Dec 3, 2013, 10:01 AM EDT
Back comes Yuna Kim to figure skating this coming weekend. The reigning Olympic gold medalist will not be joining her peers at the Grand Prix Final in Japan, instead setting down her blades on competitive ice for the first time in nearly nine months at a lower-level Senior B event, Golden Spin, in Zagreb, Croatia.
The last time the South Korean skated was at the World Championships earlier this year, another event that was deemed a comeback for Kim, who had not skated prior to that since Worlds in 2011. Said comeback was deemed a major success as Kim claimed gold.
Plans had been made for the 23-year-old to return to the ice this season for two Grand Prix events, but a metatarsal injury in her right foot set her out for an estimated six weeks at the end of September, and it was announced early last month that she was targeting Golden Spin to test out her state of recovery.
“I’ve been slowly working myself back to competitive shape,” Kim told reporters in Seoul Tuesday, according to Yonhap News. “Honestly, I feel that I need to improve my conditioning for the Olympics, which is the most important competition there is, but there is still some time to do that.”
Kim said she was “80 to 90 percent” healed from the foot injury and says she feels “absolutely no pressure to win” at the Olympics in February.
Kim – who also owns six World Championship medals and 10 (including nine gold) South Korean National Championship medals – will be absent from the Grand Prix Final for the fourth year running. Her main rival Mao Asada, a silver medalist at the Vancouver Games, leads the filed there, which also includes American Ashley Wagner and a host of Russian teenagers.
Kim wowed at the World Championships earlier this year, skating to a 20-point win over defending champion Carolina Kostner and Asada, who was third. The event marked the beginning of her Sochi campaign, which the reigning Olympic champion has said will be her last Olympics despite her home country hosting the Games in 2018.
Doubt creeped into Kim’s ability to defend her gold when the news of her injury broke in September, but just four weeks later she confirmed that she was not only back on the ice, but performing jumps at a high level.
“I am mostly pain free, and I can do all the triple jumps,” she said in late October.
“I want to have a greater experience than any other competition before,” Kim added in regards to Sochi, noting that it would be her final Olympics.
Kim is still seen as the heavy favorite for the Sochi Games in February. She’ll debut two new programs in Zagreb: “Send in the Clowns” for her short and “Adios Nonino,” a tango piece, for her free skate. The ladies short program takes place Friday afternoon with the free skate concluding the event Saturday.
Sep 4, 2015, 5:25 PM EDT
The U.S. will play Australia live on NBCSN and Live Extra on Saturday.
Sep 4, 2015, 3:53 PM EDT
If the U.S. qualifies for Rio, it can name three men to the roster over age 23.
Sep 4, 2015, 2:49 PM EDT
The upgrade would happen after the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Sep 4, 2015, 1:24 PM EDT
First, a pole vaulter. Now, a javelin thrower.
Sep 4, 2015, 1:06 PM EDT
The IOC called it an “emergency” fund.
Sep 4, 2015, 7:57 AM EDT
Merritt left the hospital less than a week after winning a bronze medal in Beijing.
Sep 3, 2015, 4:46 PM EDT
Canadian sprint sensation plans to compete collegiately in 2015-16.
Sep 3, 2015, 3:49 PM EDT
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, David Rudisha and Wayde van Niekerk were among the Beijing stars in Diamond League action.
Sep 3, 2015, 12:08 PM EDT
The course designer attached a camera to his helmet and traversed the dirt, rocks, going over a bridge and through a tunnel.
Sep 3, 2015, 11:38 AM EDT
The 2016 U.S. Olympic team is now at eight athletes across all sports.
Sep 2, 2015, 4:02 PM EDT
The four-time U.S. champion isn’t retiring yet.
Sep 2, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT
Some of the names most associated with Los Angeles professional sports teams are Olympians.
Sep 2, 2015, 11:27 AM EDT
One event includes 2015 World champions from three different events.
Sep 2, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
“I can hardly imagine that it is possible given the schedule.”
Sep 2, 2015, 9:19 AM EDT
An African nation has never hosted an Olympics.
Sep 1, 2015, 5:11 PM EDT
Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome previously announced bids.
Sep 1, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT
Walsh Jennings and April Ross will have little to no wiggle room in Olympic qualifying next year.
Sep 1, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT
She could become the second oldest Olympic singles player since the sport returned to the Games in 1988.
Sep 1, 2015, 8:58 AM EDT
A competition will be held to pick a new logo.
Aug 31, 2015, 4:20 PM EDT
Olympic champions came through and potential future Olympic stars broke out.
- Mixed results for World champions in Zurich 0
- Los Angeles’ ties to the Olympics 1
- Five events to watch at Zurich Diamond League 0
- Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid is official 1
- Top ten storylines from World Track and Field Championships 0
- USOC, Los Angeles agree to 2024 Olympic bid, reports say 1
- U.S. finishes World Championships with fewest medals since 2003 3
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (63)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (62)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)