Kim announces return to competitive skating

2010 Olympic champ says she will continue through 2014 Olympics

Yu-Na Kim ended months of speculation Monday by announcing she will return to the ice in a competitive capacity.
Yu-Na Kim ended months of speculation Monday by announcing she will return to the ice in a competitive capacity. (Getty Images)


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(07/02/2012) - The Queen is ready to take back her throne.

At a press conference at the National Training Center in Seoul on Monday, Yu-Na Kim announced she will return to competitive skating and continue through the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Since winning the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in record-setting fashion, Kim has enjoyed the spoils that come with being a celebrity in her home country and one of the highest-paid female athletes in the world. In addition to taking some college courses and appearing in a handful of ice shows, she worked as an honorary ambassador for Pyeongchang's effort to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, one that ultimately proved successful for the South Korean city.

But she got the itch to return to competition while training with younger skaters in Seoul.

"I just tried to be a good teammate for the young ones," Kim said. "But I was inspired by their hard work. It also gave me the drive to keep going, and I decided I still had some business left to take care of."

In her last competitive appearance, at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships, Kim placed second to Japan's Miki Ando.

"After Vancouver, I couldn't find a bigger goal for myself as a figure skater, but expectations from fans kept growing," she said. "I was really burdened by them all. I had no idea just how much harder I had to train to stay in form, and I was afraid that I would let so many people down if I made mistakes in competition."

It is unknown where or when her first competitive appearance in her comeback attempt will be, where she will train and by whom she will be coached. She cannot participate in the 2012 Grand Prix Series.

"I will search for international competitions when I become fit," she said.

Kim has expressed interest in becoming an athlete member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following the 2014 Games.

"Sochi will not be an end but a new beginning," Kim said. "It will be a new start for me as I pursue new dreams and take on new challenges."