Olympic Gymnast Son Yeon-jae Starts College

Son Yeon-jae Son Yeon-jae

Rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae, who won a bronze medal at the Gazprom Cup Grand Prix in Russia last week, returned to Korea on Tuesday.

During a press conference at Incheon International Airport, she discussed the role her revised program across all four disciplines (hoop, ball, club and ribbon) may have had on her winning performance. Starting this season, expression and musicality are more important criteria for judges.

"Rather than the results, I focused on polishing the new programs in this competition," she said. "I'm happy to have earned a good result in club sooner than I expected."

"Watching opera or ballet once every week at the recommendation of my coach Elena Nefedova helped me a lot," she added.

Son chose Puccini's opera "Turandot" for hoop and "Swan Lake" by Tchaikovsky for ribbon complete with new costumes.

The freshman at Yonsei University attended her first class -- taekwondo -- on Tuesday afternoon. She also distributed magazines that featured her on the cover.

Son plans to stay in Korea for a week to rest and attend classes before leaving for Russia next week to prepare for a World Cup event in Portugal hosted by the International Federation of Gymnastics in early April.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 06, 2013 10:46 KST