Champion Kim Yu-Na to hang up skates after Sochi 2014
Saturday, 07 July 2012
July 7 - Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-Na will retire from her sport after Sochi 2014, she has announced.
Kim's (pictured) victory in the figure skating at Vancouver 2010, where she set the highest score in history, catapulted her into the spotlight and brought with it huge pressure for the 21-year-old.
Kim scored 228.56 in Vancouver and no one has even broken the 200 point barrier since her triumph.
After claiming second place at the World Championships in Russia after that success, the South Korean has been absent from competition, considering her future.
At a press conference at the National Training Centre in Taeneung, Kim announced that she would compete in Sochi, but move on afterwards.
"When I was young, I had set the Vancouver Winter Games as my final destination, but now I wish to extend that final stop to the Winter Olympics in Sochi," Kim said.
"I will give my best to make sure the last chapter [in my skating career] ends on a high.
"After winning the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympic Games, I found it difficult to find a higher goal as a figure skater.
"I have found new motivation while working with junior skaters at the training centre for national athletes in Taenung.
"I thought I'd regret later if I gave up my career just because I feel the weight of all this responsibility, which compels me to try and be the best."
Kim will now prepare for the 2012-2013 figure skating season, which begins in October, as well as competing in the South Korean Championships for the first time in six years.
If she can claim another gold medal in Sochi, Kim would become only the third athlete to have won the figure skating at two or more consecutive Games.
Norwegian Sonja Henie won in 1928, 1932 and 1936, while Katarina Witt of the former East Germany claimed gold in 1984 and 1988.
Retiring after Sochi 2014 also means that Kim will not take part in the Winter Olympic Games in her home country in Pyeongchang in 2018, as first reported on insidethegames in May 2011.
January 2012: Kim honoured for role in success of Pyeongchang 2018 as President Lee promises "unflagging support"
July 2011: Kim Yu-Na greeted in Durban by Pyeongchang Dream Programme graduate
June 2011: Kim Yu-Na to represent Pyeongchang 2018 at ANOCA meeting
May 2011: Exclusive - Kim admits she may not compete even if Pyeongchang win 2018 Olympics
May 2011: Kim to lead Pyeongchang 2018 delegation in Lausanne it is confirmed