Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yuna Kim Throws Hat In The Ring

Yuna Kim in New York City. October 12, 2010.
Photo (c) Getty Images.
Kim Yuna's camp released a statement yesterday stating Kim's intention to compete in the 2011 World Championships, it will be her only competition of the season unless she decided to skate at the Four Continent Championships. The announcement comes just days after Kim's main rival, Japan's Mao Asada, did not make it to the Grand Prix Final.

Kim Yuna kept busy over the summer with her All That Skate shows followed by a dramatic break up with her coach Brian Orser. By early fall Kim moved on by bringing All That Skate to Los Angeles and announcing Peter Oppreggard as her new coach. A few media appearances throughout the fall, though, is all the skating world heard from their golden girl....

Until yesterday when she rocked their world once again saying she wasn't leaving competitive ice just yet. According to her press release, Kim will be skating to music from the ballet "Giselle" for her short program, while paying homage to her home country in her long program to "Arirang" - "the most famous piece of Korean Folk Music". David Wilson choreographed both programs, meaning the Short Program that Shae Lynn Bourne reportedly worked with Kim on has been scrapped.

Debate in skating circles revolves around whether or not the move to not skate until Worlds is a wise decision. With the ladies figure skating being in the state it's in - the more inconsistent skaters coming out on top and the reigning world champion faltering in her grand prix events - it's no surprise that Kim feels she's more than capable of the top spot should she skate relatively clean.

But, can it backfire? With no events prior to Worlds how is she going to work out any kinks that may give her 0 points or deduct them. There are new rules, and - while she still has a coach - she may miss a key component to the rules. There's also the competition jitters, we have no idea as to how well Peter will be able to calm Yuna and give her the confidence her former Coach was so able to give her. Will she have the nerve to go out there with brand new programs and skate to the top? Does she even have the competitive fire that she needs?

The one competition Kim could use as a spring board is the Four Continent Championships which will be a few weeks before the World Championships. This would be a wise move to skate in, but Kim told International Figure Skating in their latest issue that she didn't think she could be prepared in time to compete. Considering IFS is a bimonthly magazine, Kim must have just recently started hard training. If she's not ready for 4CC, will a few more weeks help her that significantly?

One thing's for sure, it just made this season interesting.

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