(LEAD) Kim Yu-na feels no pressure to repeat as Olympic champ
By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) -- Reigning Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na said Wednesday she isn't feeling any pressure to win her second straight gold medal next month at the Sochi Winter Games.
At a press conference held at the National Training Center in Seoul, Kim said she is preparing for the upcoming Winter Olympics as if it were just another event.
"I am not doing anything special in my training," Kim said. "I am not trying extra hard just because it's the Olympics. Before every competition, I try to put myself in the best possible shape, and it's no different for the Olympics."
Kim suffered a foot injury last September that threatened to derail her Olympic preparation, but she returned to competition in December. She won a minor event in Croatia last month and then defended the South Korean national title earlier this month.
Kim is trying to become only the third woman, after Sonja Henie and Katarina Witt, to repeat as an Olympic figure skating champion.
Figure skater Kim Yu-na leaves her press conference with a smile on Jan. 15, 2014, in Seoul. (Yonhap)
The 23-year-old South Korean, who's also won two world championships, has said Sochi will be her last Olympics. With about a month to go, Kim said it still hasn't hit her yet that her final competition is approaching.
"I know people talk a lot about winning two straight Olympic gold medals, but I am not actually focusing on defending my title," Kim said. "I just hope to do everything I've prepared to do. As long as I can do that, I think the results will follow and I should be able to end my career without regrets."
Kim admitted her free skating program, choreographed to a tango piece titled "Adios Nonino," has been physically challenging. It's a routine jam-packed with complicated step sequences and spins bridging difficult jumps, and in both of her two competitions this season, Kim has made rare mistakes on jumps and failed to earn maximum points on spins.
After her two competitions, Kim said she has become more accustomed to her free skate.
"It's difficult to do a clean, perfect program every time, but I've gained plenty of confidence after the two events," Kim said. "The free skating program was difficult in the beginning but now I've gotten used to it."