Pyeongchang wins, but will Kim compete in 2018?

Maggie Hendricks
Fourth-Place Medal

Yu-Na Kim, the Olympic figure skating champion in 2010, scored another victory for her country. She helped lead the Pyeongchang delegation to a successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. But will she be around to compete when the Games do make it to South Korea?

At just 20 years old, she has plenty of good skating ahead of her. Both her dazzling performances at the Olympics and before the International Olympic Committee showed that she can perform under pressure.

If she chooses to continue competing, time and injury will be Kim's biggest enemies. After sitting out most of the competitive 2010-11 season with a hip injury, she took silver at the World Championships. To stay at elite world levels, she has to stay competitive through Sochi and Pyeongchang.

She could also choose to follow the path set for her by Katarina Witt, who stumped for her home country of Germany in a losing bid for the 2018 Games. Witt won gold in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, then retired after her second gold medal.

She came out of retirement in 1994 to compete for the newly-reunited German team. Her program to "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" did not win any medals, but is still considered one of the most moving figure skating performances in the Olympics. Her main reason for competing was to show love and solidarity with Sarajevo, the city where she won her first gold and that was war-torn in 1994.

Kim will need a similar motivation to keep up figure skating at an elite level for the next seven years, but she has often professed her love for her home country. Competing in front of a home crowd could be the exact motivation for her to do it.

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