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So Why Did Kim Yu-na Split With Her Coach Orser?

Posted August. 26, 2010 14:42,   


The surprise split between Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na and her coach Brian Orser has triggered emotional conflict between both sides.

Just five months ago, Kim and Orser were praising each other and calling themselves an excellent match. With the reasons for their separation still unknown, both sides are blaming each other on who initiated the breakup.

○ ‘Stop telling lies’

Kim wrote Wednesday on Twitter, “Would you please stop telling a lie, B? I know exactly what`s going on now and this is what I`ve DECIDED.” “B” apparently referred to Orser.

On her personal homepage, she also denied that her mother was behind the split with Orser. "I could no longer bear watching this. I, Brian Orser and everyone else involved in this matter know the truth."

On their separation, she wrote, "I get to have the final say on whether to part with (the coach). My mom and I discussed this and made our decision carefully. Who would discuss a breakup directly with the coach?"

Kim then blamed Orser for the separation, citing a problem related to his receiving an offer to coach another skater. She said this was not the only reason but did not elaborate.

"Do you really believe I`ve been completely happy training these past four years just like it seems to the outside world?" she wrote. "But I don’t want to talk about the process we went through, and there’s no need to do so. This is strictly our issue."

○ ‘I won’t coach Mao Asada’

Orser could not be reached for comment because he turned off his mobile phone. Yet his claims based on what he told the media can be summarized as he never lied and will never coach Mao Asada.

Kim’s management company AT Sports said Kim and Orser had been on awkward terms since May when he was offered a job to coach another skater. Asada is known to have asked Orser to coach her.

Orser said this was only a rumor and that he had not contacted Asada. He said he has no intention to coach Asada even if the situation allows.

On money, one of the alleged reasons for the breakup, Orser said he was paid 550 U.S. dollars a week, saying he was far from an expensive coach.

On Kim’s responses, he said, “I’m being insulted. I think it’s better for Kim to leave my team. She won’t be able get the same training as in the past when she leaves.”

○ Step toward retirement or hasty action?

Kim wrote on her personal Web site that an athlete and a coach can go their separate ways. Contracts can end anytime, and Kim and Orser decided not to renew their contract after it expired.

So why all the fuss? There are two possible reasons.

First, Kim might be taking steps toward retirement. She said she will compete at the world championship in March next year, denying rumors that she would retire. She did not sign a contract with the coach for the new season, however.

Kim is perfect in technical ability but the role of a coach remains crucial. Her decision to continue a relationship with her choreographer David Wilson can then be interpreted as her intention to focus on ice shows.

Second, Kim’s handling of the matter is seen as improper. The separation itself made headlines throughout the world. Had Kim and Orser announced the split together at a news conference, the situation might have ended amicably.

News coming from one side only led to bitter recrimination, which eventually reached an irrevocable point. As the old saying goes, “Don’t burn your bridges.”