After more than 18 months away from figure skating, Vancouver gold medalist Yuna Kim marked her triumphant return to the sport by winning the NRW trophy in Germany over the weekend.
The South Korean star also locked up a spot at March’s World Championships in Ontario by scoring 201.61 points – the best of any skater this season – after overcoming a fall in her free program. She won competition by more than 40 points.
“At the beginning of the program my spins were going well, but I made one mistake,” she told the Associated Press. “Afterward, I felt shaky but I persevered to the end. I was actually surprised at the score I received. That was unexpected. I think I did my best, the best I could, even though I don’t feel I’ve shown all I can do. But overall I’m satisfied with the result today.”
Kim said she isn’t worried about Sochi right now, but will instead focus on the current season, and on the Korean National Championships taking place during the first week of January in Seoul.
“I’m going to prepare very hard for it, not just for me but so all the other young skaters in Korea can also gain entry to the Olympics.”
NBC Sports will air coverage of 87 Alpine skiing races at 22 resorts across the globe this fall and winter, from October through March, in the final full season before the 2018 Olympics.
Highlights include fall and winter stops in the U.S. with races in Killington, Vt.; Beaver Creek, Colo.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.
Lindsey Vonn‘s highlighted World Cup stop will be downhill and super-G races in Lake Louise, Canada, the first weekend of December.
The world championships in February will be in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will look to defend titles.
ALPINE SKIING SEASON PREVIEWS: Men | Women
Canadian skier Phil Brown was fortunate to walk away from an airborne crash at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.
Brown failed to finish his first run, losing contact with the snow early on and falling hard onto his side.
He tweeted a video of the crash, with slow-motion replays, with a soundtrack of Irish singer Enya‘s “Only Time.”
The World Cup season continues with men’s and women’s slaloms in Levi, Finland, in three weeks.
MORE: Ted Ligety recovers to finish fifth in first race in 9 months