Ice queen Yuna hones routines ahead of Sochi swan song

Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:10am EDT
 
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By Peter Rutherford

SEOUL (Reuters) - So used to commanding the spotlight, South Korean figure skating queen Kim Yuna steps past her Sochi-bound colleagues and coaches, fixes her hair and sits down centre stage, ready to face the media.

Informed she has taken a Korean Olympic Committee official's seat by mistake, and her place is actually at the rear of the stage, the Vancouver Games gold medalist stifles an embarrassed smile and retreats to sit among her figure skating cohorts.

It might be the first time Kim has ever taken a back seat to anyone in South Korea.

With Wednesday marking the 100-day countdown to the start of the Sochi Games, the 23-year-old told reporters she was back skating and even doing jumps after taking time off to recover from a foot injury.

Kim, who blew away the competition in Vancouver to become the first South Korean to win an Olympic figure skating gold medal, said she was about "70 percent ready" and that she could return to competition in December.

"I don't think the pain will be completely gone since I can't stop training but it's got a lot better," she said at the national training centre.

"I can still do triple jumps but for competition I not only need to get my jumps ready I have to have be physically strong."

Kim flirted with retirement after winning gold in Vancouver but has taken little time to recapture her best form since deciding to compete at one last Olympics.   Continued...

 
South Korean figure skater Kim Yuna smiles as she listens to questions during a news conference ahead of Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, at the Taereung National Training Center in Seoul October 30, 2013. With Wednesday marking the 100-day countdown to the start of the Sochi Games in Russia, 23-year-old Kim Yuna told reporters she was back skating and even doing jumps after taking time off to recover from a foot injury. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji