 60.30 points. She opened with a triple lutztriple toe loop combination, but had problems with her layback spin and spiral sequence after unseen problems with her boots. She rebounded in the free skate to win the program with 130.49 points completing a triple lutztriple toe loop combination, a triple flip, a double axeldouble toe loopdouble loop combination, a double axeltriple toe loop combination and a triple lutz, but having trouble with her triple salchow and double axel. She won the silver medal totaling 190.79 points.

2010 Winter Olympics[edit]

In February 2010, Kim competed in the ladies event at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She entered the Games as a strong favorite to win the gold.[78]

In the short program on February 23, she executed a triple lutztriple toe loop combination, a triple flip and a double axel. Her spirals and her spins were graded a level four. Her technical score of 44.70 points was the highest ever. She also achieved a score of 33.80 in the program components. As a result, Kim scored 78.50 points, taking the lead by 4.72 over Mao Asada of Japan and achieving her best score in the short program. She set a new world record.[79]

On February 25, she won the free skate with a new record of 150.06 points. Kim landed a triple lutztriple toe loop combination, a triple flip, a double axeldouble toe loopdouble loop combination, a double axeltriple toe loop combination, a triple salchow, a triple lutz and a double axel as well as receiving level fours for her spins and her spiral sequence. Both her technical score of 78.30 and her presentation of 71.76 were the highest of the night. She was the only competitor to earn nines in her program components scores.[80] She set a new world record for the free skate under the ISU Judging System.[81] Overall, Kim totaled 228.56 points, shattering her personal best and own old world record by a margin of 18 points and will have become the longest standing record performance in the current ISU Judging System.[81] She won the gold medal, becoming the first South Korean skater to medal in any discipline of figure skating at the Olympic Games. She also set a new Olympic record. Kim's gold medal was South Korea's first medal at the Winter Olympics in a sport other than speed skating or short track.[82]

Kim's short program, long program and combined total scores in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were the highest scores ever since the ISU Judging System was created, and were automatically registered in the Guinness World Records.[83] Her immaculate routines in the Olympics were considered to be one of the greatest performances in figure skating history. After the 2010 Winter Olympics, personalities such as Jacques Rogge[84] and Hillary Clinton[85] praised Kim's Olympic performance.

2010–2011 and 2011–2012 seasons[edit]

Kim performing her free skate to "Homage to Korea" at the 2011 World Championships.

In August 2010, Kim and her coach of four years, Brian Orser, parted ways. Their split was first made known to the public by Orser's press release. Orser's dismissal was reported as "sudden and unexpected" and no explanation was given for the split.[86] Orser made the separation public, saying he did not want it to become a distraction for his other skaters, including Americans Adam Rippon and Christina Gao.[87] Rippon said in an interview that they had known about the situation longer than the general public, and had had time to deal with it, noting that "it hasn't affected Brian's coaching, and it certainly hasn't affected my training".[88] Kim posted an online message accusing Orser of lying.[89] She stated on her official website that they had been maintaining an awkward and ambiguous relationship for months and that she was perplexed by Orser's announcement. She also said that the dismissal had been her decision and that the reason behind it did not need to be made public.[90][91] After the split, Orser gave several interviews regarding the end of their collaboration.[92][93] On August 25, 2010, Orser caused controversy by revealing Kim's 2010–2011 competitive program information to the press without Kim and her choreographer's consent.[94][95] Soon after, Kim left the rink where she had trained with Orser to train at the East West Ice Palace in Los Angeles owned by Michelle Kwan and Kwan's family.[96] On October 5, 2010, Peter Oppegard was announced as Kim's coach.[97]

Kim was assigned to the 2010 Cup of China and to the 2010 Cup of Russia for the 2010–2011 ISU Grand Prix season. However, she chose not to compete in the Grand Prix series to focus on the 2011 World Championships.[98] She won the silver medal at the event after being placed first in the short program and second in the free skating with a total score of 194.50 points, 1.29 points behind Miki Ando. Her loss was controversial at the time, and many felt Kim should have won another world title.

She said she might miss the next Grand Prix series due to her work promoting South Korea's successful bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics.[99] In May 2011, Kim told Around the Rings that bringing the Winter Olympics to PyeongChang would be an inspiration to young athletes in Korea.[100] She officially stated to sit out the entire 2011–2012 season on October 18, 2011.[101]

2012–2013 season[edit]

Kim performing her free skate to Les Misérables at the 2013 World Championships.

On July 2, 2012, Kim announced her intention to skate competitively in the 2012–13 season, with the ultimate goal of skating in the 2014 Winter Olympics.[102] However, Kim was not invited to skate on the 2012–13 Grand Prix circuit so she decided to participate in minor events to score enough technical points to qualify for the 2013 World Championships.[103]

Kim left Oppegard and started training with her childhood coaches Shin Hea-sook and Ryu Jong-hyun.[104][105]

Her first competition of the season was the 2012 NRW Trophy which was held in Dortmund, Germany, from December 5–9, 2012.[105] She competed at the event to earn the minimum score required for Championship events.[106] Kim placed first in the short program with a score of 72.27 points and also won the free skate with 129.34 to claim the gold medal. With the requirements met, Kim's agency said she would focus on Korean nationals and the World Championships.[107]

In January 2013 due to her lack of competition in the previous season, Kim had to compete in the 2013 South Korean Championships to pick herself a spot for the 2013 World Championships. She placed first in the short program with a score of 64.97 points despite having some problems in that segment of the competition. She also won the free skate totaling 145.80 after performing a clean program where she executed a triple lutztriple toe loop combination, a triple flip, a triple salchow, a triple lutz, a double axeldouble toe loopdouble loop combination, a triple salchowdouble toe loop combination and a double axel. Her total score of 210.77 points was 48.89 ahead of silver medalist Park So-youn. As a result, Kim won her fifth national title and thus qualified to compete in the World Championships.

At the 2013 World Championships, Kim placed first in the short program with a score of 69.97 points after completing a triple lutztriple toe loop combination, a triple flip and a double axel, taking the lead over Carolina Kostner from Italy by 3.11 points. She also won the free skate after executing a clean long program and earning 148.34 points. Her technical score of 74.73 and her presentation of 73.61 were both the highest of the night, and she was also the only skater of the competition to get tens in her program components.[108] Totaling 218.31 points overall Kim claimed her second world title, surpassing the rest of the competitors by 20.42 points, which was the largest difference between gold and silver in the nine years the ISU Judging System had been used in the World Championships.[109] Her world title secured three spots for South Korea in the ladies event for the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2014 World Championships.

2013–2014 season[edit]

At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

In the 2013–2014 ISU Grand Prix season, Kim was assigned to compete in the 2013 Skate Canada International and in the 2013 Trophée Eric Bompard. However, on September 26 it was announced that Kim would not compete in the Grand Prix series due to a metatarsal injury to her right foot (bruised bones) from excessive training, with recovery expected to take up to six weeks.[110]

Kim competed in 2013 Golden Spin of Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia from December 5–8, 2013. She placed first in the short program with a score of 73.37 points and also won the free program with 131.12 points, despite falling on a triple lutz. She won the gold medal with a total score of 204.49 points, beating Miki Ando of Japan by 27.67 points.[111][112][113]

In early January, Kim competed in the 2014 South Korean Championships. She led after a perfect short program with 80.60 points and also won the free program with 147.26 points. As a result, Kim won her sixth national title with a total score of 227.86 points.

In February 2014, Kim competed in the ladies event at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. She performed two programs during the event; both programs were intended as farewell performances of her competitive career. She led the short program and came in second in the free program. She finished with a silver Olympic medal. There has been much controversy over this as many believed Kim should have been awarded a Gold medal instead. There were also many who believed bronze medalist Carolina Kostner outskated Sotnikova, and that Sotnikova should have placed no higher than a bronze overall and 4th in the long program behind Kim, Kostner, and Asada (who, after a rough short programm skated a historic 8 triple long program from an earlier flight). There was suspicion both over Sotnikova's PCS where despite her sloppier, slower, and less mature skating she received higher PCS than others considered far stronger artistically and in basic skating skills such as Kostner, Asada, and American veteran Ashley Wagner, and on par with Kim. Also, over much of the technical scores where both Kim and Kostner were given numerous 0s for huge jumps or extremely well done elements, Sotnikova received +3s across the board almost unanimously - when Sotnikova received some 0s for a jump combination she badly stumbled out of and should have received a significant negative point outlet and then also received huge points for a flutzed triple lutz-triple toe (which did not receive an edge call), this was scored almost on par with Kim's perfectly done triple lutz-triple toe. There was also controversy on some technical levels such as the footwork where both Kostner and possibly Kim met the requirements by the rulebook for level 4 but were graded level 3, while Sotnikova did not meet the requirements for level 4 but was still called a level 4 footwork sequence.[114] Other competitors such as American veteran Ashley Wagner, who finished only 7th despite consistent performances behind skates by another young Russian Yulia Lipnitskaya who fell once each in her short and long programs, also blasted the judging saying "I feel gypped, people don't want to watch a sport where you see people fall down and somehow score above someone who goes clean". Kurt Browning, a four-time World Champion and CBC commentator stated "I just couldn't see how Yu-na and Sotnikova were so close in the components. I was shocked. What, suddenly, she just became a better skater overnight? I don't know what happened. I'm still trying to figure it out." And American icon Dick Button stated "Sotnikova was energetic, strong, commendable, but not a complete skater".[115] As anticipated, Kim announced that the Olympics would mark the end of her competitive skating career.[116]

Skating technique[edit]

Kim is famous for her strong technical skills, speed, consistency, and artistry on the ice. Her programs are often commended for their ice coverage, musicality, and delicate interpretation.[117][118][119][120] "She’s beautiful. She has the combination of the technical elements and the grace and musicality, and that’s what you want in skating", remarked Peggy Fleming.[121]

Kim performs a bent-layover spin during practice at the 2008–2009 Grand Prix Final.

Kim landed her first triple jump at the age of 10, and by age 12, she used five triple jumps in her programs.[122] She landed her first triple-triple combination jump, a triple toe-triple toe combination, at age of 14 at the 2005 World Junior Championships.[123] She is also known to practice triple axels in training.[124]

She is well known for her signature triple-triple jump combinations including triple lutztriple toe loop,[125] and triple fliptriple toe loop.[126] She can also execute a triple lutzdouble toe loopdouble loop jump combination.[127] Another signature jump in her repertoire is a layback Ina Bauer or spread eagle that leads to either a double axel, a double axeltriple toe loop jump combination or a double axeldouble toe loopdouble loop jump combination - a difficult transition given the required shift in weight and edges. Kim personally stated that her favorite jumps are the lutz, flip, and axel. Commentators and analysts consistently refer to her jumps as textbook standard. Her jump techniques are well praised for their high-speed entry, height, position, and quality of running edges.[128] She has received +2.20 grade of execution for the quality of her jumps.[75]

One of Kim's most famous moves is the bent-leg layover camel spin. She has performed the spin position since 2004. Although she did not invent the move, it is now frequently called the "Yuna spin" or "Yuna camel". She frequently does a combination spin that leads to a skate-held I-spin towards the end of her programs.[129][130][131][132][133]

Records and achievements[edit]

  • Former world record holder for the ladies' combined total score. Kim set the record three times and held the record for the longest time from 28 March 2009 to 27 January 2017.[21]
  • Former world record holder for the ladies' short program score. Kim set the record five times and held the record for the longest time from 23 March 2007 to 27 March 2014[22]
  • Former world record holder for the ladies' free skate score. Kim set the record three times and held the record for the longest time from 24 November 2007 to 2 April 2016[23]
  • First and only figure skater to have never finished off the podium in her entire career under the current ISU judging system.[24][25][26]
  • First figure skater to achieve a Career Super Grand Slam under the current ISU judging system. She is the first and only ladies' singles skater to win gold in all major ISU championship titles including the Junior Grand Prix Series and Final, World Junior Championships, Grand Prix Series and Final, Four Continents Championships, World Championships, and Winter Olympic Games.[134][135][136]
  • First female skater to break the 200-point, 210-point, and 220-point mark in the ladies' combined total in international competition (2009 World Championships, 2009 Trophée Eric Bompard, 2010 Winter Olympics).[21]
  • First female skater to break the 140-point and 150-point mark in the ladies' free skate total in international competition (2010 Winter Olympics).[23]
  • First female skater to break the 75-point mark in the ladies' short program in international competition (2009 World Championships).[22]

List of Kim's world record scores[edit]

Kim has broken world records 11 times in her career:

Combined total records[21]
Date Score Event Note
25 February 2010 228.56 2010 Winter Olympics Kim became the first lady to score above 220 points.
The record was broken by Evgenia Medvedeva on 27 January 2017.
17 October 2009 210.03 2009 Trophée Éric Bompard Kim became the first lady to score above 210 points.
28 March 2009 207.71 2009 World Championships Kim became the first lady to score above 200 points.
Short program records[22]
Date Score Event Note
23 February 2010 78.50 2010 Winter Olympics The record was broken by Mao Asada on 27 March 2014.
14 November 2009 76.28 2009 Skate America
27 March 2009 76.12 2009 World Championships Kim became the first lady to score above 75 points in short program.
4 February 2009 72.24 2009 Four Continents Championships
23 March 2007 71.95 2007 World Championships
Free skating records[23]
Date Score Event Note
25 February 2010 150.06 2010 Winter Olympics Kim became the first lady to score above 150 points in free skating.
The record was broken by Evgenia Medvedeva on 2 April 2016.
17 October 2009 133.95 2009 Trophée Éric Bompard
24 November 2007 133.70 2007 Cup of Russia
Junior ladies' short program records
Date Score Event Note
11 March 2006 60.86 2006 World Junior Championships The record was broken by Caroline Zhang on 1 March 2008.
Junior ladies' free skating records
Date Score Event Note
4 September 2004 101.32 2004 ISU Junior Grand Prix, Hungary The record was broken by Mao Asada on 5 December 2004.

In the media[edit]

Kim performs her exhibition to Méditation at the 2010 All That Skate LA.

Among Kim's official sponsors are Kookmin Bank, Nike, Korean Air, Samsung and Hyundai Motor Company. Her other endorsements include Anycall (mobile phone), Hauzen (air conditioner), Lac Vert (cosmetics), Maeil Dairies Co. Ltd (dairy products), Maxim (coffee), Saffron (fabric softener), Tous Les Jours (bakery), J. Estina (jewelry) and Qua (apparel).[137] Her skating music and other favorites were compiled in the album Yuna Kim ~ Fairy on ICE ~ Skating Music (Universal Music Korea, 2008).[138]

Kim was the headliner of the ice show 2008, 2009 and 2010 Festa on Ice produced by her former agency, IB Sports. IB Sports produced another ice show, Ice All Stars 2009, which took place in Seoul on August 14–16, 2009. Michelle Kwan, who is Kim's idol and the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, joined the ice show.[139]

Kim also had been awarded the Talent Medal of Korea, as Winner[140] in 2008.

In April 2010, Kim left IB Sports and set up her own agency called All That Sports Corp. (AT Sports) with the support of her mother.[141] They organized an ice show, All That Skate.[142]

Kim has appeared in many commercials in South Korea. Her commercial for a new touchscreen haptic phone from Samsung Electronics, dubbed as Yuna's Haptic (SPH-W7700), sold over one million devices in a record seven months.[143][144][145] The "Yuna's Haptic" cell phone, released in May 2009 sold over 550 thousand devices in the first 80 days of sales. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Forbes magazine named Kim, along with American snowboarder Shaun White, as the top-earning athletes participating in the Olympics with $7.5 million each to their name.[146] In August 2010, Forbes magazine listed her as one of the highest-paid female athletes in the world, with annual earnings of $9.7 million.[147][148]

Kim also worked in several projects as a singer. She recorded a duet with K-pop singer Lee Seung-gi to collaborate on "Smile Boy", the 2010 Football World Cup commercial song.[149][150][151] She also sang with Korean band Big Bang on the single "Shouts of Reds" created for the Korean World Cup soccer team. Kim has also performed songs by Korean pop singers Taeyeon from Girls' Generation, IU, Narsha and BoA on the television show Kim Jung Eun's Chocolate.[152] Here is a list of Yuna Kim's projects as a singer:[153][154]

  • The Star Show - single (SBSi, 2008)
  • Yuna Kim: Fairy on the Ice - album (Universal Music Group, 2008)
  • Smile Boy, with Lee Seung-gi - single (Hook Entertainment, 2010)
  • Super Girl, with Sistar and Electroboyz - single (Cheil Worldwide/LOEN Entertainment, 2010)
  • Winter Dream, with Lena Park - single (Cheil Worldwide/Universal Music Group, 2011)
  • Ice Flower, with IU - single (LOEN Entertainment, 2011)
  • Homage to Korea - single (Universal Music Group, 2011)
  • The Queen on Ice - album (Universal Music Group, 2011)
  • The Queen on Ice: Yuna Kim 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Program - single (Universal Music Group, 2014)
Kim at the 2010 Time 100 Gala

Kim was named as an ambassador for the 2010–2012 Visit Korea Year.[155] Kim has been rated as one of the world's most influential people in 2010 by TIME. In July 2010, Kim was named international UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.[156] She was also named an ambassador for the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit alongside actress Han Hyo-joo and soccer player representative Park Ji-sung.[157]

In August 2010, in honor of Kim's visit, the city of Los Angeles designated August 7 as "Yu-Na Kim Day" and granted her honorary citizenship. She also received the "Proud Korean Award" from the Korean American Leadership Foundation in the city on the same day as Sammy Lee, the two-time Olympic gold medalist in men's diving in 1948 and 1952.[158][159][160]

In September 2010, Kim was invited to the United Nation's New York headquarters to mark the annual International Day of Peace celebration in capacity of UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador.[161] She joined the ceremony alongside high level UN officials including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Goodwill Ambassadors representing other branches of the United Nations. There, she advocated peace messages from UNICEF.[162]

In October 2010, Kim and her management All That Sports debuted 2010 All That Skate LA, a US version of their highly successful Korean ice show brand, All That Skate, at Staples Center, Los Angeles. The show, which was directed by renowned Canadian choreographer David Wilson and boasted an impressive all-star cast, including the five-time world champion Michelle Kwan, the reigning Olympic champions from three skating disciplines including Kim, and many world champions, received rave reviews from both figure skating fans and critics for bringing a new style of skating show to the US and also for its overall high quality production.[163][164][165]

Kim won the Sportswoman of the Year Award from Women's Sports Foundation on October 12, 2010.[166]

On January 28, 2010, Kim published her book, Kim Yu-na's Seven-Minute Drama, about her experience with figure skating since the age of seven to the preparation of 2010 Winter Olympic in Vancouver. The Chosun Ilbo stated that the book "deals with her attempts to overcome her obstacles and to become the world's top figure skater."[167][168][169] In addition to this book, she also wrote a book called Like Yuna Kim, published on March 30, 2010. This book targets younger readers.[170]

Kim with then South Korea president Lee Myung-bak at the Talent Award of Korea Ceremony, August 2010

Kim played a key role in South Korea's effort to win the rights to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Kim was part of the Olympic Bidding Committee for PyeongChang, the Korean hosting city. The Korean committee members including Kim traveled to Durban, South Africa, where International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s decision for the hosting city was finalized on July 6, 2011. There, she fulfilled her role as Korean delegation by promoting PyeongChang as an athlete ambassador and an Olympic champion.[171][172] Kim was one of the eight Korean delegates who appeared before the July 6 IOC conference and delivered a presentation for Pyeongchang, which won the hosting rights over other rival cities, Munich of Germany and Annecy of France.[173][174] In October 2011, Kim was appointed a member of the Executive Committee of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games Organising Committee.

In May 2011, Kim began to host a program called Kim Yu-na's Kiss and Cry in SBS's Good Sunday. The program portrayed the challenging process of ten popular entertainers as they learned how to figure skate from professional skaters. The ten stars included comedian Kim Byung-man, singer U-Know of TVXQ, Krystal of f(x), IU, Son Dam-bi, actors Park Joon-geum, Seo Ji-seok, Lee Ah-hyun, Jin Ji-hee and speed skater Lee Kyou-hyuk.[175] The winner of the show was Krystal and her partner Lee Dong-hoon. The runner up was comedian Kim Byung-man and his partner Lee Soo-kyung. As a reward, Krystal and Lee Dong-hoon got to showcase their skating with Kim in the All That Skate exhibition that was held in August 2011.

Kim was heavily involved in the 2018 Winter Olympics, held in her home country. She co-starred with actor Park Bo-gum in Coca-Cola's campaign for the event, and lit the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony.

In August 18, 2011, Kim was named as a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics.[176] In October, Kim was named as an ambassador for 2012 Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck.[177]

In June 17, 2012, Kim took part in Artistry on Ice in China and Li Sheng, president of SECA, the host of Sunday's show, said it took two years to lure Kim. And added "It's a breakthrough in Artistry on Ice, and even in China's figure skating history, although she only took part in the Shanghai stop."[178]

Kim has stated that she hopes to become a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after the 2014 Sochi Games.[179] In August 27, 2015, Kim was named as an ambassador for 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer.[180]

She was awarded with a Cheongryong (Blue Dragon) Medal at the 54th Korea Sports Awards last October 2016. The medal was the highest decoration in South Korea's Order of Sports Merit.[181] She was also inducted to South Korea's Sports Hall of Fame last November 23, 2016. She won the honor as a sports hero for the year and is the youngest and only winter sports athlete among the inductees.[182]

Kim was named an official ambassador for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in South Korea and lit the Olympic flame in the Opening Ceremony.[183] She also co-stars in Coca-Cola's 2018 Winter Olympics campaign with actor Park Bo-gum.[184]

Programs[edit]

Season Exhibition
2017–2018
Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
2013–2014
[185]

2012–2013
[186]


2011–2012 Did not compete this season
2010–2011
[187]
2009–2010
[63][188]

2008–2009
[189]
2007–2008
[190]


2006–2007
[191]
2005–2006
[192]
2004–2005
[193]
2003–2004
2002–2003
2001–2002

Competitive highlights[edit]

GP: Grand Prix; JGP: Junior Grand Prix

Results[194]
International
Event 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2012–13 2013–14
Olympics 1st 2nd
Worlds 3rd 3rd 1st 2nd 2nd 1st
Four Continents 1st
Grand Prix Final 1st 1st 2nd 1st
GP Bompard 1st 1st
GP Cup of China 1st 1st
GP Cup of Russia 1st
GP Skate America 1st 1st
GP Skate Canada 3rd
Golden Spin 1st
NRW Trophy 1st
International: Junior, Novice
Junior Worlds 2nd 1st
JGP Final 2nd 1st
JGP Bulgaria 1st
JGP China 2nd
JGP Hungary 1st
JGP Slovakia 1st
Golden Bear 1st N.
Triglav Trophy 1st N.
National
South Korean 1st 1st[195] 1st 1st 1st 1st
South Korean Junior 1st
Levels: N. = Novice

Detailed results[edit]

(Small medals for short program and free skating awarded only at World, Four Continents, and World Junior Championships.)

Kim (center) with Mao Asada (left) and Joannie Rochette (right) on the 2010 Winter Olympics podium.

Senior results[edit]

2013–2014 season
Date Event SP FS Total
February 6–22, 2014 2014 Winter Olympics (Sochi) 1
74.92
2
144.19
2
219.11
January 1–5, 2014 68th South Korean National Championships 1
80.60
1
147.26
1
227.86
December 5–8, 2013 2013 Golden Spin of Zagreb 1
73.37
1
131.12
1
204.49
2012–2013 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 10–17, 2013 2013 ISU World Championships 1
69.97
1
148.34
1
218.31
January 2–6, 2013 67th South Korean National Championships 1
64.97
1
145.80
1
210.77
December 5–9, 2012 2012 NRW Trophy 1
72.27
1
129.34
1
201.61
2010–2011 season
Date Event SP FS Total
April 24 – May 1, 2011 2011 ISU World Championships 1
65.91
2
128.59
2
194.50
2009–2010 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 22–28, 2010 2010 ISU World Championships 7
60.30
1
130.49
2
190.79
February 14–27, 2010 2010 Winter Olympics (Vancouver) 1
78.50
1
150.06
1
228.56
December 3–6, 2009 2009–2010 ISU Grand Prix Final 2
65.64
1
123.22
1
188.86
November 12–15, 2009 2009 ISU Grand Prix Skate America 1
76.28
2
111.70
1
187.98
October 15–18, 2009 2009 ISU Grand Prix Trophée Eric Bompard 1
76.08
1
133.95
1
210.03
2008–2009 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 23–29, 2009 2009 ISU World Championships 1
76.12
1
131.59
1
207.71
February 2–8, 2009 2009 ISU Four Continents Championships 1
72.24
3
116.83
1
189.07
December 10–14, 2008 2008–2009 ISU Grand Prix Final 1
65.94
2
120.41
2
186.35
November 6–9, 2008 2008 ISU Grand Prix Cup of China 1
63.64
1
128.11
1
191.75
October 23–26, 2008 2008 ISU Grand Prix Skate America 1
69.50
1
123.95
1
193.45
2007–2008 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 17–23, 2008 2008 ISU World Championships 5
59.85
1
123.38
3
183.23
December 13–16, 2007 2007–2008 ISU Grand Prix Final 1
64.62
2
132.21
1
196.83
November 22–25, 2007 2007 ISU Grand Prix Cup of Russia 1
63.50
1
133.70
1
197.20
November 8–11, 2007 2007 ISU Grand Prix Cup of China 3
58.32
1
122.36
1
180.68
2006–2007 season
Date Event SP FS Total
March 19–25, 2007 2007 ISU World Championships 1
71.95
4
114.19
3
186.14
December 14–17, 2006 2006–2007 ISU Grand Prix Final 3
65.06
1
119.14
1
184.20
November 16–19, 2006 2006 ISU Grand Prix Trophée Eric Bompard 1
65.22
1
119.32
1
184.54
November 2–5, 2006 2006 ISU Grand Prix Skate Canada 1
62.68
4
105.80
3
168.48
  • World records highlighted in bold.
  • Season bests highlighted in Italic.

Junior and novice results[edit]

2005–2006 season
Date Event Level QR SP FS Total
March 6–12, 2006 2006 ISU World Junior Championships Junior 1
107.52
1
60.86
1
116.68
1
177.54
January 5–8, 2006 60th South Korean National Championships Senior 1
61.44
1
104.08
1
165.52
November 24–27, 2005 2005–2006 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Junior 1
57.51
1
116.61
1
174.12
September 29 – October 2, 2005 2005 ISU Junior Grand Prix, Bulgaria Junior 1
53.45
1
99.98
1
153.43
September 1–4, 2005 2005 ISU Junior Grand Prix, Slovakia Junior 1
58.63
1
110.20
1
168.83
2004–2005 season
Date Event Level QR SP FS Total
February 28 – March 6, 2005 2005 ISU World Junior Championships Junior 1
102.98
6
48.67
2
110.26
2
158.93
January 1–4, 2005 59th South Korean National Championships Senior 1 1 1
1.5
December 2–5, 2004 2004–2005 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final Junior 2
51.27
3
86.48
2
137.75
September 16–19, 2004 2004 ISU Junior Grand Prix, China Junior 4
38.87
1
92.35
2
131.22
September 1–5, 2004 2004 ISU Junior Grand Prix, Hungary Junior 1
47.23
1
101.32
1
148.55
2003–2004 season
Date Event Level QR SP FS Total
February 2–5, 2004 58th South Korean National Championships Senior 1 1 1
1.5
November 19–22, 2003 2003 Golden Bear of Zagreb Novice 1 1 1
1.5
2002–2003 season
Date Event Level QR SP FS Total
March 8–11, 2003 57th South Korean National Championships Senior 1 1 1
1.5
2001–2002 season
Date Event Level QR SP FS Total
April 18–21, 2002 2002 Triglav Trophy Novice 1 1 1
1.5
November 20–23, 2001 56th South Korean National Championships Junior 1 1 1
1.5
  • ISU season bests highlighted in Italic.
  • QR = Qualifying round

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External links[edit]

See also[edit]

World Records Holder
Preceded by
United States Sasha Cohen
Ladies' Short Program
23 March 2007 – 27 March 2014
Succeeded by
Japan Mao Asada
Preceded by
Japan Mao Asada
Ladies' Free Skating
24 November 2007 – 2 April 2016
Succeeded by
Russia Evgenia Medvedeva
Preceded by
Japan Mao Asada
Ladies' Total Score
28 March 2009 – 27 January 2017
Succeeded by
Russia Evgenia Medvedeva
World Junior Records Holder
Preceded by
Japan Mao Asada
Ladies' Junior Short Program
11 March 2006 – 1 March 2008
Succeeded by
United States Caroline Zhang
Preceded by
Canada Meagan Duhamel
Ladies' Junior Free Skating
4 September 2004 – 5 December 2004
Succeeded by
Japan Mao Asada
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Vanderlei de Lima
Final Olympic torchbearer
PyeongChang 2018
Succeeded by
TBA 2020
Preceded by
Vladislav Tretiak and Irina Rodnina
Final Winter Olympic torchbearer
PyeongChang 2018
Succeeded by
TBA 2022