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With new coaches, Kim to debut at NRW Trophy

Korean Olympic gold medalist reconnects with Ryu, Shin for comeback run

Olympic gold medalist Yu-Na Kim plans on retiring after making a final run at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Olympic gold medalist Yu-Na Kim plans on retiring after making a final run at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. (Getty Images)

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By icenetwork.com
(10/24/2012) - As The Korea Times reports, 2010 Olympic gold medalist Yu-Na Kim has reunited with two of her earliest coaches, Ryu Jong-hyun and Shin Hea-sook, as she prepares for the 2013 World Championships in London, Ontario.

Under the International Skating Union's (ISU) new guidelines, Kim needs to post technical scores of 28 points in the short program and 48 points in the free skate to qualify for the world championships. Kim announced she would compete at NRW Trophy in Dortmund, Germany, Dec. 5-9, to achieve those marks. By appearing in Dortmund, the Korean superstar will end her 20-month break from competitive skating.

The South Korean, 22, has never been a stranger to coaching changes. After undergoing a divorce with Brian Orser -- who coached her to Olympic gold -- in 2010, she then allowed her contract with Peter Oppegard to expire last year, and had been training on her own for the past few months.

Now, she reconnects with two coaches who helped discover and hone her talents many years ago.

"The season is already under way and I know it is a bit too late to bring in coaches," Kim said in a news conference at the National Training Center in Seoul. "But I am back with coaches who were with me at the beginning of my career. I expect to get a great deal of help from them in training and competitions."

Ryu, a former ice dancer, worked with Kim when she was just 7 years old, training her until she was 10. That paved the way for Shin -- who competed for South Korea at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid -- to take over, assuming coaching duties until Kim was 12.

"They helped me to become who I am in both technical and spiritual ways ever since I began figure skating," Kim said through her agency.

Both coaches are excited to work with Kim again and seem confident about her prospects.

"It is an honor for me to train Kim, who has grown as one of the world's top figure skaters," Ryu said. "I will try my best to help her to develop further."

"There seem to be no major issues concerning Kim's technique, and the new program is almost ready to be presented," Shin said. "But there is a problem with Kim's stamina, which we will focus on for the rest of the training period."

In August, Kim announced that she would skate to music from the 1963 movie, The Kiss of the Vampire, for her short program and to selections from Les Miserables in her free skate.

"I've tried to take on different genres and depict different characters," Kim said at the time. "I wanted to present something new, and David Wilson suggested I try The Kiss of the Vampire for my short program."

For her free skate, she said she was "looking for something from films or musicals, and chose Les Miserables."

If Kim is able to shake off the cobwebs and prevail at the 2013 World Championships, it would be her second world title: She won in 2009, but finished second to Japanese skaters Mao Asada in 2010 and Miki Ando in 2011.

Kim, who will not compete in the Grand Prix Series this year, is also a three-time Grand Prix Final champion.

Information from The Korea Times, Reuters and Breitbart.com were used in this report.