Special thanks to Herehere for the translations
"Hello. I am Yuna Kim, a member of our figure skating national team. Thank you for coming here today in the midst of your busy schedule. I have invited you here so I may speak about my future goals.
I skipped last season and it’s now three months past since that season ended. But I have continued to struggle to figure out what my future goals would be. As I have shared a number of times in the past, once I won the olympic gold, it’s not been easy to look for a motivation to continue skating in competitions. On the other hand, the love and attention from many in my country and figure skating fans continued to grow. To be honest, I felt extremely pressured to receive all your love and attention and it sometimes made me want to escape from it all for just one day.
Also seeing how every word I speak at interviews gathered so much attention–seeing how the public perception is formed in front of my eyes–made me want to step back from it all just a bit. In addition, there was so much pressure to think about how much work it takes to keep my body and skills fit to compete. It was so much pressure just to think about making mistakes at these competitions and in turn not being able to fulfil the expectations. It was hard to imagine how I would find a motivation to work and overcome these kinds of pressures that came with training and facing competition results.
My year off from the competition season has been so precious. I trained here at Taereung with younger representatives of our national figure skating team. I often tried to help them by giving advice on their training, as someone who has walked the same path before them. In return, I was challenged by their hard work on the ice and was given a motivation to continue skating. It made me think that there must be something I can do as a competitive skater for figure skating in Korea. It made me think about all the pressure and stress that I put on myself as a competitive skater with such high expectations. Perhaps what made it so difficult for me to continue skating competitively was this pressure I put on myself, trying to fulfill what this country expects of me. I started to think: What if I lower the expectations on myself just a bit and try to skate for myself? What if that becomes my primary goal I have on the ice? And I thought about how I may regret later on in my life if I stopped my tenure as a competitive skater here because of the pressures and expectations to be at the top.
Now I would like to make a fresh start as a member of our figure skating national team, moving beyond a title “Vancouver Olympic gold medalist.” Please consider me the same as my fellow team members, as a representative of our Korean national figure skating team. I will retire from competitive skating at Sochi. When I was a young skater, I had set Vancouver Olympic as my finish line. But now I would like to extend that finish line. And to finish it wholeheartedly, I would like to recoup and make a fresh start. In addition my retirement, Sochi would represent yet another fresh start for me as I will attempt to join the IOC Athletes’ Commission. As I participated in our efforts to host the winter olympics at Pyeoung Chang, I became excited about the idea of this challenge. Perhaps, then, my retirement from competitive skating at Sochi would mean yet another start for new dreams and goals in life. At Sochi Olympics, my skating career will have been 18 years in running. For that day, I would now like to make a new start today. Thank you."
(original Korean text from: http://sports.news.nate.com/view/20120702n26914)