Reigning Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na will miss the Grand Prix season after injuring her right foot.
Kim will be sidelined for up to six weeks because of an injured metatarsal, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said, citing the Korea Skating Union. The 23-year-old has been having pain since mid-August, and Yonhap quoted an unnamed KSU official who said the injury could worsen if Kim kept training. She continues to do light exercise, the official added.
Kim was scheduled to compete at Skate Canada next month then at Trophee Eric Bompard, which is Nov. 15-17 in Paris. But she has withdrawn from both events, according to the International Skating Union.
The timing of the injury is less than ideal, with the Sochi Olympics less than five months away. But layoffs have had little effect on Kim in the past.
Kim’s gold at the Vancouver Games in 2010 capped perhaps the most dominant two-year span the sport has ever seen. She lost only one competition during that time, and her dazzling performances in Vancouver set records that might never be matched. When she stepped away after the 2011 world championships, there was speculation that she might retire.
But Kim returned for the world championships last March and, despite a two-year layoff from major competition, she looked as if she’d never been away. Not only did she win the title, but her scores in both the short and long programs were surpassed only by the records she set in Vancouver. Her 20-point victory was the largest at worlds since the current scoring system took effect in 2005.
Kim, who is trying to become the first woman since Katarina Witt to repeat as Olympic champion, has said she plans to retire after Sochi.