August 05, 2009 10:36
Korean figure skating superstar Kim Yu-na has been nominated for the Sportswoman of the Year award by the Women's Sports Foundation. Headquartered in New York, the foundation announced 10 nominees on its website and began online voting on Sunday.
The candidates were selected based on their performances between Aug. 1, 2008 and July 31 this year. A separate award is given to a team sports athlete whose performance over the year has been extraordinary.
The 19-year-old Kim is the only Asian athlete to be nominated in the individual sports category. Introducing Kim as currently "the world's No. 1 female figure skater," the foundation said, "In February 2009, Kim won the Four Continents Figure Skating Championship; the second-place finisher trailed by 21 points. She set two world records for highest scores in the short program and overall at the ISU World Figure Skating Championship (March). Kim is the first South Korean to win the World Figure Skating Championship."
The Women's Sports Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1974 by Billie Jean King, a legendary American tennis star. Its aim is to expand opportunities for women and financially-marginalized female students to participate in sports.
First awarded in 1993, the list of recipients of the Sportswoman of the Year Award is star-studded. Golfer Lorena Ochoa, who is nominated again this year, won in 2007. Other golfers who won the award are Sweden's Annika Sorenstam in 2004 and American Julie Inkster in 1999.
From figure skating, five-time world champion Michelle Kwan won in 1998 and 2002 Olympic champion Sarah Hughes in 2002. American Nastia Liukin, the gold medalist in individual all-around gymnastics at the 2008 Olympics, won the award last year.
The results of the online voting for this year's award will be announced on Oct. 4, and the award ceremony will take place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Oct. 14.
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