Thursday night was the ladies’ free skate and what a show it was. Kim Yu-Na of South Korea put up a world record score of 78.50 to win the gold medal in ladies figure skating. Kim, who was under extraordinary pressure, delivered one of the most memorable performances the Winter Olympic Games had ever seen. Her combined score for both the short and free program was 228.56, shattering her previous world record score by a whopping 18 points.
“I still can’t believe it,” Kim said. “I waited a long time for the Olympics, and it feels like a large weight has been lifted off.”
“Truly I still can’t believe that I did what I wanted to do at the Olympics,” she said.
But what gets lost in this night is the performances by ALL of the skaters. Mao Asada, who snagged silver, was almost flawless in her free skate. Joannie Rochette, who has been the talk of the Olympics, put on another heartwarming performance and captured a place on the podium with the bronze. All in all, this was probably the best skated night in Olympic history. Falls were minimal, footwork was flawless, and the drama was quelled by the pure beauty of skating at the highest level. Another great ladies free skate in the books. And with so many young talents returning in 2014……will we have an encore?