July 29, 2015 11:19
Figure skating star Kim Yu-na participated in a sideline event at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, which opened last week.
At the event on Monday to let people with intellectual disabilities mingle with sports stars or celebrities and promote camaraderie among them, Kim was paired with Park Mi-sun, a teen badminton player.
Even before the match began, the two held hands and took pictures together. Kim and Park's opponents were five-time world champion figure skater Michelle Kwan and a player from Indonesia. The match lasted for 40 minutes. There was no winner or loser, as the event places importance on participation itself.
"I realized again that they are just the same as us, although they might face more difficulties," Kim said. "I was moved by their passion and determination."
Prior to the event, Kim also attended a forum at a hotel in Los Angeles where she shared her experience as a figure skater.
"Honestly, nearly 90 percent of my career was filled with hardship and struggle, but a few moments of happiness, which came after great achievement, kept me motivated and enabled me to try even harder," she said.
Kim also said she had a chance to give figure skating lessons to athletes with disabilities in 2013 and was impressed by their efforts to overcome difficulties.
"I want to have more chances to help athletes with disabilities and young children," she said.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com