Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yuna Kim disappointed over postponement of World FigureSkating Championships

‘Figure Queen’ Yuna Kim expressed her disappointment in Tokyo Figure Skating World Championships being postponed. 

Kim returned to Korea on the afternoon of March 20, 8 months after she left to train abroad. 
She waved to her fans and the press and then moved to the press conference room. 
“It was mentally difficult because it was a post-Olympic season. 
However, as each month passed my strength began to build up and my programs became more refined. 
My preparations were going great, to the point that I thought it was possible to be at my Olympic condition,” said Kim.
If things had gone as planned, Kim would have arrived in Tokyo, Japan on the 20th for the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships. 
However the earthquake and the tsunami that struck Japan caused the World Championships to be caught in limbo and Kim changed her destination to Korea. 
During her stay, Kim will help with the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic bid. She is also planning to participate in a ice show that is currently scheduled for May at the Jamsil Indoor Stadium. 

Following is the Q&A from Kim’s interview

- How does it feel to be back in Korea?
“I feel a bit nervous since it’s been 8 months. I was preparing for the World Championships, which were to be held in Japan, in L.A. 
Unfortunately, due to the circumstances that happened two weeks ago I changed plans and came to Korea. 
It is a bit disappointing that Worlds has been postponed, since I was confident that I could do well after all that training. 
But at this point I hope that no more damage will happen (in Japan), and that is more important than a competition.”

- How did you prepare for the World Championships?
“There were changes since I moved may training grounds and started training with a new coach. 
It was mentally difficult because it was a post-Olympic season. 
However, as each month passed my strength began to build up and my programs became more refined. 
My preparations were going great, to the point that I thought it was possible to be at my Olympic condition.“

- Will we be able to see you compete next season?
“The fate of this season’s World Championships still remains undecided. It seems a bit early to talk about next season.”
- When do you think is the best time for Worlds?
“Every skater prepared with March Tokyo Worlds in mind. If there is a change in time scheduling there will be some sort of effect. 
Mentally it is sort of a letdown. Whether it (Worlds) is in May or October it will be difficult to remain in top form.”
- It will be difficult to prepare for Worlds while helping with the PyeongChang bid.
“We can’t do much until the ISU makes a decision. For now I’ll concentrate on my role as honorary ambassador of the PyeongChang 2018 Bid Committee.”
- Will you skate to your new short program ‘Giselle’ at the ice show as planned?
“I’m a bit disappointed that I could not debut it at Worlds.
But since the ice show is scheduled for next month it is difficult to change my plans and so we decided to reveal it. 
Note: You said that you will debut ‘Giselle’ at an ice show. Will it be different from the one the World Championships program version?
 “There are a lot of environmental limitations in ice shows such as lighting and the size of the ice.
It will be difficult to do a triple combination so I will have to go for an alternate.”

- Are you planning to skate to your new exhibition program at the ice show?
“My new exhibition program was finished during January and February. I am planning to skate to it at the show.”
- Are you going to train without coach Peter Oppegard during your stay?
“I think I’ll be able to do it. Usually I train alone during my off-season stay in Korea.”

- What are your activities as an honorary ambassador of the PyeongChang 2018 Bid Committee?
“I’m planning to participate at the Sports Accord that will be held in Great Britain in April, and in May, the IOC technical briefing that will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland. 
There is also the IOC session in South Africa in July.”
- I must have been difficult to train during a post-Olympic season.  
“The post-Olympic season is mentally difficult to every Olympian. It was a difficult time for me as well. 
I think that is the reason that many skaters had a hard time this season, since figure skating is such a mental sport. 
But the skaters began to catch up to their usual paces as the season passed and they seemed to be in top form for the World Championships.”

- So does this mean that we will not be able to see your new free skating program?
“I can’t do the whole program but I may be able to skate to a shorter version in a show.”

Note: Kim said that she might skate to ‘Homage to Korea’ in a ice show in August.
If so she says it will be a shorter exhibition version of the original long program.

Note: If you reveal ‘Giselle’ and ‘Homage to Korea’ in the ice shows, will you prepare new programs for next season?
“I don’t know yet. I’ll have to discuss the matter.”
- A message for the Japanese fans who have been through so much.
 “I was a bit nervous and at the same time looked forward to skating (at Worlds) and am disappointed that I could not show them what I prepared. 
However Japan is currently in a difficult situation and I think it is inappropriate for me to think of Worlds over such a crisis.
I hope that the Japanese people will suffer no more damages.”

- A message to the Korean fans?
“It’s been quite a while since my last visit and I’m disappointed that I couldn’t show my skating to everyone. 
But I’ll train twice as hard to show you a great performance in the ice show in May. I hope that a lot of people watch.” 

source: Yuna's amazing fansite, Feverskating

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