"I can't say anything right now. I'm really excited. It will be very good to compete in my own country."
That quote yesterday from Kim Yu-Na on PyeongChang's successful Olympic bid is now sending shockwaves through the figure skating community.
Did "The Queen" just commit herself through two more Olympics for the chance to compete at home? You must admit...it's tempting, and certainly not unheard of.
2006 Olympic Champ Evgeny Plushenko is extending his career for another go on home soil. In 2006, Fusar-Poli and Margalio and Silvia Fontana did the same. Todd Eldredge in 2002...it's a familiar story.
So does Kim Yu-Na have staying power?
I think yes. When the Olympics roll around in 2018 she'll be 27 years old. Sure, she'd certainly be one of the most "seasoned" skaters on the ice but with age comes experience. And while 27 isn't exactly the norm, it's certainly not unheard of. Maria Butyrskaya won a World Championship at 26. Irina Slutskaya was an Olympic Medalist at 27.
In short...it's doable.
I think she has to take a measured approach to skating and training. I don't think she can press full steam ahead for the next seven years, she'd kill herself. She has to know when to take it easy and know when to train hard. I believe we may be seeing the early beginning's of this with her limited competition schedule last season and a similar plan for next season.
I think Kim Yu-Na has an opportunity here. I don't think figure skating has had an icon like Kim since Michelle Kwan and she can mold the next, well...decade, into the Kim era. This could be big.
What are your thoughts? Does she have staying power?