Kim Yu-Na facts for kids

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Yeon-ah Kim
Kim at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics
Personal information
Country represented South Korea South Korea
Born September 5, 1990 (1990-09-05) (age 29)
Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
Residence Seoul, South Korea
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 4+12 in)
Former skating club East West Ice Palace
Began skating 1996
Retired 20 February 2014

Yuna Kim (born September 5, 1990) is a South Korean former competitive figure skater. She is the 2010 Olympic champion and 2014 silver medalist in ladies' singles; the 2009 & 2013 World champion; the 2009 Four Continents champion; a three-time (2006–2007, 2007–2008, 2009–2010) Grand Prix Final champion; the 2006 World Junior champion; the 2005 Junior Grand Prix Final champion; and a six-time (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2013, 2014) South Korean national champion.

Kim is the first South Korean figure skater to win a medal at an ISU Junior Grand Prix or ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating event, ISU Figure Skating Championships, and The Olympic Games. She is the first female skater ever to win and complete every official ISU grand slam figure skating titles namely: The Olympic Games, the World Championships, the Four Continents Championships, and the Grand Prix Final. In addition to that, Yuna Kim is the first figure skater ever to complete a Career Super Grand Slam by also winning the Junior Grand Prix Final and the Junior World Championships in 2005 and 2006.

Kim Yu-Na 2009 Worlds
Kim Yu-Na during the medals ceremony at the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships where she won Gold

She is one of the most highly recognized athletes and media figures in South Korea. As a result of her numerous accomplishments, she is frequently referred to as Queen Yuna by various media across the world. Throughout her entire career (novice, junior and senior), Kim had never finished a competition off the podium. Due to her artistry and musical sense, graceful skating skills, exceptional speed and fluidity, consistency and the quality of her huge and technically near textbook jumps, she is regarded by many as the greatest ladies singles skater of all time.

Kim was the highest paid athlete in the XXI Olympic Winter Games, the 5th, 7th, 6th and 4th top-earning sportswoman in the world in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. She was included in Time magazine's annual Time 100 of World's Most Influential People in 2010. Kim was the first to top Forbes Korea Power Celebrity and was ranked in the Top 10 from 2010 to 2015 and in 2018. Kim lit the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Early life and career

Kim 2009 Festa On Ice opening
Kim performing at Festa On Ice opening 2009

Kim was born in 1990 in Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do, and moved to Gunpo when she was six years old. In 2013, Kim graduated from Korea University with a degree Sports Education. Kim began skating at the age of 6. Her coach at the time strongly suggested to Kim's mother that Kim should continue to skate, predicting that she would become a world-class figure skater in the future. In a 2011 interview, she gave credit to her coaches for noticing her suitability for skating.

Kim Yu-Na Podium 2008 GPF
Kim Yu-Na during the medal ceremony at the 2007-2008 Grand Prix Final

During her junior years, South Korea had limited facilities for figure skaters. Describing training conditions for competitive figure skaters, Kim said there were not many ice rinks in Korea and even the few rinks that existed, most of them were public. As proper skate shops were also lacking, Kim frequently had to wear ill-fitting skates in her teenage years, making it hard for her to balance and resulting in many injuries.

In 2002, Kim competed internationally for the first time at the Triglav Trophy in Slovenia, where she won the gold medal in the novice competition. A year later, at age 12, she won the senior title at the South Korean Championships, becoming the youngest skater ever to win that title. She won her second international competition at the Golden Bear of Zagreb, a novice competition. She continued her reign as the South Korean champion in between 2003 and 2005.

In the media

Kim Yu-Na Podium 2008 Worlds
Kim Yu-Na during the ladies medals ceremony at the 2008 World Championships

Kim was the headliner of the ice show 2008, 2009 and 2010 Festa on Ice produced by her former agency, IB Sports. IB Sports produced another ice show, Ice All Stars 2009, which took place in Seoul on 14–16 August 2009. Michelle Kwan, who is Kim's idol and the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, joined the ice show. In April 2010, Kim left IB Sports and set up her own agency called All That Sports Corp. (AT Sports) with the support of her mother. They organized an ice show, All That Skate.

Kim 2009 GPF podium
Kim at the 2009 GPF medal ceremony

Kim has appeared in many commercials in South Korea. Her commercial for a new touchscreen haptic phone from Samsung Electronics sold over one million devices in a record seven months. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Forbes magazine named Kim, along with American snowboarder Shaun White, as the top-earning athletes participating in the Olympics with $7.5 million each to their name. In August 2010, Forbes magazine listed her as one of the highest-paid female athletes in the world, with annual earnings of $9.7 million.

BIGBANG & Kim Yuna 2010 World Cup
BIGBANG & Kim Yuna 2010 World Cup

Kim also worked in several projects as a singer. She recorded a duet with K-pop singer Lee Seung-gi to collaborate on "Smile Boy", the 2010 Football World Cup commercial song. She also sang with Korean band Big Bang on the single "Shouts of Reds" created for the Korean World Cup soccer team. Kim has also performed songs by Korean pop singers Taeyeon from Girls' Generation, IU, Narsha and BoA on the television show Kim Jung Eun's Chocolate.

Kim was named as an ambassador for the 2010–2012 Visit Korea Year. Kim has been rated as one of the world's most influential people in 2010 by TIME. In July 2010, Kim was named international UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She was also named an ambassador for the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit.

Kim Yuna's foot at Olympic Park, Seoul
Kim Yuna's foot at Olympic Park, Seoul

In August 2010, in honor of Kim's visit, the city of Los Angeles designated 7 August as "Yu-Na Kim Day" and granted her honorary citizenship. She also received the "Proud Korean Award" from the Korean American Leadership Foundation in the city.

Kim won the Sportswoman of the Year Award from Women's Sports Foundation on 12 October 2010.

On 28 January 2010, Kim published her book, Kim Yu-na's Seven-Minute Drama, about her experience with figure skating since the age of seven to the preparation of 2010 Winter Olympic in Vancouver. In addition to this book, she also wrote a book called Like Yuna Kim, this book targets younger readers.

Kim Yu-na G20 Seoul Summit Ambassador
Kim Yu-na G20 Seoul Summit Ambassador

Kim played a key role in South Korea's effort to win the rights to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Kim was part of the Olympic Bidding Committee for PyeongChang, the Korean hosting city. The Korean committee members including Kim traveled to Durban, South Africa, where International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s decision for the hosting city was finalized on 6 July 2011.

In 18 August 2011, Kim was named as a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics. In October, Kim was named as an ambassador for 2012 Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck.

Mr.President Lee bestowed the Talent Medal of Korea to Kim Yuna

She was awarded with a Cheongryong (Blue Dragon) Medal at the 54th Korea Sports Awards last October 2016. The medal was the highest decoration in South Korea's Order of Sports Merit. She was also inducted to South Korea's Sports Hall of Fame 23 November 2016. She won the honor as a sports hero for the year and is the youngest and only winter sports athlete among the inductees.

Kim was named an official ambassador for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in South Korea and lit the Olympic flame in the Opening Ceremony. She also co-stars in Coca-Cola's 2018 Winter Olympics campaign with actor Park Bo-gum.

To this day, even after her retirement, Yuna Kim continues to dominate the commercial scene and has remained an advertising giant in South Korea.

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