Kim Yuna named honorary ambassador for 2018 Winter Games

November 4, 2014
Kim,  a two-time world champion, will seek to become only the third woman to defend an Olympic figure skating gold. (Yonhap)

Kim said it was “an honor” to act as an honorary ambassador for the Olympics, three years after helping PyeongChang win the bid.

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Retired figure skating star Kim Yuna on Tuesday was named an honorary ambassador for the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea.

Kim became the sixth goodwill ambassador for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, the first South Korean host of the quadrennial winter sports competition, about 180 kilometers east of Seoul. Kim joins the likes of Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder Choo Shin-soo and ballerina Kang Sue-jin.

Kim, 24, retired from figure skating after winning silver in the ladies’ singles event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, ending a decorated career that featured an Olympic gold in 2010 and the world championships in 2009 and 2013.

Kim previously served as an honorary ambassador for PyeongChang’s successful bid for the 2018 Games and gave a presentation at the 123rd International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, before the alpine town beat two rival cities in the IOC members’ vote.

Kim said it was “an honor” to act as an honorary ambassador for the Olympics, three years after helping PyeongChang win the bid.

“As a former winter sports athlete and a South Korean citizen, I am very pleased to be able to contribute to the organizing of the Winter Games in my country,” Kim said. “I worked with the bidding committee three years ago, and I still vividly remember the moment PyeongChang won the bid. I look forward to an exciting venture with the organizing committee going forward.”

As a two-time Winter Olympian, Kim said the best Olympics are the ones that serve the athletes best.

“At the Olympics, it’s important for the athletes to compete without problems or inconvenience,” Kim added. “As a former athlete, I’d like to help PyeongChang set up the best environment for competition.”

Cho Yang-ho, head of the 2018 Winter Games organizing committee, said he and the rest of his committee have “huge expectations” of Kim as their new honorary ambassador.

“As an athlete, Kim dominated her sport with confidence and audacity,” Cho said. “I hope her international experience can translate into her activities as our honorary ambassador, and she will be the face of PyeongChang in international events promoting the Olympics.”

Kim still owns the world record for the highest free skate score with 150.06 points and the highest total points with 228.56 under the revamped scoring system. Both marks were set in her gold medal performance at the 2010 Olympics. Kim never missed the podium in her senior career that began in 2006.