Thursday, Feb. 04, 2010

Yu Na Kim

Figure Skating
South Korean

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.