Queen Yu-na Goes for Gold

March 3, 2010
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VANCOUVER- At the 2010 Olympics on Thursday night, ice skating showdown was on between Kim Yu-na of Korea and Mao Asada of Japan in the ladies’ long program. Hours of practice and competition all came down to the one night, but it would be worth it for Kim. Kim won with a whopping score of 228.56, giving her gold and a new world record. That night also signified the end of her rivalry with Mao, the silver medalist.
The pressure was on between Kim and her opponent Asada, each of them possessing great talent and ability skate with grace and poise. Thursday night the ladies’ free skate determined who the best was, yet despite Kim’s impressive score, Mao was also a force to be reckoned with. In her long program she managed to throw in three successful triple axles, the only person to have ever done so in Olympic figure skating.
Kim had taken the lead in the ladies’ short program two days before, with a score of 78.5, a score that broke her previous world record and put her five points ahead of Mao. The pressure in the days between the short and the long program would be unimaginable for Kim and Mao. The Kim-Mao rivalry has its roots long before the Olympics. They go head to head constantly in competitions such as the Grand Prix and the world championship. Both of them are favorites in their home country and both of them had their reputation to lose if they did not bring home a gold medal.

Kim was already a celebrity and has been dubbed “Queen Yu-na” in her home country. She is so popular that she has made over eight million dollars in endorsements. She appears on anything from government to car ads. Since a very young age Kim has ice skated, but it wasn’t until she was seven that a coach approached her about taking ice skating seriously. “A coach told my mum I had talent and I would make a very good skater” Kim had said in an interview. Only 19 years old, this is a promising foothold in her ice skating career.

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