Yuna Kim

Yuna Kim announces program music for figure skating season

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Yuna Kim may very well enter the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi to “Send in the Clowns.”

The defending Olympic figure skating champion from South Korea announced her music for the Olympic season: “Send in the Clowns” for her short program and “Adios Nonino” for her free skate. Kim, 22, has said she plans to retire after the Sochi Games.

“(‘Send in the Clowns’) is sung by a woman who misses her lover who left,” Kim said, according to BNT News. “At the first time I heard it, I wanted to perform with this song sometimes.

“This is my last competition program as a player (skater), and I’m so happy that I chose the song that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ll try my best to show as great performance as fans are expecting from me.”

The women’s competition is by custom the final event of the Olympic figure skating program. It will take place Feb. 19-20 in Sochi, finishing two nights before the closing ceremony. The medal contenders are set to perform their free skates in the afternoon Eastern time, via the time change.

Kim is attempting to become the first woman since Katarina Witt in 1984 and 1988 to win back-to-back Olympic figure skating titles.

In fact, next year is shaping up to be the first time in 20 years the Olympic field will include a woman who owns an Olympic gold medal (Witt came back for 1994 and finished seventh).

Kim is the favorite for Sochi gold, a statement emboldened by her comfortable victory at the World Championships in March after a two-year break from competition. The other contenders are longtime rival Mao Asada of Japan, 2012 world champion Carolina Kostner of Italy and Americans Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold.

Kim will make her season debut at Skate Canada, Oct. 25-27, according to

“Send in the Clowns” should conjure images of the 2010 Olympics for figure skating fans. There, Germany’s Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy used it for their short program on their way to bronze. The visual was more memorable than the audio:


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Gracie Gold details weight issues in figure skating after Skate America struggles

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Gracie Gold said she has struggled with weight issues this whole year and in recent seasons in reported comments after she finished fifth at Skate America on Saturday.

“You don’t often see — there aren’t that many — you just don’t see overweight figure skaters for a reason,” Gold said, according to USA Today. “It’s just something I’ve struggled with this whole year and in previous seasons. It’s just difficult when you’re trying to do the difficult triple jumps. It’s something that I am addressing, but it’s obviously not where it should be for this caliber of competition.

“It’s just not what’s required for this sport. It’s a lean body sport, and it’s just not what I have currently.”

Gold fell once in her Skate America short program and twice in her free skate en route to her lowest Grand Prix finish (excluding Grand Prix Finals) since her debut at 2012 Skate Canada.

Gold also finished sixth out of six skaters in her first competition this season, the free-skate-only Japan Open on Oct. 1.

Gold was fourth at the world championships in April, falling from first after the short program. The U.S. champion was still dealing with that “worlds depression” in the summer, even considering skipping the fall Grand Prix season.

Her next scheduled competition is in three weeks at Trophée de France in Paris, which she won last season.

“We just need to adjust my physical shape and mental shape and see if the program can be salvaged for the rest of the year,” Gold said, according to

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Ashley Wagner leads U.S. 1-2 at Skate America

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Ashley Wagner bolstered her international reputation again, winning Skate America on Saturday in her first top-level full competition since her world championships silver medal in April.

Wagner totaled 196.44 points over two programs in Hoffman Estates, Ill., holding off countrywoman Mariah Bell by 4.85 points. U.S. champion Gracie Gold was fifth. Full results are here.

“The short program was definitely one of my world-class programs,” Wagner said on NBC. “Long program, I left a little bit out on the table.”

Wagner, who led by 3.75 points after Friday’s short program, was flawed in her free skate, including singling the back end of a jump combination and under-rotating two more jumps.

Still it was enough to overtake Bell, who had the highest free skate score by 3.73 points but was sixth in the short program.

It marked the first U.S. women’s one-two in a Grand Prix event since 2012 Skate America (Wagner and Christina Gao).

“I’m starting to realize my own potential and believe in myself,” Bell, who shares a coach with Wagner, said on NBC. “I’m very excited for the future.”

Gold fell in both of her programs as she tries to bounce back from dropping from first to fourth at last season’s world championships. Gold had her lowest Grand Prix finish (excluding Grand Prix Final) since her debut at 2012 Skate Canada.

Wagner notched her fifth career Grand Prix series win (only Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen own more among U.S. women). Wagner joined Kwan as the only women to bag multiple Skate America and U.S. Championships titles.

The women Wagner must be compared with are Russian teens. Wagner ended a 10-year U.S. medal drought at worlds last year, but Russia still rules women’s skating.

None of the top Russians competed at Skate America. Wagner is slated to face 2015 World gold and bronze medalists Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Yelena Radionova at her next event, Cup of China, in four weeks.

The reigning world champion, Yevgenia Medvedeva, makes her Grand Prix season debut at Skate Canada next week. Medvedeva and Wagner could go head-to-head at the Grand Prix Final in Marseille, France, in December.

Earlier Saturday, Japan’s Shoma Uno topped the men’s short program with 89.15 points, landing one of his two quadruple jump attempts.

Uno, 18, was followed by the last two U.S. champions, Adam Rippon (87.32, no quads) and Jason Brown (85.75, fall on single quad attempt).

The men’s free skate is Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET (NBC and NBC Sports app).

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