Sports Outside the Beltway

Kim Yu-na wins Women’s figure skating gold medal

The long expected coronation of ice skating’s newest queen took place last night. From Yahoo Sports-

A women’s figure skating performance that likely will be remembered as one of the best of all time.Olympic Gold

The South Korean soared to the Olympic gold medal Thursday night, scoring 228.56 points and shattering her previous world record by more than 18 points. It is South Korea’s first medal at the Winter Olympics in a sport other than speedskating, and it’s sure to set off wild celebrations from Seoul to Pyeongchang.

Even Kim seemed to be dazzled by the show she put on, gasping when she saw the monstrous score. Coach Brian Orser gave a Rocky-like victory pump, shaking his clasped fists over each shoulder.

“I still can’t believe it,” Kim said. “I waited a long time for the Olympics, and it feels like a large weight has been lifted off.”

The 19-year-old grinned as she hopped up to the top spot on the podium, tugging at the bottom of her dress. When the gold medal was slipped over her head, she kissed both sides and held it up. Her lip quivered when the South Korean anthem began, and then came the tears.

She made a beeline for someone holding the South Korean flag as she set off on her victory lap, and carried it triumphantly as fans serenaded her with cheers and applause.

“Truly I still can’t believe that I did what I wanted to do at the Olympics,” she said.

Longtime rival Mao Asada of Japan won the silver medal, but it was no contest—even with Asada landing both her triple axels, one in combination with a double toe loop. Asada was more than 23 points behind Kim, a margin so big Kim could have done nothing but figure 8s for the last half of her program and still finished in front.

That is exaggerating just a tad. Asada is very talented but Kim’s juggernaut like run to the Gold medal was seen as inevitable by most knowledgeable people for at least two years. This blog rarely features posts about figure skating, but I also wrote about Kim beginning with this post. I learned about her in late 2008 and it gave me an idea for one of my online fiction stories.

The United States was locked out of the medals for the first time since 1964.(Which was a special case. The entire U.S. figure skating team was killed three years earlier in a plane crash) Again people who followed this sport the American skaters would need a miracle to just earn a bronze medal. It didn’t happen.

A big thank you to GI at ROK Drop. I used the links and photos from his post.


Crystal Ball Time

My annual sports predictions for the upcoming year. Due to some unknown reason, I skipped doing this a year ago. What matters is I came back, right?

1 Cleveland beats the LA Lakers for the NBA Championship
2 Indianapolis defeats Arizona in the Super Bowl Crystall ball
3 San Jose defeats Washington for the Stanley Cup
4 St. Louis beats the Los Angeles Angels in the World Series
5 Tiger Woods returns to golf, wins at least one tournament but no major championships. That is a risky prediction in light of the fact that Tiger has won majors on 3 of this year’s host courses.(Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews)
6 Phil Mickelson wins the US Open
7 Michelle Wie wins at least two tournaments, one of which is a major championship
8 Ji Yai Shin is LPGA player of the year
9 A non-Korean golfer will be LPGA rookie of the year
10 Yu-Na Kim wins figure skating gold at the 2010 Olympics
11 The Miami Dolphins don’t make this year’s playoffs but have a winning 2010 season
12 The Miami Heat make the playoffs but lose in the 1st round
13 The Florida Marlins have a winning record but don’t make the playoffs
14 Urban Meyer doesn’t return as coach of the Florida Gators
15 Joe Paterno announces his retirement after the 2010 Penn State season is complete
16 The Florida Panthers don’t make the playoffs
17 The Florida Panthers trade Goalie Tomas Vokoun
18 Manny Pacquiao loses to Floyd Mayweather
19 Kansas defeats Purdue for the NCAA Basketball Championship
20 Texas defeats Alabama in the BCS Championship game
21 Army has a winning football season and gets a bowl invitation
22 Washington Redskins fire Coach Jim Zorn
23 Serena Williams wins at Wimbledon
24 Versus and Directv finally settle their dispute
25 A North American horse racing track closes its doors.
26 Sebastian Vettel wins the Formula World Drivers Championship
27 New York Rangers fire Coach John Tortorella
28 The New Jersey Nets don’t finish with the worst record in NBA history
29 Connecticut defeats Tennessee for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship
30 At least half these predictions are wrong

We’ll come back on December 31st 2010 and see how I did.


Russian figure skater Andrei Luti charged with DUI

He also stole a car shortly after taking part in the Skate America competition. From AP-

Police said Russian figure skater Andrei Lutai stole a car and drove it while drunk after finishing 10th overall in the Skate America competition in Lake Placid.

Police said the car was stolen from a service station lot late Sunday night. A garage employee followed the car and called police.

Sgt. Carol Hayes said officers pulled over the 23-year-old Lutai, of St. Petersburg, a few minutes later.

Police have charged Lutai with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle and aggravated driving while intoxicated.

In other skating news, Yu-Na Kim won the female portion of the Skate America competition. She remains the heavy favorite to win the gold at next year’s Olympics.


Kim Yu-Na wins the Trophée Eric Bompard

This was also her first event of the 2009-10 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating season. From AP-

PARIS — World champion Kim Yu-na of South Korea has captured the Trophee Bompard women’s event, winning the free skate with a flawless performance to finish ahead of Japanese skaters Mao Asada and Yukari Nakano.FRANCE SKATING BOMPARD TROPHY

Performing to George Gershwin’s “Piano Concerto in F Major,” Yu-na received 133.95 points for a total of 210.03 that included Friday’s short program.

Asada, a former world champion, rose one spot to second overall with 173.99 points. Nakano finished third with 165.70 points.

Kim’s margin of victory is dominating and her 133.95 a new world record for the free skating program. Anything less than Yu-Na winning a Gold medal next February at the Winter Olympics will be looked at as a disappointment.


Yu-Na Kim wins World Figure Skating Championship

The eighteen-year-old from South Korea dominated the competition. From AP-

Queen Yu-na, indeed!

Kim Yu-na won the title at the World Figure Skating Championships on Saturday night, setting off celebrations from Southern California to South Korea. Already treated like royalty at home — her nickname is Queen Yu-na and she wears tiny, sparkling crowns in her ears — her popularity is sure to grow now that she’s given South Korea its first world title.

“I’m sure the whole globe shook,” said Kim’s coach, two-time Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser. “The whole country of Korea must be elated.”

Kim won in record fashion, too. Her 207.71 points were the highest scored under figure skating’s current judging system, shattering the old mark by eight. She was more than 16 points ahead of Joannie Rochette. Main rival Mao Asada was almost 20 points behind, falling to fourth.

How big a rout is that? Think one of those nonconference football games the big names play, and you get the idea.

As things stand and in light of this win and Kim’s other recent victory, she has to be considered the overwhelming favorite for the gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in Vancouver.


Kim Yu-na Wins Gold at Four Continents Figure Skating Championships

She has to be considered one of the favorites for the gold medal at the Olympics in Vancouver next year. From the Chosunilbo-

Korean figure skating icon Kim Yu-na clinched the gold in the women’s single competition at the International Skating Union’s Four Continents Championships.yu-na

Kim won 116.83 points in the ladies’ freestyle final in Vancouver, Canada Friday local time ranking on the top with the total score of 189.07 in the competition. This follows setting a world-record short program performance of 72.24 points on Wednesday.

In the beginning of the performance on Friday she pulled off a combination of a triple flip and a triple toe loop although she fell once in her attempt to do a triple loop jump.

Ranking second was Canada’s Joannie Rochette and Japan’s Mao Asada last year’s champion came in third.

Yu-Na has had a history of great short programs but not being to follow it up in the free skate part of the competition. She is one of the two or three top candidates for the gold next year. If Yu-Na does win it, will she inspire South Korean girls to take up the sport like Se Ri Pak did in regards to golf over a decade ago? My own opinion is that it won’t on a comparable scale because of the limited amount of skating events and slots for skaters in them. There won’t ever be 45 South Korean skaters competing in ISU events like there are on the LPGA Tour in a given year.

Curiously I just completed a web fiction story inspired by Yu-Na Kim and this old post of GI at ROK Drop. A young man in New Hampshire who wants to make his college hockey team and fails. He visits a magic shop where the owner sells him a wishing object. All he wanted to be was a better hockey player and skater. Instead he ends up a South Korean figure skater(Not Yu-Na Kim) in his hometown training for the Olympics. To get out of the spell and become a better hockey player himself, the young man must help the female skater improve also.

Before that story I rarely paid this sport and knew diddly about figure skating. Now I will probably watch the women’s competition at next year’s Olympics. It will be interesting to see if Yu-Na can bring home the gold.


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