Taekwondo, archery, short track these are the niche sports in which South Korea tends to dominate. But a bright-light event such as figure skating? You bet, ever since Kim, 19, began racking up championships and setting records with the highest-scoring performances, quietly making her case to be the Olympic gold-medal favorite. Steady and consistent almost to the point of appearing robotic, Kim rarely slips on the ice a skill that has served her well in the points-based judging system. She's the current world champion and trains in Toronto but is hard to miss in Seoul her image adorns buses, stores and cosmetics counters. When it comes to performing, the unflappable teen always delivers; Kim stood at the top of the podium in every competition she entered this season.
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