Yuna Kim returns.
About two years ago I tossed in one of the articles a rhetoric question “For whom the rules changed?” It was one of those days when Yuna Kim’s record breaking campaigns began getting under the skin of the ISU, and in response to Kim’ insatiable appetite for easy points, the ISU began revising the rules. Kim finally got tired of the ISU, I guess, and left the rink before the ISU ever named them Kim’s rules.
Kim toyed judges and waded through the mine field, raking up point after point in her sublime mastery. Right, the ISU decided to curb her. Well, you can’t fault them for that. That’s how things are. So how many points actually does a triple-triple deserve? What about Asada’s triple axel? What about extra points on jump combination and pre-rotated jumps and so on?
While the figure genius was struggling for signs that tells her to stay on the rink, her royal camp imploded in a managerial conflict between heroes in her Vancouver victory, among whom her mentor, Brian Orser stood in all perplexities.
Right, that’s a typical soap opera before you say a goodbye. But after Kim had left the rink, nothing left except a pillar of smoke of technical bankruptcy of the current ladies figure skating. In Kim’s absence those hair-split arguments on points turned irrelevant.
Back then, nobody tried to fathom what Kim had done to ladies figure skating, and what legacy she had left behind. Her fierce rival Asada or Nagasu or another Kim would soon fill the void of the figure queen, so we hoped. But to our dismay, there wasn’t any.
Why would you bother all the technical debates when virtually nobody delivers goodies? How all those ladies who had fought so heroically against Kim suddenly lost their edge altogether once Kim walked off the ice. What happened to Asada? What happened to those who were called to be another Kim?
Now the 2012 Grand Prix Final kicks off, in Sochi, Russia. But Kim will not be there. Instead the NRW Trophy in Dortmund, Germany is spotlighted, because Kim is going to compete there.
It doesn’t matter how she does this time. Just showing up in competition Kim will exert positive synergy to her peers. Kim is said to aim at acquiring the minimum points to qualify for the 2013 World Championships in March. For worlds, Kim is required to secure at least 28 points in the short program and 48, in her free skate. Never mind the Grand Prix Final. Just check out the queen’s humble pie at Dortmund. That’s something you shouldn’t miss out this time.
Kim may not come out as sharp as she once was a few years ago. But she is still a standard against which everything her peers do will be measured and weighed. Kim needs to look farther to rediscover herself in the landscape of figure skating world, then she will see why she is wanted so much.