The rivalry between South Korean figure skater Yuna Kim and Japan’s Mao Asada has dominated the sport for years.
But while most observers expected them to retire after Sochi, one has chosen to step back into the rink.
During a recent photoshoot for Allure Korea, Olympic champion Yuna Kim gave a rare interview on life after figure skating.
It is ironic, then, that Mao Asada announced her comeback attempt on the same day.
“I still don’t know what I really want to do,” admitted Kim according to Koreaboo . “Currently, I am attending a graduate school, looking after my juniors at Tae Reung and enjoying time off for photoshoots like today, as well as [my role] as an honorary ambassador.
I am refraining from new thoughts as of now.
If I am diligent in the present, I hope new thoughts will come to me naturally? I am enjoying this time of letting my guard down.” The same could not be said of 24-year-old Mao Asada, who announced on Tuesday she was training again after taking last season off.
“I began to think during my time off that I could do it again,” wrote Asada according to NBC Sports . “I will keep my hopes high and continue practicing every day.” Like Kim, Asada chose to focus on her education after the Sochi Olympics.
Reportedly, she graduated from college in March.
“I had meant for Sochi and the World Championships to mark my last year, and after that was over felt I’d done everything I could and didn’t want to skate again,” said Asada.
“But as the days passed and my time away from skating grew longer, I started to feel that yes, skating is essential for me.” Meanwhile, Yuna Kim is attending Korea University and is the official ambassador for the 2018 Winter Olympics, with the organizing committee expecting “her to take the lead in promoting the games to the world.”