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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Katie Ledecky wins by 28 seconds on 21st birthday to close NCAAs

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Katie Ledecky capped her second NCAA Championships with a win by 28 seconds in the 1,650-yard freestyle on her 21st birthday Saturday.

Last year, Ledecky lapped all but one swimmer through 1,000 yards of the 1650 final and won by 21.19 seconds.

Earlier this week, Ledecky anchored Stanford to an 800 freestyle relay title and won the 500 free by a record margin of more than eight seconds.

Then on Friday, teammate Ella Eastin beat Ledecky by 3.69 seconds in the 400 individual medley, an event that Ledecky never swims on the major international level. Eastin broke Ledecky’s NCAA record by 1.93 seconds.

Ledecky hasn’t discussed with Stanford whether she will return for her junior season or turn pro, according to the school.

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Mikaela Shiffrin wins final slalom for best career season (video)

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Mikaela Shiffrin won her 12th World Cup race this season and seventh slalom, both personal bests, at the World Cup Finals in Are, Sweden, on Saturday.

Shiffrin, who clinched her second World Cup overall title and fifth slalom season title before the last races of the campaign this weekend, prevailed by 1.58 seconds over Swiss Wendy Holdener. PyeongChang gold medalist Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was third.

“The slalom has always been really close to my heart,” said Shiffrin, who won the last two slaloms this season after a shocking fourth-place finish in PyeongChang. “To finish with a run like that was super special.”

Full results are here.

Shiffrin matched Lindsey Vonn‘s American record for World Cup wins in one season — 12 — with one more race Sunday. Only Swiss Vreni Schneider has more women’s World Cup wins in a single campaign with 14.

Shiffrin, who turned 23 on Tuesday, also moved into solo fifth place on the women’s World Cup wins list with 43, including 23 victories in the last two seasons.

If Shiffrin keeps it up, she can move into the top three next season, though Lindsey Vonn‘s record 82 is a ways off.

“I’m not thinking about that so much,” Shiffrin said. “It’s way too soon to set that as my goal.”

Shiffrin is also three World Cup slalom wins shy of the record 35 held by retired Austrian Marlies Schild, whom Shiffrin supplanted as the world’s top slalom skier in 2013.

The World Cup Finals conclude Sunday with the women’s giant slalom. Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will air live coverage of the second run at 7:30 a.m. ET.

“After today I’m really looking forward to going to the start one more time this season and hammering down,” Shiffrin said.

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