Get to Know Korea’s Most Beloved Figure Skater, Kim Yuna!
Known for her grace and point technique, competitive figure skater, Yuna Kim (or often referred to Kim Yuna; born September 5, 1990), is probably the most beloved sports champion figure in South Korea. How could she be otherwise? Behind her pretty and friendly face, Yuna Kim brought South Korea’s name to glory when she became a 2010 Olympic champion and silver medalist in 2014 Olympic’s ladies singles. Not to mention, she was also the 2009 & 2013 World champion; Four Continents champion; a three-time (2006–2007, 2007–2008, 2009–2010) Grand Prix Final champion; the 2006 World Junior champion; the 2005 Junior Grand Prix Final champion; and a six-time (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2013, 2014) South Korean national champion. Wow, it’s no wonder that she got the title of ‘Queen Yuna,’ because she literally is a queen!
At this point, there are no citizens of South Korea who haven’t heard of Yuna Kim. Besides being a World and Olympic champion, her face is also familiar to the public eye as she has often appeared in magazine photoshoots and CF campaigns. She even participated in SBS’s skating show, Kiss and Cry, as the main judge! Behind this fact alone, there are still so many things you need to know regarding our Queen Yuna. Ready to deep dive into the details? Keep reading to find out more!
Yuna Kim’s Full Profile & Fun Facts
Native name: Kim Yeon-ah
Country represented: South Korea
Born: September 5, 1990,Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
Residence: Seoul, South Korea
Height: 1.64 m (5 ft 4 1⁄2 in)
Former coaches: Shin Hea-sook, Ryu Jong-hyun, Peter Oppegard, Brian Orser, Kim Se-yol, and Chi Hyun-jung
Former choreographer: David Wilson, Sandra Bezic, Tom Dickson, Brian Orser, Jeffrey Buttle, Jadene Fullen, Kim Se-yol, Catarina Lindgren, Chi Hyun-jung, and Garnet
Former skating clubs: East West Ice Palace, TCS & CC
Years active: 1996-2014
World Standing: 10 (2013–14), 19 (2012–13), 11 (2011–12), 2 (2010–11), 1 (2009–10), 1 (2008–09), 2 (2007–08), 2 (2006–07), 13 (2005–06), 35 (2004–05)
ISU personal best scores: 228.56 (2010 Winter Olympics), 78.50 (2010 Winter Olympics), 150.06 (2010 Winter Olympics)
Olympic Games: 2010 Vancouver (Ladies’ Singles), 2014 Sochi (Ladies’ Singles)
World Championships: 2009 Los Angeles (Ladies’ Singles), 2013 London (Ladies’ Singles), 2010 Turin (Ladies’ Singles), 2011 Moscow (Ladies’ Singles), 2007 Tokyo (Ladies’ Singles), 2011 Gothenburg (Ladies’ Singles)
Four Continents Championship: 2009 Vancouver (Ladies’ Singles)
Grand Prix Final: 2006-07 St. Petersburg (Ladies’ Singles), 2007-08 Turin (Ladies’ Singles), 2009-10 Tokyo (Ladies’ Singles), 2008-09 Goyang (Ladies’ Singles)
World Junior Championship: 2006 Ljubljana (Ladies’ Singles), 2005 Kitchener (Ladies’ Singles)
Junior Grand Prix Final: 2005-06 Ostrava (Ladies’ Singles), 2004-05 Helsinki (Ladies’ Singles)
- Yuna Kim became the first South Korean skater to win gold through her performance in 2010, following a dramatic showdown between herself and longtime rival, Japan’s Mao Asada.
- Her 2010 performance earned the highest point total of any woman so far since 2006.
- Her silver medal in 2014 was a source of controversy due to the rumor that Russian Adelina Sotnikova‘s gold medal score had been inflated.
- She announced her retirement from the sport shortly after winning the 2014 silver medal on February 20, 2014.
- She has appeared in various commercials on Korean television due to her wholesome, girl-next-door public persona.
- She was also featured on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-earning female athletes.
- She was profiled for the TIME 100 in 2010 by U.S. skater Michelle Kwan, the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history.
- She was also a well-known philanthropist.
- She was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2010, and has participated in relief efforts in Haiti, Japan, and the Philippines.
- In May 2011, she donated her silver prize money of $27,000 from the World Figure Skating Championships to victims of the Japanese earthquake