Kim Yu-Na says 'absurd' Sochi result behind her

Gold medallist Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova (centre), silver medallist South Korea’s Kim Yu Na and bronze medallist Italy’s Carolina Kostner celebrate during the victory ceremony for the figure skating women’s free skating programme at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. — Reuters pic
Gold medallist Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova (centre), silver medallist South Korea’s Kim Yu Na and bronze medallist Italy’s Carolina Kostner celebrate during the victory ceremony for the figure skating women’s free skating programme at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. — Reuters pic

SEOUL, March 4 — South Korea's Kim Yu-Na today described the judging of the women's figure skating at the Sochi Winter Olympics as “absurd”, but said the controversy was behind her following her retirement.

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics champion won silver in Sochi behind Russian skater Adelina Sotnikova despite turning in a characteristically error-free performance.

The result sparked heated debate over whether Kim was robbed of a repeat Olympic gold medal.

“It was all very absurd but I was happy that everything was over,” Kim said at an event with fans in Seoul, referring to the judging of her performance in the final competition of her career.

“I have never looked back at the result (since then),” she said.

The 23-year-old defending champion was trying to become the first woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles in figure skating since Germany's Katarina Witt in 1988.

Her unexpected defeat caused fury in South Korea, where Kim, dubbed “Queen Yu-Na” by adoring fans, is one of the country's biggest celebrities.

More than two million people have signed an online petition calling for an inquiry and a review of the result.

Kim, upon returning from Sochi last week, had declined to be drawn into the controversy and only said she had been satisfied with her performance.

She earlier announced her plan to retire from competition after Sochi, and said today she had “no regrets” about her career over the past decade.

“I have done all I could do, and have no regret,” she said, adding she would remain involved in the sport and may try coaching.

Aside from her two Olympic medals, Kim won two world championships and never missed the podium during her senior career which began in 2006. ­— AFP

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