“I hope that there will an investigation by IOC and that Kim Yuna will get her gold medal.” a comment from Kim’s coach Shin Hea-sook
A comment from Shin Hea-sook, coach of Yuna Kim at the time of the Sochi Olympic Games about recent admission by Adelina Sotnikova about doping.
Shin Hea-sook, the ‘grandmother’ of the figure skating coaching world who coached ‘Queen’ Kim Yuna at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, expressed her hope that Kim Yuna would receive a gold medal. She still had lingering doubts about the gold medal that went to Sotnikova, who had mistakes at the time.
During a phone call with on the July 13th, Coach Shin said, “I hope that there will an investigation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and that Kim Yuna will regain her gold medal. If Kim Yuna receives the gold medal, it will be a great thing for the Korean figure skating community. Winning back-to-back gold medals in womens’ singles figure skating is an incredible achievement.”
Recently, Adelina Sotnikova (Russia), the gold medalist in womens’ single figure skating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, appeared on a YouTube channel and revealed, “I tested positive for doping in 2014. They opened the second sample, and fortunately, no issues were found in the second sample, so I did not receive any sanctions,” causing a stir.
At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Sotnikova won the gold medal in womens’ singles with a total score of 224.59 points, while Kim Yuna earned the silver medal with a score of 219.11 points. Kim Yuna’s bid for a consecutive gold medal, following her victory at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, was dashed.
There was controversy surrounding the judging at the time. In the short program, Kim Yuna was in first place with a score of 74.92 points, while Sotnikova was in second place with a score of 74.64 points. Despite Kim Yuna delivering a flawless performance in the free skate, the rankings were reversed.
Even foreign media raised questions about the judging. After the completion of the free skate competition, international journalists bombarded the athletes with questions regarding the judging and its fairness.
The Korea Skating Union requested the International Skating Union (ISU) to review Kim Yuna’s scoring, but it was ultimately not accepted.
However, now doping suspicions have arisen following Sotnikova’s remarks.
After Sotnikova’s statement, the Korean Sports Association and the Korea Anti-Doping Agency (KADA) decided to request a reinvestigation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
After the sports association’s reinvestigation policy was revealed through media reports, Sotnikova argued that she was not caught doping but that there were issues with the testing sample.
The coach recalled the competition at the time, saying, “At the Sochi Winter Olympics, Yulia Lipnitskaya from Russia was a more concerning opponent than Sotnikova. Sotnikova wasn’t an outstanding performer,” and added, “At the time, Kim Yuna’s free skating program was scheduled towards the end of the warm up, so I couldn’t closely watch Sotnikova’s performance.”
Furthermore, the coach stated, “I believed that with no mistakes performance of Kim Yuna, the gold medal was possible. Sotnikova had some minor mistakes, while Kim Yuna didn’t make any mistakes, yet the rankings were reversed,” recalling the sense of injustice regarding the judging at the time.
The coach said, “Kim Yuna went through a really tough preparation from her comeback in 2012 until participating in the Sochi Winter Olympics. It was so disappointing that she couldn’t win the gold medal even with a flawless performance,” and added, “Although Kim Yuna seemed composed at the time, she could also feel upset. Since then, I have never brought up the topic of Sochi because it could be saddening for her.”
Furthermore, the coach emphasized, “If Kim Yuna were to receive the gold medal, it would bring me great joy,” and expressed hope for a positive outcome.
The Korea Skating Union intends to actively cooperate with the sports association’s response.
An official from the skating federation stated, “It would be a good thing for the skating community if Kim Yuna were to receive the gold medal, and we hope for the best. As we need to lodge a protest with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it will be led by the sports association. We are working together to find ways to actively address the situation in coordination with the sports association.”
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