Friday, January 28, 2011
Yuna Kim: "I'll still be skating" 10 years from now
In a new interview courtesy of Korea's The Herald Biz, Yuna talks about her future plans and how she still sees herself skating 10 years from now.
Q & A
Q: How are your preparations for the World Championships going? How about your programs?
A: I’m steadily preparing through physical training and working to perfect my programs.
Since there is plenty of time left till the competition I think I will be perfectly prepared.
Q: It’s been a while since you competed at an international competition.
There are some who worry that it may be difficult to adjust to actual competitions.
What did you concentrate on the most during your preparations?
A: During my training I focus on physical training and the perfection of my programs.
I feel the same sort of nervousness when I skate in a show and when I skate in a competition since both requires me to skate in front of large crowds.
That is why I am not very worried about skating in competitions. I think that if I am perfectly prepared good results will follow.
Q: Can you tell us about your daily schedule?
A: I go to the rink in the morning and I skate 2~3 sessions on the ice after warming up.
After that I have about 2 hours of off-ice training. I have physiotherapy and massages in the afternoon.
The rest of the time I rest or have free time. I also take English lessons three times a week.
Q: How is it like to train with Peter Oppegard? What things in specific does he help you with?
A: It’s been 3 months since I’ve been training with Peter Oppegard.
We get along well and the training atmosphere is very lively because there are a lot of other skaters training as well.
While Peter is generous with advice to help you boost your self-confidence during training, his training is also quite rigorous.
Training and program practices are intense but he always encourages the skaters.
He is always there with advice when we have a good practice, or when we are exhausted.
Training is not always easy but it’s a joy to skate with such delightful skaters.
Q: How about your choreographer David Wilson?
A: While I can’t see David Wilson as much as I used to, we still corresponded often through phone and mail so it hasn’t affected my training. David and I get along very well!
Q: Your free skating music is ‘Homage to Korea.’ Did you have any difficulties in choosing the music and what did it feel like after you skated the actual program?
A: ‘Homage to Korea’ is a collection of traditional Korean music. It is difficult because though the music is Korean I need to express it in a modern way and also apply it to skating.
I’m focusing on the emotional expression of Korean-ness rather than doing specific movements that are reminiscent of Korea.
I am trying my best to connect with the audience, so that they can feel it as well.
Q: Is there a story behind your choice of ‘Giselle’ for your short program?
A: There wasn’t any special behind story in particular. David said that he had a good idea and I listened to the music.
I liked it so much that I decided to skate to it on the spot. I want to express all the different emotions within the music.
Q: Can you tell us about your planned program components for your short and free? Within the limits you can tell us of course.
A: There isn’t much difference technically compared with last season. I’m concentrating on portraying the characters of each program.
Q: What does the coming Worlds mean to you personally?
A: Since I have achieved all the goals that I had set as an athlete, results do not hold a strong meaning for me.
I am a bit nervous to skate in front of my fans because it’s been awhile but it is also exciting.
I want to express the character of the program well and connect with the audience.
My free program ‘Homage to Korea’ in particular is special to me because it is my way of showing my gratitude to all the Korean people and my fans that have supported me.
I hope that people will like it.
Q: How often to you meet Michelle Kwan? What kind of advice does she give you?
A: We can’t meet often since Michelle is studying in Boston.
She comes home to L.A. for the holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas and when she does we talk about everyday stuff or skate together.
Q: Have you seen Mao Asada’s skates this season? What do you think has changed compared to last season? As a fellow competitor what did you think about her struggles?
A: To a lot of skaters the season after the Olympics is psychologically difficult. I think that all the skaters are going through that phase.
Q: You will be competing with Mao Asada at Worlds. A show-down is always nerve wrecking, how do you feel?
A: As always, I will be satisfied if I can show all the things that I have prepared. I think that good results follow if you do so.
Q: What are your plans after the World Championships?
A: Right now I’m only concentrating on Worlds. After that I’m planning to hold an ice show in Korea.
Q: Quite a few Korean skaters are improving nowadays such as Kwak Min-Jung, Lee Dong-Won, Kim Min-Seok, and Kim Hae-Jin.
Is there a particular skater that has caught your eye and why?
A: Kim Hae-Jin. Even though she is young she has solid techniques.
I saw her skate at the Korean Nationals on the Internet and I think that her body expressions are very good.
I think she is a talented skater, technically and artistically as well.
Q: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years time?
A: I’ll still be skating.