‘Figure Queen’ Kim Yuna will team up with coach Shin Hye-suk this season.
“Kim Yuna will be training with coaches Shin Hye-suk and Ryu Jong-hyeon this season,” said a official from Kim’s management, All That Sports. Shin will be head coach, tracking Kim’s overall training and Ryu will be in charge of conditioning and physical training as a support coach. The duration of the contract is until the end of this season which is March. Kim is planning to find a coach to guide her to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, after the World Championships in March.
Both coaches have taught Kim when she was younger. Shin taught her for three years since Kim was in 4th grade and helped her complete her five triple jumps. Shin competed as an athlete from 1969 to 1981 and represented Korea in the 1979 World Championships, 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games, and 1980 World Championships. Shin received the Best Instructor Award in 2002 from the Korea Skating Union and is regarded as the ‘godmother’ of Korean figure skating. Shin also taught Bang Sang-Ah and Ji Hyeon-Jeong who are now both coaches themselves. Currently, Shin is teaching Kwak Min-Jeong and Kim Hae-Jin as well. Ryu is a former ice dancer and taught Kim when she first started skating at the age of seven.
“It took a lot of thought and consideration to find a coach that would understand Yuna’s situation and help her concentrate on competitions. Having two coaches will help Yuna to train more efficiently and professionally,” said All That Sports.
“Both coaches have helped me, technically and also psychologically, to grow into the skater that I am today, since I first started skating. They have taught me for a long time and we had a good rapport so I don’t think there will be difficulty in working with them again,” said Kim. “I will prepare for the season with both coaches one step at a time. I want to perform well at the competitions so that I can, in a way, repay my coaches who have helped me become the skater I am today,” added Kim.
“I am happy to work with Yuna, who has become a top-class skater, but my shoulders are heavy as well.
I will do my best to help Yuna perform well at the World Championships,” said Shin.
“I will help coach Shin and work together to aid Yuna’s training. My focus will be on enhancing endurance,” said Ryu.
Kim has decided to keep on training at the Taereung Training Center because it will be better to maintain a balanced physical condition. She will train there until the World Championships. Kim is planning to compete in a competition in December in order to qualify for Worlds, which will be held in London, Ontario (Canada) on March 2013. Kim announced in August that she will be skating to ‘Kiss of the Vampire’ for her short program and ‘Le Miserable’ for her free skate.
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“The choreography for my short program and free skate has been completed.
I am running through my programs with the choreography and technical elements as well.
What I am lacking most at this point is endurance. I am focusing my training on increasing the success rate of my technical elements,” said Kim.
Shin and Ryu were in agreement that they needed to focus on endurance.
“Yuna doesn’t have any technical issues. We will focus on her endurance and getting her re-acquainted with competitions,” said Shin.
“I would like to answer that my body is 99% ready, but I’m still in the process so, honestly, it’s about 70%,” laughed Kim as she answered a reporter’s question about her current physical condition.
Kim looked bright and happy to be reunited with her former coaches.
Her coaches, who had seen Kim grow and develop as a skater since she was a little girl, stressed the importance of their student’s happiness.
“Yuna has already achieved her dreams. I wish people would try to see her as Yuna, trying to make a new start, rather than the Olympic gold medalist Yuna. Since she is now an adult, I want help her focus on portraying the beauty of skating in a more relaxed manner, rather than being fixated on technical elements alone,” said Shin.
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“I won’t be portraying a vampire myself. When David Wilson and I started to design the program, we started from a clean slate. We didn’t start off debating which role I would be play. But now I can say that I’m the heroine, not the vampire,” said Kim.
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“I think that Yuna’s endurance will build up to our goal in about 2 weeks or so. She is training very hard. She starts skating at 10:00 in the morning so she comes in at 9:00 and her session ends at 2:00 in the afternoon. Then she trains until 5 o’clock, “ said Shin.
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