Posted : 2012-10-24 11:22
Updated :  

Figure skater Kim Yu-na reunites with former coaches

Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na will be reunited with two of her former coaches this season, her agency here said Wednesday, as she attempts to return to competitive skating following more than a year away from the rink.

All That Sports said Shin Hye-sook and Ryu Jong-hyun will train the 22-year-old this season. According to the agency, Shin will oversee Kim's training programs, while Ryu will handle the skater's conditioning and fitness training.

"The coaches have been signed until the end of the current season in March next year," the agency said in a statement. "The decision on naming coaches beyond that will be made after the world championships in March."

Kim will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday alongside Shin and Ryu, the agency said.

With this move, Kim parts ways with her American coach, Peter Oppegard, who has been with the South Korean star since October 2010.

In July this year, Kim announced her plans to return to competition, ending months of speculation about a possible retirement. The 2010 Olympic gold medalist hasn't skated since the 2011 world championships in April that year, and has only appeared in corporate ice shows.

Both Shin, 55, and Ryu, 44, have previously coached Kim.

Shin, who represented Korea at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics in figure skating, has been coaching since her retirement in 1984. She coached Kim for about three years, starting when the skater was in fourth grade. Shin has been coaching other national team figure skaters, such as the 2010 Olympian Kwak Min-jung and junior star Kim Hae-jin.

Ryu, a former ice dancer, coached Kim when she was seven.

"They are the two coaches that helped me grow, technically and mentally, from the beginning," Kim said through the agency. "They've known me for a long time and we enjoyed great rapport before. I don't think I will have any problem getting on the same page with the coaches this time."

Upon announcing her plan to return to the ice, Kim said she would stay in Korea to train at the National Training Center in the northern part of Seoul. The agency explained on Wednesday that she will continue to train here until the world championships next year.

The 2013 championships will take place in London, Canada. Kim won her first and only world title in 2009 in Los Angeles. She was the runner-up in 2010 and 2011, and ended in third in 2007 and 2008.

One of the most recognizable athletes in South Korea, Kim holds world records in the short program (78.50), free skate (150.06) and in combined points (228.56), under the international judging system introduced in 2004. All marks were established in Vancouver.

In August this year, Kim unveiled her new programs for the season. She will skate her short program to "The Kiss of the Vampire," from the original sound track for the film of the same name from 1963. Her free skate will be performed to a compilation of songs from "Les Miserables," a musical based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo.(Yonhap)
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