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Korea''s Kim Yu Na at the press conference on Thursday after winning the silver medal.
Kim ends career with silver medal in Sochi

20 Feb 2014
Sochi, Russia: Korea’s “Queen Yu Na” lost her Olympic crown on Thursday but still won the hearts of the crowd and of figure skating fans around the world in her final competition before retiring from the sport she has graced in two Winter Games. With a slender lead from the short programme on Wednesday, the 23-year-old Kim Yu Na skated last in the free skate at the Iceberg on Thursday night but could not hold off the onslaught off Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova, who became Olympic champion at just 17 years old.

Sotnikova’s personal best of 149.95 points in the free skate took her overall tally to 224.59, and Kim could score only 144.19 for a total of 219.11. It meant that Kim would have to settle for the silver medal this time, four years after taking gold in such captivating fashion at Vancouver 2010. Carolina Kostner of Italy earned the bronze medal with a total of 216.73.

Kim, known affectionately as “Queen Yu Na” and cheered on here by a huge following of flag-waving fans, refused to become embroiled in a debate on the scoring of the judges. “I am not in the right position to comment on it,” she said. “And my words can change nothing.

“The most important thing for me is to participate in this Olympic Winter Games. It is my last competition and I am happy to be here.” Asked how she felt after her score was announced and she was behind Sotnikova, Kim replied: “I was the last skater and I couldn’t see how the others did. The result was good because I made no mistakes. It’s a complicated feeling because the competition is over.”

Comparing her two Olympic appearances, the Vancouver gold medallist said: “The most difficult thing for me to be able to compete at my second Olympics was the motivation. It’s different from the Vancouver 2010 Games because I had a clear goal at that time. I could die for a gold medal.”

Kim will now retire from competition, and prepare for a performance in May. After that, her long-term future is undecided as she says she plans to take a long rest and then weigh up her business options, of which there will be many after such a scintillating career on the ice.
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