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South Korean Skater Yuna Kim Begins Olympic Title Defense

  • VOA News

Yuna Kim of South Korea performs during the practice session at Iceberg Skating Palace at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.

Yuna Kim of South Korea performs during the practice session at Iceberg Skating Palace at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.

The women's Olympic figure skating competition begins with the short program Wednesday in Sochi, as South Korea's Yuna Kim tries to become the first back-to-back champion in the event since 1988.

Her competition includes 2010 silver medalist Mao Asada from Japan, and 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia, who emerged as a star last week helping host Russia win gold in the first-ever team competition.

Athletes are competing for medals in eight events Wednesday, including the women's bobsled and 5,000-meter speed skating.

In the men's giant slalom, American skier and reigning world champion Ted Ligety is trying to beat out a field that includes defending gold medalist Carlo Janka from Switzerland and the silver medalist from 2010, Norway's Kjetil Jansrud. Jansrud has already won two medals in Sochi.

Also Wednesday, both men and women will compete for medals in the first-ever parallel giant slalom snowboarding events.

Curling moves closer to its medal round, as both men and women compete in semifinal matches, while men's ice hockey holds its quarterfinals.

The United States and the Netherlands lead the overall medal count with 20. Russia has 19, Norway 18, Canada 17 and Germany 15.

In gold medals, Germany has the most with eight, followed by Norway with seven. The U.S. and the Netherlands are tied with six.
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