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Kim Yu-Na (Yuna Kim)

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Kim Yu-Na (born in September 5, 1990 in Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do) is a South Korean figure skater and reigning world champion.

Images from the content : Kim Yu-Na (Yuna Kim) : NNHIT Story
Images from the content : Kim Yu-Na (Yuna Kim) : NNHIT Story
Images from the content : Kim Yu-Na (Yuna Kim) : NNHIT Story
She is the 2009 World champion, the 2009 Four Continents champion, a two-time (2006-2007, 2007-2008) Grand Prix Final champion, the 2006 World Junior champion, the 2005-2006 Junior Grand Prix Final champion and a four-time (2002-2005) South Korean national champion.

Kim is the first South Korean figure skater who has medaled and won at a ISU Junior Grand Prix and at the Junior Grand Prix Final, at a ISU Grand Prix and at the Grand Prix Final, and at the World Championships. She is one of the most highly recognized athletes and media figures in South Korea.

Kim is the record holder for ladies in the short program, the free skating and the combined total under the ISU Judging System. Kim is the first female skater to surpass the 200-point mark and also the first female skater to receive +2.20 grade of execution for jumps under the ISU Judging System.

As of November 2009 Kim is currently ranked second in the world by the ISU.
Images from the content : Kim Yu-Na (Yuna Kim) : NNHIT Story

Personal life

Kim Yu-Na was born in 1990 in Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do, and moved to Gunpo when she was 6 years old. She had to train mostly at night due to the lack of skating facilities for daytime training. In early 2007, she moved to Toronto, Canada for better training under Brian Orser. In 2009, Kim enrolled at Korea University as a freshman, but she has been continuing her training in Canada.



Early career

Kim Yu-Na began skating when she was seven years old with her elder sister. Her coach at the time, Ryu Jong-Hyun, who was impressed with Kim's exceptional talent, strongly suggested to Kim's mother that Kim continue skating, predicting that she would be a world-class figure skater in the future.

In 2002, she competed internationally for the first time at the Triglav Trophy, where she won the gold medal for the novice competition.

In 2003, at age 12, she became the youngest woman ever to win the senior title at the South Korean Figure Skating Championships. She won her second international competition at the Golden Bear of Zagreb, a novice competition.

In 2004, she became the South Korean senior national champion for the second time in her career.

Junior career

2004-2005 season

In the 2004ย?2005 season, as a junior skater, she competed at the ISU Junior Grand Prix, which is a junior complement to the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

She won a silver medal in China and a gold medal in Hungary. She won a silver medal at the 2005 Junior Grand Prix Final with an overall score of 137.75, 30.8 points behind the gold medalist Mao Asada.
Images from the content : Kim Yu-Na (Yuna Kim) : NNHIT Story
Kim won the senior national title on her way to the 2005 World Junior Figure Skating Championships.

At that competition, Kim won a silver medal again, earning 158.93 points, 20.31 points behind Asada.

2005-2006 season

For the 2005ย?2006 season, Kim remained on the Junior Grands Prix. She was not old enough to compete at the 2006 Olympics, even if South Korea was granted a spot at the final qualifying competition, the 2005 Karl Schäfer Memorial. So, Kim remained on the 2005-2006 Junior Grand Prix and won both of her competitions, that were held in Bulgaria and Slovakia, to qualify for the 2006 Junior Grand Prix Final.

She won the Junior Grand Prix Final with a score that was 28.34 points ahead of silver medalist Aki Sawada. At the free skating, Kim landed seven triple jumps, including a triple flip - triple toe loop combination and a double axel - triple toe loop combination.

Kim won her fourth senior national title.

At the 2006 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, she competed against the defending champion Mao Asada. Kim won the gold medal scoring 177.54 points overall, with a 24.19 margin of victory.

Senior career
2006-2007 season

In the 2006-2007 season, Kim made her senior international debut at 2006 Skate Canada where she won a bronze medal after being placed first at the short program and fourth in the free skate program with a total overall score of 168.48 points. She won the 2006 Trophée Eric Bompard with a score of 184.54 points, 10.10 ahead of silver medalist Miki Ando. Those performances qualified Kim for the Grand Prix Final for the first time.

At the 2006 Grand Prix Final in St. Petersburg, Russia, Kim was placed third in the short program with 65.06 points and first in the long program with 119.14. She won the Grand Prix Final earning 184.20 points, by the margin of 11.68 ahead of silver medalist Mao Asada.
Images from the content : Kim Yu-Na (Yuna Kim) : NNHIT Story
Kim wanted to defend her title at the 2006ย?2007 South Korean Championships, but was forced to withdraw due to the injury that she got before the event. In January 2007, Kim was diagnosed to have the early stage of lumbar disc herniation (L4~L5).

Kim was selected to compete at the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships based on her performance from the season so far. Because of the placement of Choi Ji Eun the year before, South Korea had only one spot for the World Championships.

In March 2007, at the 2007 World Championships in Tokyo, Kim won the short program with 71.95 points, setting the highest short program score under the new ISU Judging System and consequently, a world record. She placed fourth in the long program earning 114.19 points, and placed third overall. She was 8.31 points behind silver medalist Mao Asada and 5.91 points ahead of fourth place finisher Kimmie Meissner. Kim's placement qualified South Korea two ladies entries for the 2008 World Figure Skating Championships. Kim was the only lady skater whose triple-triple combination was recognized by the judges in both the short and the free skating programs in the 2006-2007 season.

2007-2008 season

Kim started off the 2007ย?2008 season winning the 2007 Cup of China with a total score of 180.68 points, that was 24.34 ahead of silver medalist Caroline Zhang. At the 2007 Cup of Russia, Kim won both the short program scoring 63.50 points and the long program with 133.70 points, to finish first overall with 197.20 points, 24.43 ahead of silver medalist Yukari Nakano. She executed those jumps in the competition: a triple flip-triple toe loop combination, a triple loop, a triple lutz-double toe loop combination, a double axel-triple toe loop combination, a triple lutz, a triple salchow and another double axel. At the competition, Kim set a world record for long program under the new ISU Judging System.

Kim's two wins qualified her for the 2007ย?2008 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Turin, Italy, where she went in as the reigning and defending champion. She won the short program with 64.62 points and was placed second in the long program earning 132.21 to win her second Grand Prix Final competition a total score of 196.83 points, by 5.24 points ahead of Asada.

Kim chose not to compete at the 2007ย?2008 South Korean Nationals and withdrew from the 2008 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships a week before the event due to a hip injury.
During the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships, she set another new world record of 76.12 points in the short program, surpassing her previous world record by almost four points. She also won the free skating program, scoring 131.59 points and showing great presentation skills with her artistry and her musicality. She executed a triple flip-triple toe loop combination, a double axel, a triple lutz-double toe loop-double loop combination, a double axel-triple toe loop combination, a triple lutz and another double axel. As a result, she set a new world record total of 207.71 as well as winning her first World Figure Skating Championships title. She became the first female skater to surpass 200 points under the ISU Judging system. Her margin of victory was a whopping 16.42 points ahead of the silver medalist Joannie Rochette. Kim was the only female skater whose triple-triple combination was recognized by the judges in both the short and free programs during the 2008-2009 season.

2009-2010 season

At the 2009 Trophée Eric Bompard, Kim was placed first in the short program with the score of 76.08 points, which was 16.44 points ahead of Yukari Nakano, who placed second in that segment of the competition. She successfully executed a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination, followed by a triple flip and a double axel. Her spiral sequence and all the spins were graded level four. Opening with a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination and showing great artistic skills, Kim won the free skate scoring 133.95 points. She also executed a double axel-double toe loop-double loop, a double axel-triple toe loop, a triple salchow, a triple lutz and a double axel. She won the event with 210.03 points, 36.04 ahead of the silver medalist Mao Asada. Kim set world records for the free skate and the overall score under the ISU Judging System at the competition.

At the 2009 Skate America Kim again placed first after the short program, this time with a score of 76.28, which was 17.48 points ahead of the next closest competitor Rachael Flatt. Like in the 2009 Trophée Eric Bompard, she executed a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination, a triple flip and a double axel. She placed second in the free skate with a score of 111.70 points, with unexpected mistakes in her jumps. Although it was one of her lowest scores, she still won the event beating silver medalist Rachel Flatt yet again with a lead of 13.07 points.
 

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