“Kim Yuna is a champion for all time” - Philip Hersh, Los Angeles Times
She is the girl who has captured the hearts of the world and reenergized her home country. “Queen” Yu-na Kim (김연아 or 金姸兒) broke world records and skated two flawless programs to win Olympic gold at the 2010 games. She is the first female skater to win all the ISU international championships (ISU World Championships, ISU Grand Prix Final, and ISU Four Continents Championships).
“When you’re with [Kim] in Korea, it’s like you’re traveling with Princess Diana; Yu-na’s that famous there.” – Kim’s coach Brian Orser
Already extraordinarily popular in South Korea, with endorsement deals from companies such as Nike, Hyundai Motor Company and Kookmin Bank cashing in at $8 million in 2009, Kim is the sweetheart of the nation. Now, with the Olympic win, financial analysts and large corporations are attributing their projected economic revival on her.
"South Korea’s strong performance in the Olympics may cause people to view the economy’s performance in a more favorable light. Korea, the country, has the ability to outperform the world economy.” - Timothy Condon, ING Bank, Singapore, Chief Asia economist
Not just South Korea’s sweetheart, she has spurred the imagination and optimism of the world—all through the power of beauty. She is a rare combination of raw talent and ethereal grace. Elegant gestures, fluid transitions, there was no sign of struggle with her program. Kim singularly embodied the emotions and movements of the choreography. It is this perfection that memorizes then charms.
“She’s the whole package. Her jumps are soaring and they’re equal. You don’t have one big one followed by a little tiny jump. I think she’s grown choreographically. She’s very musical. The whole thing is very beautiful and athletic, but not too athletic. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything when I watch her.” – Dorothy Hamill, 1976 Olympic figure skating gold medalist
“One of the greatest women’s figure skaters of any era.” - Jeré Longman, New York Times
“Technically, she’s the greatest of all time. If she skates a little longer and does this over the next three or four years, she will be the greatest skater of all time.” - Ted Barton, someone who helped to devise the new points-based scoring system
"This is the best routine I've ever seen in an Olympic competition." - Sandra Bezic, NBC
“Stella Kim touched and gave happiness to all Koreans by … overcoming various difficulties and doing her best…. [I hope] lots of young people will gain confidence and hope through Kim’s achievement.” - Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk
"[Kim’s] passion and strong spirit brought great excitement and pleasure to the people." - South Korea President Lee Myung-Bak
“I think the whole nation is in front of the television. Kim Yu-na is the country’s special sister. Every athlete is important, but her medal is more important than the others. She is beautiful. She’s our pride. I think Koreans will have a lot of drinks.”- John Moon, Chief of Staff of the South Korean Olympic Committee
Hard working, modest, talented in figure skating and singing, I look forward to seeing how Yu-na Kim's story evolves.
"My dream doesn't end with the Olympics. I have a bigger future ahead of me. I'm not done yet."