Kim Yu-na will not enter any competitions this season as she wants to focus on mapping out her future, the busy Olympic figure skating champion said on Tuesday.
"I haven't had much time to think about what path I should choose for my future. I want to take a break and think about what to do for the future while skipping competitions this season," the 21-year-old said upon arriving at Incheon International Airport from the U.S.
The 2010 Vancouver Olympics gold medalist forewent the 2010-2011 International Skating Union Grand Prix series and finished second in the 2011 World Championships in Moscow.
She had already declared that she would not compete in the Grand Prix series this season, but was undecided about next year's worlds in Nice, France, until Tuesday. This will be the first time since the 2001-2002 season that Kim has sat out an entire season on the international circuit.
"Since last year, I was uncertain about my plans for the season, but now I have made up my mind and I feel a great sense of relief," she said. "My decision may come as a disappointment to skating fans, but I will definitely be able to meet my fans at ice shows or through other events."
When asked if the decision served as a prelude to her hanging up her skates permanently, Kim replied, "I don't know what I'll do next season. I won't retire until I’m absolutely sure I've had enough."
She will attend the official launch ceremony of the organizing committee for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics at the Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul on Wednesday. She will also continue to pursue professional engagements such as commercial shoots.
Kim will fly to Lausanne in Switzerland for a press conference held 100 days before the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games as a promotional ambassador on Nov. 2. After that, she will continue training on her own for ice shows and to stay in shape.
"I spent more than half of the last five years abroad, so I'd like to spend more time in Korea this year. I need a change."