|Figure skater Kim Yu-na has an interview with a reporter in a welcome-home event at the Time Square Atrium in Yeongdeungpo, Seoul, Tuesday, after returning from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Yonhap|
After settling for silver in a controversial decision at the recent Winter Olympics, figure skater Kim Yu-na reiterated on Tuesday she has fully put that "absurd" result behind her.
Kim, the 2010 Olympic champ in ladies' singles figure skating who took the silver at the Sochi Winter Games last month, met hundreds of her enthusiastic fans at a Seoul shopping mall. She shared with them her thoughts about what many experts and fans felt was a rigged judging decision that denied her a second straight Olympic title and handed the gold instead to the upstart Russian teenager, Adelina Sotnikova.
Though Sotnikova made a landing mistake during her free skate and Kim put together a clean routine, the South Korean finished more than five points behind the Russian. In the aftermath, Kim graciously said she fully accepted the result and the decision was out of her control.
Kim, who retired from the sport after Sochi, said once again the judging saga is well in her past.
"It was all very absurd but I was just happy that it was all finished," she told the fans. "I have never gone over the result and thought what might have been."
Before Sochi, Kim had said she wasn't dying to win another gold medal after capturing one in Vancouver in 2010, and she didn't have any regrets even after the close call in Sochi.
"I felt I could still feel a bit disappointed if I don't win the gold, since I am human after all," she said. "After it was all said and done, I concluded that I really wasn't that desperate for the gold."
After the end of the competition in Sochi, Kim was caught on camera in tears, leading to speculation that they showed her disappointment and frustration over the questionable judging.
Kim said the burst of tears had nothing to do with the result.
"I got emotional the night before also, after the end of my short program, thinking the time has finally come for me to leave," she said. "It was just that memories of some difficult times came flooding back."
At 23, Kim said she has decided not to enter any more competitions, and she isn't about to look back any time soon.
"For the longest time, I've never even wanted to look at my skates," she said. "I know I've done enough, and there is absolutely no regret."
Despite the controversial silver in Sochi, Kim leaves figure skating with her legacy fully secure.
Aside from her two Olympic medals, Kim also has two world championships to her credit. She still owns the record scores under the revamped judging system in the short program (78.50), free skate (150.06) and combined score (228.56), all set in her gold medal-winning performance in Vancouver. Kim is the first female skater to surpass 150 points in free skate and 200 points in total.
In her senior career that began in 2006, Kim never once missed the podium.
She picked her two Olympics along with the 2013 world championships, which she won by more than 20 points, as her three greatest events of her career.
Kim said she hasn't thought much about what she wants to do in her post-skating career.
"It's hard to pick one thing that I'd like to do," she said. "I am just happy to be away from the pressure and stress of competitions. I really don't know anything beside figure skating, and I think I will be doing something related to it."
Kim had earlier said she would like to become a member of the Athletes' Commission at the International Olympic Committee after her skating career is over. On Tuesday, she sounded a little more cautious, saying, "There's no guarantee that I will be elected. I haven't put in any specific thought about it yet." (Yonhap)