Kim Yuna, also known as Yuna Kim belongs to South Korea and she was involved in Figure Skating earlier. Having born on September 5, 1990 in the place of Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea she shifted to Gunpo at her six years of age. She resides in Seoul, South Korea presently. The correct translation of her name in English has to be ‘Kim Yeona,’ but during the application of passport, the official miswrote her name as ‘Kim Yu-na’. She prefers ‘Yuna Kim’ to ‘Kim Yuna.’ She converted to Roman Catholic in the year 2008 due to the influence of a devout Catholic doctor, who helped her heal from severe injuries she suffered during that season. Her Catholic name is Stella. She wears a rosary ring during her competitions. In 2013, she graduated from Korea University, her major being Sports Education.
Kim is famous for her technical skills, speed, artistry on the ice and delicate interpretation. Kim debuted as a figure skater at the tender age of six. Ryu Jong-hyun, who was her coach at that time, had predicted that she would be a world-class figure skater in the future. During her junior years, Kim would practice at public rinks either early in the morning or at late nights, because there were limited facilities for figure skating at that time. She had to struggle for practicing because there were no proper facilities. She had to practice with ill-fitted skates, due to lack of skate shops, which resulted in her getting injured many times. Her international debut was in the year 2002 at the Triglav Trophy in Slovenia. She garnered a Gold medal in the competition for new people.
In 2003, at the age of 13, she won the South Korean Championships and became the youngest skater to win the senior title. Her second international competition was at the Golden Bear of Zagreb. She retained her South Korean Championship in 2004.
In the 2004-05 season, Kim garnered a silver medal at an event that took place in China. She also won a gold medal in Hungary at the event of ISU Junior Grand Prix. She garnered a silver medal at the 2004-05 Junior Grand Prix finals. She continued to retain her South Korean Championship in 2005 for the third time. She won a silver medal at the 2005 World Junior Championships with 158.93 points. In the 2005-06 season, she won both the competitions in Bulgaria and Slovakia in the Junior Grand Prix.
She won the 2005-06 Junior Grand Prix Finals by scoring 28.34 points more than the silver medalist Aki Sawada. She won the gold medal at the 2006 World Junior Championships by scoring 177.54 points. In 2006-07, she started training at a club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, preparing for her debut in the senior international competitions. She won a bronze medal in her first senior competition at 2006 Skate Canada by scoring 168.48 points. She won the competition at the 2006 Trophee Eric Bompard with a total score of 184.54 points.
She won the gold medal at the 2006 Grand Prix Finals that was held on Saint Petersburg, Russia, with a total score of 184.20 points. Kim could not defend her championship title at the 2007 South Korean Championships because of her injuries. She suffered lumbar disc herniation. She competed at the 2007 World Championships that was held in Tokyo, Japan, where she won the fourth place in the competition with a score of 186.14 points. During the 2007-08 season, Kim won the Cup of China with a score of 180.68 points. At the 2007 Cup of Russia, Kim won the gold medal with a score of 197.20 points. She won the Gold medal at her second Grand Prix Final in 2007-08 at Turin, Italy, with an overall score of 196.83 points. She suffered a hip injury and due to this; she couldn’t participate in the 2008 Korean National Championships. She also was not able to participate in the 2008 Four Continents Championships. Even though she was suffering from injuries, she competed and garnered her second bronze medal at the 2008 World Championships held in Gothenburg, Sweden, by scoring an overall total of 183.23 points.
At 2008 Skate America, she won the first place with 193.45 points. She also won the 2008 Cup of China for the second time with 191.75 points. She won a silver medal during the 2008-09 Grand Prix final in Goyang, South Korea with a score of 186.35 points. She won the gold medal in the 2009 Four Continents in Vancouver, Canada with 189.07 points overall. A new world record of 72.24 points in the USA was created by her; she won the gold medal with a new world record of an overall score of 207.71 points. She became the first female skater to score above 200 points under the ISU Judging System. At the Trophee Eric Bompard in 2009, she won the event with 210.03 points. She won her third Grand Prix Final Title in 2009-10 in Tokyo, Japan, with an overall score of 188.86 points. In February 2010, she debuted in 2010 Winter Olympic Games, held in Vancouver, Canada and she won the Olympic gold medal with a total overall of 228.56 points. She set a new world record of highest score in both short program and overall score. She became the first South Korean skater to garner a gold medal in the zone that she is familiar with i.e. figure skating at the Olympics. Kim’s overall score of 228.56 points at the Olympics is registered in Guinness World Records.
She won a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships, with a total score of 190.79 points. During the 2011 World Championships, she garnered the silver medal at the event with 194.50 points, missing the gold medal by just 1.29 points to Miki Ando. On October 18, 2011, she officially announced to sit out the entire 2011-2012 season because she was concentrating on her work to promote South Korea as a host for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Her first competition in the 2012-2013 season was the 2012 NRW Trophy in Dortmund, Germany.
She won the event and was qualified for the World Championships and Korean Nationals. She competed in the South Korean Nationals and won her fifth title with a score of 210.77 points to qualify for 2013 World Championships. She won the gold medal at the 2013 World Championships, with a total overall score of 218.31 points, 20.42 points ahead of the silver medalist. This difference between the scores of gold and silver medals was highest in the nine years according to the ISU Judging System. In 2013-2014 ISU Grand Prix Season, she had to compete at the 2013 Skate Canada International and 2013 Trophee Eric Bompard, but Kim could not compete in the Grand Prix, due to an injury in her right foot. However, Kim competed in the 2013 Golden Spin of Zagreb and won the gold medal with an overall score of 204.49 points. Kim won her sixth national title in the 2014 South Korea Championships by scoring 227.86 points. In February 2014, Kim participated in the ladies event at the Winter Olympic Games.
She won the silver medal at the Olympics. But, after the event, a controversy arose about the biased judging and scoring of the skaters’ performance, which grabbed the attention of the figure skating community and media. After the Olympic Games, on February 20, 2014, Kim publicly announced her retirement from the competitive figure skating field. Kim has also worked as a singer. She has recorded songs with many reputed singers. Kim was the ambassador for the year 2010-2012 Visit Korea Year. Kim was also the International UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2010. She was the ambassador for the 2010 G-20 Seoul Summit. In August, the city of Los Angeles celebrates August 7 as ‘Yu-Na Kim Day’ and offered her honorary citizenship, in honor of her visit.
The Korean American Leadership Foundation awarded her with the “Proud Korean Award.” Kim won the Sportswoman of the Year award on October 12, 2010, from Women’s Sports Foundation. On January 28, 2010, she published a book, “Kim Yu-na’s Seven-Minute Drama. The book gives a detailed description of Kim’s journey of figure skating, starting from her age of six to the preparation for 2010 Winter Olympics. She has also written another book called “Like Yuna Kim,” which targets the young readers. In May 2011, Kim hosted a program, “Kim Yu-na’s Kiss and Cry” in the show SBS’s Good Sunday, which showed the struggle of ten famous people as they learned figure skating from professional skaters. On august 18, 2011, Kim was the global ambassador for Special Olympics.
She was also the ambassador for 2012 Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck. Kim was again the ambassador for 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer on August 27, 2015. In October 2016, Kim received the Cheongryong (Blue Dragon) Medal which was held at the 54th Korea Sports Awards. This award is the highest decoration South Korea’s Order of Sports Merit. On November 23, 2016, the South Korea’s Sports Hall of Fame included Kim as a sports hero. Not only she is the youngest but also the only winter sports athlete to be included in it. Kim is the official ambassador for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games to be held in South Korea. She even co-stars in the Coco-Cola’s campaign for the Winter Olympics.