If you didn’t know the name Yuna Kim before you watched the first half of the Ladies Figure Skating medal event–also known as the Ladies Short Program–you definitely knew her name by the end of the event.


Commentators Johnny Weir and Tara Lapinski were singing Kim’s praises before her routine started, and Kim’s performance did not disappoint. Of the thirty competitors, Kim placed first in the event with a total score of 74.92.


Yuna Kim skates on February 19

Figure skating champion Yuna Kim performs in the Ladies Short Program on Wed., Feb.19. Reuters.

Kim, 23, was the 17th athlete to skate and the most anticipated competitor at the event. When she reached the center of the rink to launch into her routine, the crowd fell into hushed silence apparently enraptured by Kim’s breathtaking performance. Even the commentary quieted down, relative to other skaters. At the end of the routine, Lapinski described Kim’s demeanor on the ice as serene, relaxed and confident.


The South Korean figure skater began skating in 1996 at the age of 5. She won the gold at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and holds six medals in World Championships for Figure Skating. Her list of awards and record-breaking performances make her one of the most recognized athletes and media figures in South Korea; the country has dubbed her “Queen Yuna.” In all of her competitions, Kim has never finished below third place.


The second half of the event, the Ladies Free Program, takes place today. Kim will be competing last, so be sure to stay tuned so that you can have the opportunity to witness the grace of this talented Olympian.



Have you been watching the Ladies Figure Skating events? Who else could give Queen Yuna a run for her money today in the Free Program? Let’s talk Sochi here in the comments section below, or you can tweet me @TiffaniJPurdy.