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Kim Yu-na`s Proud Father Speaks About Daughter

Posted February. 23, 2010 09:06,   


“It’s important that Yu-na is satisfied with her own performance.”

So says the father of world figure skating champion of Kim Yu-na, Kim Hyeon-seok, 53, who headed for Vancouver yesterday. It has been a long time since he went abroad to watch his daughter perform.

Kim Hyeon-seok spent Lunar New Year’s Day with his older daughter Eh-ra and other relatives. Though he was visited by relatives, he said he felt lonely since he could not see his wife and Yu-na. His family was last together on the holiday three years ago.

“I’ve gotten used to living away from my wife and second daughter (Yu-na). I think I have to endure it. I feel nervous and anxious about watching Yu-na’s performance at the stadium,” Kim Hyeon-seok said.

“I sometimes feel the urge to visit my daughter while she trains, but I think I must wait a little longer since she is preparing for a big event.”

The skater won all three Grand Prix tournaments she competed in over the 2009-10 season. Since making her debut on the senior circuit, she has won 12 of 16 competitions.

“When Yu-na felt pain, she took a painkiller and showed mental toughness in her performance. She just thinks about doing her best whenever she is in a competition,” her father said. “But I’m worried she might suffer from the pressure of winning the competition since she has won most of her competitions.”

Myriam Loriol-Oberwiler of Switzerland will join the technical panel to judge the women’s figure skating competition. She has attracted controversy through murky deductions from Kim Yu-na’s score despite experts saying her jumps are “perfect.”

Kim Yu-na’s father says he is also concerned about the Swiss judge.

“I thought that Loriol-Oberwiler might be a member of the technical panel of the women’s individual figure skating competition. My daughter should fight herself, but I’m worried that she might be obsessed with the idea of showing a perfect performance due to the judge.”

In figure skating competitions, judges decide the score. The possibility of a dishonest decision affecting the score was reduced in 2002 with the introduction of a new scoring system. Nevertheless, figure skating powerhouses still have strong influence over competition results.

“Sometimes, I even thought I shouldn’t have allowed Yu-na to become a figure skater. Had she become a swimmer or an athlete, she wouldn’t have had to worry over the misdeeds of judges,” Kim Hyeon-seok said.

Despite his rising worry, he said he strongly believes his daughter will win the gold medal.

“I strongly believe she will win the gold medal, but I’ve never asked her to get it,” he said. “Whenever I hear my friends or acquaintances say Yu-na must win the gold medal, I ask them not to say that. I’ve always said it’s up to God’s will.”

Kim Hyeon-seok has faced much difficulty since his daughter became a figure skater. Yet he says he is grateful to be the father of the world’s top competitor in the sport.

“It seems God has sent Yu-na to Earth to nurture her as a figure skater. After considering who would be suitable parents for her, God chose us,” he said.

“My wife and I have had much difficulty. Sometimes, we even thought about giving up our support for Yu-na’s figure skating. But whenever we faced difficulty, we got support and our challenge was surprisingly resolved. God has probably looked after us since he gave Yu-na to us.”

Kim Hyeon-seok also says he had to give up a large part of his role as Yu-na’s father before and after she became a prominent figure skater.

“I think it’s my destiny and I feel honored to have such a great kid as my own daughter,” he said. “Many parents undergo all kinds of hardships to give their children a chance to become figure skaters. But most of them have not been as successful as we have.”

“If she just does her best, she could get the results she wants. I hope she’ll get the gold medal. Most of all, however, I hope she’ll be satisfied with her performance.”