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Kim Yuna: South Korea's ice skating icon

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South Korea's 'Queen Yuna'
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ice skater Kim Yuna is a national hero in native South Korea
  • Won the country's first Winter Olympics gold medal in 2010
  • Has own reality TV show, 'Kiss and Cry' and is ambassador for Korean Olympic bid

(CNN) -- Kim Yuna is one of South Korea's biggest stars and the ice skater who won the country's first figure skating gold medal at a Winter Olympic Games last year in Vancouver.

Known as "Queen Yuna" to her legions of fans, the 20-year old is far from the haughty ice maiden that moniker might suggest.

She fronts sellout ice dancing shows and has a plethora of advertising deals that cash in on her wholesome image. She is also the host of TV show "Kiss and Cry" -- a South Korean version of "Dancing with the Stars" on ice -- that she hopes will popularize the sport in South Korea.

"When I see those participants enjoying themselves, it is a great joy to me," she said. "Although some of them get hurt once in a while, they enjoy it a lot and I hope the show makes the viewers want to give it a try."

Kim Yuna on being a icon
What it takes to win
The nervousness of the Olympic presentation was nothing compared to the performances.
--Kim Yuna, Olympic gold medalist
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Named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2010, she has trained as an ice skater since she was 5, moving to Toronto at the age of 16 in order to pursue her Olympic ambitions.

Her work paid off at the Vancouver Olympics last year, where she scored a record 228.56 points to win gold in women's figure skating. The highest score since the International Skating Union (ISU) judging system began, she beat her own world record and eclipsed her closest rival, Mao Asada of Japan, by a massive 23.06 points.

Now having won every "grand slam" title figure skating has to offer, including the World Grand Prix Final, Four Continents Championships and World Championships, she is one of the highest paid athletes in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

As well as continuing to skate competitively she's an ambassador for South Korea's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. It's a responsibility that makes her more nervous than performing at the Olympics.

"I thought my heart would pop out during the presentation (in Lausanne, Switzerland). The nervousness was nothing compared to the performances," she said.

"Until then, I had only taken care of my own business. But with this being the wish of many Koreans, the thought of having that expectation of the whole country on my shoulders, even along with other people, worried and unnerved me."

CNN spoke to Kim Yuna at the Blush bar of Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas

 
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