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Kim's Remarks Cause Controversy

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AFP is reporting that a bit of a controversy has sprung up over some remarks recent Four Continents Champion Yu-na Kim made during an interview over the weekend. Kim essentially said her warm-ups during the competition had been interrupted:

"Particularly at this year's Four Continents championships, I felt it was a bit terrible ... too much," she told Korea's SBS network without naming names.

"I am trying to find a way to deal with it."

The article states that a voice-over on the broadcast said it was Japanese skaters who crossed Kim's path (Japanese skaters Mao Asada, Fumie Suguri and Akiko Suzuki were competing, although I am not sure which ones skated in each of Kim's warmup sessions). Japanese media took that voiceover and ran with it, attributing the blame of Japanese skaters directly to Kim.

"It is true that several times she felt obstructed during her warm-ups," Kim Wonmin, an agent for Kim Yu-Na, told AFP.

"But she never singled out any country in the interview with SBS. It's news media that mentioned Japan. If this situtation continues, we may have to lodge a protest."

The Japan Skating Federation said it had yet to receive any protest.

"Skaters seriously practice for competitions and they can, in no manner, intentionally obstruct others," said Hidetoshi Ito, head of the federation's figure skating commission.

Warm-up obstruction and intimidation is not a new phenomenon. There have been notable accusations of it, as well as several instances of injuring resulting from warm-up collisions (like the one between Germany's Tanja Szewczenko and Oksana Baiul at the 1994 Olympics).