Thursday, March 09, 2006


Kim lays it down

Yu-na: the new law of the ice
They said it couldn't be done. Who is they? Oh, I don't know, but there must have been lots of people who were saying that Yu-na Kim could never hold up in the long program after her surprise win over Mao Asada in the short program at the 2006 Junior World Championships. I even thought that myself, even though I've yet to see the girl skate. Today, she pulled off a big upset by resoundingly beating Mao Asada in the free skate to take the title of Junior World Champion away from the Japanese sensation. And when I say "resoundingly," I mean that she beat her by more than twenty-four points, scoring so high that she would have taken fourth had she scored the same at the recent Olympics, between Slutskaya and Suguri, with her new personal best of 177.54. Not only is she the first Korean woman to win a figure skating world championship, but she's the first Korean to win an ISU event, ever, as I learned in this handy ISU press release, where you can read the whole, technical story of the event. I also learned that the term used for doing jumps is "laying down," as in "performing to the Papa Can You Hear Me soundtrack [sic; and ick], the 15-year-old laid down a triple flip-triple toe combination...." I like that term; it lends a nice gonzo quality to the commentary that's actually perfectly appropriate for the true spirit of the sport. I'm sure there will be a lot of extremely gonzo parties in Korea and wherever Koreans gather in the next day or so if the Korean media is as wily as I think it will be about selling this historic victory to the general public. I'm definitely going to tell my Korean ESL students about it tonight, and ask them to watch for coverage in the Korean news. Which they won't do. But I would if I could--it's always a hoot for this armchair sociologist to see how different countries' media treat their star figure skaters.

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