July 3, 2012 at 9:57 am #23363
I think that we may need a separate thread for thoughts about this…
I’d like to expand a bit on the thoughts I already expressed in the comments section of the latest news about Yuna’s decision to return to competitive skating.
As I said before, I wasn’t thinking much about what will happen, but at some point, long ago, I already looked into various possibilities of what will happen if Yuna would decide to return to competition.
Since this is what happened, I think I may share those thoughts with you.
But, first of all, let’s think about how hard it was for her just to maintain this uncertainty about whether she will return or not. I know that some kind of fans are really obsessed about things like this and they overanalyze everything that happens, for example, they look at Yuna’s exhibition programs and they make tons of speculations about if she’ll return or not based on what they see in those programs. I mean, everything she did was viewed as it could provide some answer to this question while Yuna herself, probably, didn’t have a clue about what exactly she’ll do. I think this was completely ridiculous and I’m glad that here on ATY we never had this sort of obsession about it.
I hope this will end once and for all eventually since it’s clear how hard it is for Yuna to cope with all those speculations, but to be fair, it’s unlikely… Sadly.
But now it is decided that she’ll return and that is gonna be like starting from scratch. It would be like this anyway, but she explicitly stated that she will start just as another member of National team, actually even going to compete on National championship, like she did at the start of her career.
This is both humbling and wise. It is humbling because she doesn’t have to do it that way and it’s also wise because her previous titles are out of the game, she’s a legend and that will never change, but those titles really don’t make it any easier for her, if anything they can only provide more pressure and thus we’ll better forget about them when it comes to the competition.
So, we are starting all over again and this is both exciting and kind of scary. From certain point of view it would be more comfortable for me if she had stayed away from competition, because no matter what, when she competes, I’m nervous for her… I just hope she will not be nervous at all.
And while this is exciting, I also want to expand a little bit more on why I think this may be even harder that it was the first time and why we should be aware about it.
It doesn’t have to be harder, because there are certain points that play in Yuna’s favor, for example, at this point she’s extremely experienced and she doesn’t have to be nervous at all, because she already won everything and became what she is now.
However, there is also another truth, and it is that there is no such thing as an easy competition. From Yuna’s own career I learned this really well, because the hardest competitions for her were almost always the ones that were supposed to be the easiest ones. And every competition is unique, so no matter what, she will always encounter something new in each competition and there will be new challenges to overcome. She’s good at it, but we also must know, that there is nothing that we can take for granted. She knows this, of course, but we also must know that to understand her better.
Some things that can make it harder and that weren’t present before are:
1. Yuna is really young woman by all standards, however in figure skating this is the time when age starts to show up for real. This doesn’t mean at all that it has be like this for her, but most likely it will be harder for her to get to the same form that she had before. I personally think that technically she can show an even better performance than what she showed in Vancouver, but we also must realize, that it may be the other way too, she may have to cool down the technical content for all the right reasons. If anything, skating is not only about technical content and Yuna can get really superior in artistic department. Trying many different characters was her goal not so long ago…
2. Yuna had some injuries during her career and it’s extremely important for her to be injury-free.
I saw many times other skaters, like Miki Ando, being harshly and unfairly criticized for skating cautiously, safely or whatever. Some people don’t realize that the primary goal for the skater should be not injuring herself. I hope no one will fall in the trap of demanding more challenging and risky technical content. The most important thing is Yuna’s health and she had more than enough pain in her life. My strongest wish for her is to stay healthy and injury free.
3. There will be politics at the game when it will come to Sochi’s Olympics. There was nothing like this in Vancouver… Russian government will want their skaters to win gold medals at home venue and they will have their own contenders for gold. They will need gold at all costs. The main contender, Liza Tukhtamysheva, is already being “brainwashed” from media, but she heroically resists the gold fever. This is not about Liza or other contenders though, they are just very talented skaters that will suffer the most from it and I personally hope everything will be all right for them no matter the outcome. When it comes to Yuna, the difficulty will be primarily in possible biases from judges and in the local media coverage. It wasn’t good already at Worlds 2011 and it surely will get worse in 2014.
I must state again, that this is not at all like Olympic games in Vancouver or GPF in Japan or whatever, and I know what I’m talking about. I don’t care much about the results either. But I do think it may become a new and significant difficulty. Of course, I just hope Yuna will not pay attention to it, but who knows what will happen exactly.
But let’s get over with the negative stuff and move to what really matters.
This will be a new and exciting story which we will be able to live all together.
I feel really privileged… It is also really awesome, because as a new fan, I wasn’t able to see Yuna first steps in her career, her first competitions and first victories. Now, it will be for us, new fans, like we can see it from the start. There will be again first competitions, first victories and, who knows, maybe a new legend will be born. Because this is gonna be something totally new and it will happen only once in life… I mean, each Yuna’s performance of course! There aren’t two same performances and each one is unique and will have a place in the history.
Let’s support Yuna from the bottom of our hearts! Let’s support and cheer for our.. not Olympic champion or record holder, but our dear girl, the Happy Skater Yuna Kim!July 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm #23369
Daniel, these are great insights on your thoughts about Yuna’s return. I hope more fans will share their thoughts here too. I plan to do that too but I’m so busy these days. I’ll share some of my thoughts soon. Thanks for the awesome post!
“I really hope that when I leave, my last trace will be beautiful.”-Yuna KimJuly 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm #23373
thanks for the new thread and your post, daniel. I agree that it’s going to be a very difficult journey for Yuna to prepare her second Olympics. as you said, there are so many factors she has to face and deal with… I think Yuna already knows very well about what she needs and how she gets over the difficulties she can’t avoid. she would know that it’s very different from Vancouver. that’s why I admire her and respect her brave decision.
The most important thing is Yuna’s health and she had more than enough pain in her life. My strongest wish for her is to stay healthy and injury free.
I think the most important factor is Yuna’s health to compete. the whole world knows that she is unbeatable when she is injury free. I really hope that she stays healthy, so she can enjoy all the steps to go forward for Olympics. I really wish she could skate happily and be healthier. Go, Yuna!!!"How do you make a Kim Yuna? You can't. It's truly a gift." - Scott Hamilton -July 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm #23423
I’ve read many places on people’s thoughts about Yuna’s return. There’s all kinds of opinions from left to right. Personally, as Daniel has mentioned, I feel that this is a priviledge for me also in coinciding with another exciting journey to be taken. When I saw the Grand Prix’s roster for this coming season and her name wasn’t on it, I kinda felt a little sad but I was happy and ready to accept her decision. When Korean Air extended their contract with her last year, and when E1 became another sponsor of hers earlier this year, I kind of got the feeling there might come a surprise down the road but didn’t put too much expectations. In an article I read from All Stars On Ice in Shanghai that says she hasn’t thought about competing in Sochi but there’s plenty of time, it was when it dawned on me..”what if…”. Then came this news, which came in by surprise shortly afterwards.
TBH, I selfishly wish she didn’t retire as nothing was affirm those past two years, while speculations was up in the air from the media, fans, etc. I wanted to continue to cheer for her as a fan for some more years but I knew that was too much to ask for. However, upon hearing her decision, I feel prividged that I will be able to continue to cheer for her up till Sochi. I honestly think it was a good timing for Yuna to annouce her return now if it was indeed what she wanted to do. First, it will put an end to all speculations of her hanging up her boots. Second, it gives her enough time to come back to form with already having the metality that she will compete all the way through Sochi. It is enough time for all other skaters to have that mentality and preparations for themselves to who they are up against. The game in Sochi is not the same as in Vancouver, but if she does her best, that’s most important. There’s a kinds of factors in this journey as Daniel mentioned in his post above that I totally to. If Yuna is ready to face these factors, we’ll face it with her also. People will scrutinize every now and then about all sorts of things, but if Yuna just do as her heart tells her, and importanly is that she is healthy and injury free. Yuna in the game will make everything more exciting no doubt. Finally, it doesn’t matter to me who takes podium in Sochi, all that matter is Yuna did her best, and she gave her fans more memories to look up to.
I am looking forward to her at possible, a senior circuit competition, at the Korean nations, hopefully at four continents, and worlds this coming season. I would especially like to see her Arirang program again. Giselle would also be good. Hopefully she can do another tango for future programs. Whatever it is, I am thankful.
“I really hope that when I leave, my last trace will be beautiful.”-Yuna Kim
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