On October 13, the Women’s Sports Foundation held its 31st Annual Salute to Women in Sports. With the awards dinner taking place at New York’s famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, the world’s top female athletes were acknowledged and honored for their remarkable achievements, unparalleled performances, significant contributions to women in sports and the girls they inspire across the globe.
Amongst the top female athletes who graced the event was South Korea’s very own national icon, Olympic and World Figure Skating Champion Kim Yuna.
Kim was honored withe the highly coveted Sportswoman of the Year Award. Kim was chosen for her many outstanding achievements, which include (but are not limited to) the following:
- At the Ladies’ Singles event at the Trophée Eric Bompard event in Paris, Kim became the first woman to have a combined final score of over 210 points and finishing 36.04 points ahead of her closest competitor.
- At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games held in Vancouver, Kim won the gold medal by a land slide in the Ladies’ Singles event, making her the first Korean to medal in Figure Skating at an Olympic Winter Games.
- Kim is currently ranked No.1 by the International Skating Union and has medalled in every single event that she has competed in ever since her senior debut in 2006.
Kim accepted the prestigious award and gave her acceptance speech stating, “It’s a great honor for me to receive the Sportswoman of the Year award and I would like to express my sincere gratitude [to the federation]. For me, this is not just any award and brings forth much meaning. As a figure skater, I would very much hope for this award to launch opportunities for young girls to enter the world of figure skating and enjoy the sport”.
Kim continued, by expressing, “In spite of everything, there still remains many countries around the world that discourage women from actively participating in sports and fitness due to the prevailing social norm that emphasizes the notion of femininity. However, I strongly believe that it’s time for us to break away from such social conventions. Sports not only helps develop the physical body for both men and women, it also helps and enhances the development of one’s mental capabilities to think more extensively and thoroughly. Through sports, not only do we learn the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play; we also learn how to respect the rules and learn to develop sincere friendship between athletes. I believe that this knowledge should not just remain as attainments by athletes but should also serve as virtues maintained by every person.”
Kim concluded her acceptance speech, saying “By accepting this award, I hope I have at least become a small driving force for people to enjoy and live a dynamic lifestyle through sports. Lastly, I would like to express my utmost appreciation to my family and friends who always been a pillar of strength by my side. Thank you.”
As 2010’s sportswoman of the year, Kim is the first Asian and the 3rd non-American athlete to win this prestigious award, further adding significance to this coveted accomplishment.
Meanwhile, Kim who has decided to compete only at the upcoming season’s World Championships in Japan and will continue her training at the East West Ice Palace in Artesia, California under the tutelage of newly appointed coach, Peter Oppegard. Kim is also set to start work on a new short program with her choreographer David Wilson later this month.
Source: Women’s Sports Foundation, Yonhap News
Photos: YNKF, DC-Yeona Gallery