Yuna Kim was the women’s individual Olympic figure skating champion at the Games in Vancouver. This success was hardly a surprise, given the way Yuna illuminated the competition with her grace and technique. She has been performing arabesques on the world’s skating rinks and enchanting her audience since the age of seven.
Too young to take part in the 2006 Games in Turin, the Korean won her first major title that year at the junior World Championships, beating Japan’s Mao Asada. In 2009, she won the World Championships, this time ahead of Canada’s Joannie Rochette. This achievement naturally made her the favourite for the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
Yuna Kim performed her short programme to a medley of James Bond film music, wowing the audience and judges alike with her technical mastery of the most difficult jump combinations, such as the triple lutz and triple toe loop, and with her distinctive artistic expression. After the short programme, she was comfortably ahead of all her rivals in the competition.
Her free skating programme was skated to Gershwin’s Concerto in F. Her perfectly executed triple jumps (alone or as part of a combination) confirmed her technical mastery. Her choreography was also a treat for the audience and television viewers. The marks awarded left no doubt as to the final result. At these Games, she produced the best performance of her short career, and was logically crowned Olympic champion. On the podium, she was accompanied by Japan’s Asada and Canada’s Rochette. Yuna Kim was the first Korean figure skater to win an Olympic gold medal. The Land of the Morning Calm had found a champion and ambassador.