Kim Yu-na, Miki Ando, and Mao Asada at the World Championships
When exactly was it that Kim Yeon-a's name became romanized as Yu-na? I was thinking that it must be odd to have your name mispronounced regularly, but then remembered that people mispronounce my name (if they call me Matthew) here all the time; I'm sure she's just as used to it (as she must be used to strange things like seeing her treatment for a herniated disk documented on the internet). Since I don't watch tv I had to watch her performance at the world championships on youtube after the fact. Her short program was awarded a record high score and won her admiration from many foreign commentators:
She didn't do so well on the long program, however. Mao Asada came in second (performances here and here), while Miki Ando came in first (performances here and here). It was nice to see Asada do so well in the long program, as she is extremely talented, and it was rather painful to see her abort a few jumps at the World Junior Championships last year because they were apparently too difficult. Of course, when I mentioned this to some of my middle school students, they just shook their heads and said, "But Japan won." It sort of feels like the love and support the Korean team got after losing to Switzerland in the World Cup. I mean, why is it that almost every photo in this gallery is of her falls? Talk about being supportive. And who the hell thought this was a flattering photo? Unlike the other English language dailies, the Donga Ilbo at least focussed on her short program in this interview with her. For the students who complained about 'Japan' winning, maybe they need to get into the spirit of this selka ("self-camera") photo, titled, "we are rivals and friends".
I know I've said it before, but both Korea and Japan could use a little more of this attitude at the national level.
For more posts on Kim Yuna have a look here.