Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na has joined hands with Michelle Kwan, an American figure skating legend, for a successful Special Olympics World Winter Games in Pyeongchang in January 2013.
The Korean sports idol met Kwan as global ambassador of the Special Olympics for the mentally handicapped at a news conference on the Games, held in Seoul on Thursday.
“Nothing is determined yet on an ice show (for the closing ceremony) featuring Kwan and me, but I am positive about it,” Kim said.
“If I am with Michelle Kwan (in an ice show) for other Olympians, it will be an unforgettable experience, and if a decision is made to proceed with the show, I will prepare myself actively.”
|Goodwill ambassador Kim Yu-na (from second from left), Na Kyung-won, chair of the PyeongChang 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games Organizing Committee, Special Olympics directors Michelle Kwan and Loretta Clairborne, and Ossie Kilkenny, and a Korean athlete of the Games Lee Seung-chae (left), pose for a photo after a news conference in Seoul on Thursday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)|
Kwan is a two-time Olympic medalist and five-time world champion whom Kim admired as a role model. Kwan has performed in ice shows for Kim. Their last ice show was in Los Angeles in 2010.
The 32-year-old American figure skating legend works mostly as a sports diplomat.
Kwan was positive about the idea of an ice show with the 22-year-old Kim, but admitted she was concerned about her “rusty” skating form.
“We have not completed plans for closing ceremonies. But I have enjoyed performing with Yuna. I hope to do it again,” Kwan said. “I have to be honest, I have not skated since the last ice show with Kim. My blade is rusty. You take some time off from the ice, then triple jumps don’t come very easy.”
Kwan, as a director of Special Olympics International, appealed for support for the Games especially from news media. Kim also said she hoped the Games would be a good occasion to foster a society where people live together, disabled or not, as a community.
The Special Olympics World Winter Games will be held in Pyeongchang and Gangneung, Gangwon Province, from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5, next year, with about 3,300 athletes and coaches from 113 countries participating. The meet will feature seven sports including alpine skiing, snow boarding, short track speed skating and figure skating.
By Chun Sung-woo (firstname.lastname@example.org)