After more than a year away from the ice, Vancouver women’s figure skating champ Kim Yu-na is putting the ol’ team back together in hopes of defending her Olympic title at the 2014 Sochi Games.
Kim figured she’s about 70 percent ready to compete again and will reunite with childhood coaches Shin Hye-sook and Ryu Jong-hyun, who she began her career with at age seven in Seoul.
“I still have a feel for jumps and as long as I can get my strength back, there should be no problem,” Kim said in a press conference, adding that she plans to focus on conditioning. “I am also a bit concerned about shaking off rust in competitions.”
After sitting out all international competitions since winning silver at the 2011 World Championships, the 22-year-old South Korean wasn’t invited to compete in the current Grand Prix season.
Instead she’ll need to score enough technical points in minor competitions to qualify for the 2013 worlds in London, Ontario and use that competition as a springboard to the Olympics.
2010 men’s gold medalist Evan Lysacek also recently announced his plans to win another medal in Sochi, but sat out last week’s Skate America event with a groin injury. He currently plans to make his competitive debut at the U.S. Championships in Omaha this January.
SCHEDULE UPDATE: Vonn will will return for the final women’s downhill training run on Monday at 9 p.m. ET. LIVE STREAM
Look closely at Lindsey Vonn.
When NBC cameras zoom in on the two-time Olympic medalist, viewers will notice that she wrote a couple of messages on her uniform in permanent marker.
On the thumb of her right glove, Vonn has the word “believe” in Greek. It mirrors a tattoo she has on the inside of a finger.
“Signifying my last Olympics [in 2018] and just need to believe in myself,” Vonn said to NBC’s Nick Zaccardi.
On her helmet, Vonn has the initials “D.K.” and a heart. It is meant to honor her late grandfather, Don Kildow.
Kildow, who served in the Korean War from 1952-54, died on Nov. 1. Watch to learn more about Vonn’s special relationship with her grandparents:
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — At the bottom of the Olympic aerials landing hill, where crashes are common and the term “slap back” is part of the everyday lingo, skiers spend almost as much time figuring out how to protect their heads as they do working on all those flips and spins.
“We learn how to fall,” U.S. jumper Jon Lillis said.
Elsewhere around the action-sports venue, that’s not so much the case.
Concussion dangers lurk everywhere — from the iced-over deck of the halfpipe, to the steeply pitched landings on the slopestyle course, to the careening twists and turns of the snowboard cross track, to the aerials course, where “slap back” is the term for when a skier’s head slaps backward against the snow. But at the Olympics, there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding who diagnoses head injuries, and no hard-and-fast protocol that athletes must clear to be allowed back on the slopes after a concussion.
“A bit concerning,” says neurologist Kevin Weber of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “Because you worry that athletes in other sports that may not be as popular as football are getting, I wouldn’t say ignored, but the concussions they’re getting are under-scrutinized.”
Read the full story at NBCOlympics.com