Kim Yuna Ends Skating Career with Controversy

Controversy has erupted over the results of women’s Olympic figure skating. Various international media outlets have raised questions about the event’s outcome. Netizens shared tweets from foreign figure skating experts’ criticizing the results. As figure skater Kim Yuna has been one of the most revered athletes of the nation with legions of fans, the outcry spread like wildfire.


From Yonhap News:

Kim Yuna, “I didn’t have high hopes for my scores”

“Figure Skating Queen” Kim Yuna said, “I didn’t have high hopes for my scores” after performing a clean program and winning a silver medal in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

After finishing her free skate in Sochi, Russia on the 21st, Kim Yuna told press, “I can’t always get the scores I want. I have to accept the results. I’m satisfied that I performed a clean program.” While Kim Yuna performed a clean program with no mistakes, she was beaten by Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova, who made a mistake during her program.

Kim had a close lead with 74.92 points in the short program the previous day. She performed a clean program that received 144.19 points. Her total was 219.11 points. However, Sotnikova who made a mistake during a jump, received 149.95 in her free skate. With a total of 224.49, she surpassed Kim Yuna, who ended up with silver in the event.

Regrettably, Kim failed to defend her title. However, she remained calm saying, “I don’t care much about my scores. Anyway what can I do if I’m not satisfied with the results?” She said, “I usually don’t try to predict the results and don’t care about setting new records. I did better than I expected.” Kim added, “Although I didn’t win the gold, I’m happy and grateful that I was able to show everyone what I can do. I’m satisfied that I prepared and performed clean short and free skate programs that were free of major mistakes.”

It was her last time on stage as an athlete. She said, “I’m only thinking it’s finally over. It was very difficult, and I was getting exhausted quickly but I’m glad I held on until the end and didn’t fall. I was trying to overcome my physical and psychological limits. I want to give my performance a 120 out of 100. Like yesterday, I completed my program without making mistakes. I think it was successful and I was able to show my efforts.” She added, “Although there were no mistakes, my program wasn’t as perfect as it was in practice. I wanted good results and got 2nd place. As I said, getting the gold wasn’t important to me. It was meaningful for me to participate in this event. I’ve done all I could do anyway.”

About Kim Hae-jin and Park So-yeon who also competed in Sochi, she said, “I’m sorry that their programs were not satisfactory. They may feel down but I’m sure it was a good experience being on such a big stage. Although I won’t skate myself, I will look after them.”

Comments from Naver:

Kim Yuna knew this would happen…..That’s even more sad.

최강: [responding to above]

For the performance alone, Yuna should have gotten gold. However, in figure skating, subjective judgement for artistic components is inevitably involved and judges can be biased just as you guys want our athletes to win. Of course, home field inflation is disgraceful but what can you do when they are only human? Home inflation has happened numerous times throughout sports history. Don’t get too upset now. What’s really upsetting is those bastards who complain about Yuna’s nationality, ke ke ke. Why do they even complain about it? Do they even know our country’s competitiveness? Ke ke ke. Please don’t go overboard.

오키: [responding to 장군]

I was in 5th grade during the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Even though our boxer was on the defensive, his face got all swollen. But he ended up winning against the American boxer in a controversial decision. [The Korean public and media’s response was very critical of the unfair judgement.] I was a college student during the World Cup in 2002. I was watching the match with Spain, drinking beer with a friend. I was happy that our team won but we were like “Wasn’t it unfair for them? Ke ke ke” Let’s face it. We’ve had similar home advantages. After living for 38 years, I’ve realized that the world is not that fair.


There was a difference. Yuna skated a clean program and got 69.69 technical points. But Gracie Gold got 69.57 after falling once, ke ke. Our cute Julia still got 66.28 even after falling twice, ke ke ke. Carolina Kostner performed the best ever in her Olympics career but still got 68.84, which was lower than Gold’s score, ke ke. Now Adelina in question. She got 75.54, ke ke ke ke ke. Adelina got a higher score because she jumped 7 times while Kim Yuna jumped 6 times??? Then what about Asada Mao who jumped 8 times and only got 73.03????? Ke ke ke. Let’s not even get into artistic components.

이 락: [responding to Tolambar]

Kostner must also be very upset. She may be happy that she overcame her slump and won a bronze medal anyway, but I don’t understand how Sotnikova scored higher than Kostner, let alone Kim Yuna.

hi7l****: [responding to Tolambar]

Honestly, Kim Yuna’s program wasn’t completely clean and her technical difficulty wasn’t overwhelming. Of course, it’s also true that the Russian athlete got inflated scores. My conclusion is that Yuna’s performance wasn’t overwhelming enough to overcome the home advantage. Maybe if the Russian skater had fallen or something, it might have been different but they had a comparable level of difficulty and both made some mistakes. Being neck to neck, Yuna couldn’t overcome the hometown score. She did well but not overwhelmingly better.


Honestly, I don’t want to bash an athlete for this but the Russian kid was too insensitive. If you win by home inflation, you should at least be humble. She was like she deserved to win. Sochi or Suchi [meaning “shame” in Korean], the Russian judge should come to Korea so that I can get her LASEK surgery with my own money.

사랑이엄마남편: [responding to above]

Sotnikova won’t even be able to compete in Pyeongchang. She will take a break and retire within two years. Her future performances will be compared to her own inflated scores. She’s pitiful, too.


Yuna is 24 years old…. She’s 3 years younger than me but her attitude makes her decades more mature. She’s a great person. I respect her.


It was too much for real. I hate Russia.

From Sports Seoul:

Q: How do you feel now?

Yuna: I’m relieved because it’s over. I’m happy that I was able to finish both my short and free programs without mistakes.

Q: Did you meet your mother yesterday?

Yuna: The accommodations weren’t very good, so I stayed in the athlete’s center. I talked to her via text message. My mother said, “There is a lot of controversy over the scores but the event is over so don’t be too upset. Relax and enjoy yourself.” In regards to getting silver, “Let’s think of it as the gold going to someone who wanted it more.”

Q: Did you sleep well?

Yuna: I slept late because there were interviews and doping tests. I can’t believe it’s all over. I feel so relieved and at ease.

Q: Do you think the scores you got were fair?

Yuna: I haven’t properly watched the other skaters’ videos yet. Nothing changes even if I don’t agree with the results. I have no regrets. It’s over. I’m not giving it any thought.

Q: The Korean public is furious about the judging.

Yuna: I’ve experienced a similar controversy before. People around me were more upset than I was. I think it became a huge controversy this time because it happened on a big Olympic stage. I have no regrets about it. As I keep saying, I’m glad it’s over. I performed well and that makes me happy.

Q: Your face didn’t change when the final score was announced. Did you expect that you wouldn’t get the score you deserved?

Yuna: I didn’t expect good scores. After finishing the short program, you might have certain expectations based on your feelings. The higher your expectations, the greater your disappointment will be. There were many times where my scores were lower than I expected. I think of many things before an event. I imagined getting second place because my scores weren’t as good. So when the score was announced, I wasn’t surprised. I’m not just focused pursuing gold so it didn’t affect me.

Q: Did you talk with Sotnikova or Kostner?

Yuna: We didn’t talk. We just congratulated each other.

Q: Do you feel relieved because there is no more pressure?

Yuna: I thought it was over when the Vancouver Olympics were done, but somehow I’ve come this far. I feel relieved in many ways. There is no more pressure about competitions. It was physically very challenging to train after the Olympics. It was hard to motivate myself with a clear goal, too. There are many restrictions imposed on an athlete’s life. Now I’m relieved that I’m free from such restrictions.

Q: What’s the secret to maintaining your mental tenacity?

Yuna: I don’t think there is any secret to it. I think I’m just born this way. The skaters around me all have very different personalities. There are many great skaters who get too nervous and can’t fully showcase their ability. I also get nervous but probably to a lesser extent than other skaters. This is the personality I was born with so it seems to have been suitable for my career in the sport.

Q: Sotnikova walked out in the middle of the press conference.

Yuna: The interview was for the three medalists. Usually, we walk out together when we are all finished. While I was answering the last question, she walked out. When I arrived, she was already in the midst of an interview and hadn’t even changed her clothes. I was a little surprised when she walked out but that sort of thing is up to each athlete.

Q: What’s your future plan?

Yuna: I will take a break. But it won’t be too long. I will probably do many things. I will take time to think about what I want to do with my life.

Q: What’s the most memorable program in your career?

Yuna: I’d say the last program yesterday. It’s hard to pick one. I’ve been in this sport for too long.

Q: If you had to pick three then?

Yuna: Yesterday, Vancouver, and I won’t choose the other.

Q: Is there anything you really wanted to do but couldn’t?

Yuna: As an athlete, I had to be picky about my diet. I was worried about gaining weight before but now I don’t easily get fat or gain muscle. So I had to force myself to eat meat. Sometimes I would get really sensitive when I felt pain in my body during practices or rest days. I was probably stressing myself out over a lot of trivial things.

Q: What does figure skating mean to you and what have you learned from it?

Yuna: Skating and I are inseparable. Results are important but equally important was what I learned from the process of preparing for this competition.

Q: What kind of athlete do you want to be remembered as?

Yuna: Rather than a Vancouver gold medalist or a Sochi silver medalist, I hope you just remember me as an athlete.

Ilbe has been known for an unusually high number of “Yuna-bashers” or cynics. However, many posts on the web forum showed support and appreciation for the beloved figure skater during this Olympic period. This post goes over some of her known donations and charity work in the past.

From Ilbe:


List of Kim Yuna’s known donations from January, 2007 to April, 2013,
which amount to 2.6 billion won (2.4 million USD).

Comments from Ilbe:

Hey, what should I do to marry Kim Yuna? If I have to cut off one of my balls to marry her, I will do it without hesitation.


Kim Yuna really has the best attitude. I used to call her Money Yuna, but I was an idiot. Whatever, I hope she becomes a member of the IOC (International Olympic Committee).


I didn’t know she had donated that much. I know she donates because her cockroach fans [annoying hardcore fans] go around talking about it, but I didn’t know the details.


She’s nice. Why does she even have anti-fans? Do you think you guys would give away billions of won if you were her?


If you Il-gays keep living on your wheelchairs, wouldn’t there be a day when Yuna donates to you? Kim Yuna’s attitude is good indeed. What’s really important in life is not blaming others like her. If you blame friends, parents, society and school like lefty commies, you can never succeed. If you make a mistake or when things aren’t working well, you should examine yourself first. Only when it’s really unfair can you blame others.


Kim Yuna is genuine. Don’t bash her. But it’s okay to bash her cockroach fans. Btw, those bastards who go apeshit about Kim Yuna getting commercial deals must be brainless like Mundo, ke ke.


It is a miracle that such an athlete was born in this country with no infrastructure for figure skating.. Only a while ago, we had nothing for figure skating…. I wanna get high on the Yuna drug.


Kim Yuna’s speech or behavior is cool unlike Kimchi girls. She is a true athlete. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why she’s had such long running success.


Don’t suck up to her too much. There should be limits to either bashing or sucking up. Shit, sure, Yuna is our goddess. Like she fucking casts spells from the sky. She looks like my cousin who’s fucking mean. It fucking sucks, fuckers.


I’m a Gunpo native and I lived in the same neighborhood with Kim Yuna for a while. It might have been when she was 17, after she finished her junior skating. I was working part-time at a karaoke and Kim Yuna came with a friend. A bunch of elementary school students rushed up to her to get her autograph. She didn’t look bothered at all. She signed autographs and took pictures with all of them. When one of the employees put his arm around her shoulders to take a picture, we scolded him but she said it was okay.


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