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Korean star Kim savors last hurrah at Olympics

by Jack Gallagher

Staff Writer

Defending Olympic and world champion Kim Yu-na arrived here late Wednesday night and had her first practice session on Thursday evening.

Kim went through her routine at the training rink next to the Iceberg Skating Palace and said she was trying to maintain continuity in her workout.

“The most important thing of today’s training was continuing what I have been doing in Korea,” she stated. “I wanted to get used to the ice. By the end of practice I had got used to it. I tried to not take out any elements of the program.”

The 23-year-old Kim, who intends to retire after the Sochi Games, was asked about her attempt to join Sonja Henie and Katarina Witt as the only women to repeat as Olympic champion.

“The era in which I am participating and the one the other two took part in are so different,” she noted. “A lot of time has passed and our abilities are different.”

Kim claimed she wanted to enjoy the experience more this time around.

“For me, I am not focusing on winning the gold medal twice,” she commented. “I am focusing more on taking part in the Olympic Games.”

When asked whether she had seen Russian teen sensation Julia Lipnitskaia perform in the team event, Kim answered in the affirmative.

“Yes I saw the performances of the other athletes,” she said. “Unfortunately I did not take part in the team event and I saw the athletes that took part in it (on video).”

Kim tried to distance herself from any talk of a rivalry with the youngster.

“I heard a lot about Julia Lipnitskaia,” she said. “She just debuted in the senior level, but this is my last Olympic Games. I think the experience is different for both of us. Every athlete tries their best. I don’t want to mention anyone specifically before the games.”