Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This and That



The Yu-Na Kim--Brian Orser---Crazy Ass Park Mi-Hee drama is heating up and I must admit that I'm LIVING for every second of it. If there is one part of skating that we can all agree on, it is that parent-coach-skating coaching drama is off the hook.

Orser has spoken to The Star and Phil Hersh about the situation.

Helen Choi, a representative from AT Sports, has now refuted Orser's statements.

(Somehow, Orser comes across as far more credible.)

Tony Wheeler spoke to an unnamed Canadian source about the split.

Let's look at the players involved:

Brian Orser: Successful coach. Managed Yu-Na's hip and back injuries, fixed her flip technique, led her to Olympic Gold after the pressure looked to be getting the best of her last season.

Yu-Na Kim: Skater. Star. And frankly, a business. Where Yu-Na goes, the money goes with her.

Park Mi-hee: Mother who admittedly writes down all of her successful jumps, missed jumps, falls and pops during every practice session. She moved away from her husband, forgot his birthday and their anniversary and admittedly stifled her other daughter's fabled dreams of being a singer. In other words, she is a fabulous crazy ass Asian skating mother of the first order.

There were two warning signs that shit was about to go down and they were:

1. Rumors surface that Orser has been approached about coaching Mao Asada. Obviously, there is always going to be drama whenever the Japanese Skating Federation is involved. Orser smartly declined and saved himself a lot of gray hair. It is likely that the JSF assumed that Yu-Na's competitive days were over.

2. Yu-Na's mother and her agent (who travel with Yu-Na everywhere) split with IB Sports and form their own agency. While she may have birthed a gold medalist, the entire situation reeks of her being the Korean (and female) Dmitri Moceanu.

We should have known that things were getting good, but everything was kept under wraps over the last few months. What led many to think that Yu-Na was retiring from competition now looks to have been the awkward relationship between Orser and AT Sports.

In Brian Orser's interview with The Star, it is clear that Park Mi-hee is the one making all decisions and likely being influenced by Yu-Na's agent.

Orser has made it very clear that this is not about money. He has only ever charged Yu-Na his standard fee of $110 an hour. (This is much cheaper than Frank Carroll's $140 an hour + %-age of earnings) While he has gained notoriety in Korea and been included in commercials and published an autobiography, there has never been a financial agreement between them and he has never been under contract.

“It was very much a surprise,” said Orser. “There was really no valid reason. I still don’t understand why they did this. I don’t know. It came out of the blue. They sat down with me and Tracy and said we’re not coaching her anymore. And that was that.”

Orser and Wilson got the news from Kim’s mother at a meeting on Aug. 2 — the skater wasn’t present. He said he waited three weeks before issuing a release Tuesday because he thought there might be a change of heart and things could be worked out.

Orser, a former world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist, found the reasons for their dismissal given by Park Mi-hee rather lame.

“They just felt that we had not given much attention to Yu-na, but at the same time she was kind of talking out of both sides of her mouth.,” he said, “She had told us to move forward with other students.

“We were just waiting to get our orders from the mother because that’s what we always did. She always told us when they were ready to move in a certain direction and we had a meeting and we got pen and paper out and we did a plan. We never got to that point.”

Kim’s management company AT Sports later released a statement saying relations between the skater and coach have been “uncomfortable” since May.

Orser said that’s not the case.

“I spoke with her the other day … She seems confused about what’s going on. Because of all this turmoil with her mother, she doesn’t know what’s going on. Nor do I. That’s what I said to her, ‘I’m a little confused, but it’s been a great four years,’” said Orser.

“We just needed to have a little chat with her before I did this (went public), that the last four years were really magical and we had such a great thing and we support her in whatever direction she wants to go. She wasn’t part of any of these decisions about letting us go.”

Orser said he got the blessing from Kim’s mother to work with other skaters during the summer. Orser said she told him not to make any time for her daughter because they were unsure of their plans for the off-season.

Orser was left out of the loop all summer, including when Kim went off to Korea in July to do some shows. He read on the internet that she was pulling out of the Grand Prix events for this coming season but planned to compete at the world championships.

“I thought it was a little unfair that I had to read it on the internet, that they never consulted with me at all,” he said. “I kind of figured there was something up there.”

He further suspected something when he got a telephone call from former world ice dancing champion Shae-Lynn Bourne telling him that she would be choreographing Kim’s short program this season.

“It’s fine, but I wasn’t consulted on that, either,” said Orser. “I sent numerous emails to both her agents and to Yu-na when they were in Korea in July and I didn’t get one single response back from them.

“I was asking them what’s going on and saying I’m getting some media interest so I need to know what to say. There was literally not a single response, not one ‘Here’s what to say,’ or ‘We’ll talk to you when we get back.’ I even emailed at the end of it: ‘When are you coming back to Toronto?’ There was not even a response there. It was really kind of pathetic.”

Yu-Na has still been skating alone at the Toronto Cricket and Skating Club, but Orser feels that it is now an untenable situation and would likely be best if she left. The other skaters are feeling the tension. Min Jung Kwak is also no longer working with Orser, but it is important to note that she is also managed by AT Sports. Min Jung gained notoriety as being Korea's next promising skater and has been paid to skate in many of her shows. (aka YNK is her meal ticket) Basically, she doesn't have her own leg to stand on, even if she did want to stay with Orser.

There has now been some sort of tweet from Yu-Na, but it is unclear whether she wrote it (or her mother.) As with everything controversial on twitter, they will likely claim that her account was hacked, as it has now been deleted. The broken English is notably fabulous.

@Yunaaa Would you please stop to tell a lie, B? I know exactly what's going on now and this is what I've DECIDED.

In other news:

Adam Rippon gave Ice Network a sneak peak at his costumes for this year. He sounds very excited for the season ahead. While this is not exactly related to the Yu-Na post, it is notable how happy Rippon and Gao seem under Orser and how Yu-Na always seemed. Given the enormous pressure on Yu-Na, he managed her injuries and kept her healthy and sane.

Adam posted photos from a photo shoot on his official site.

New details have emerged about Evgeny Plushenko's eligibility via Ice Network. While no one with a sane mind has expected him to continue competing, his batshit crazy agent is saying that Evgeny still wants to compete and will meet with Alexei Mishin and the Figure Skating Federation of Russia to discuss his plans. Yet, the FSFR is the one who provided the ISU with evidence for forfeiting his eligibility and also spoke in interviews about their strained relationship with Plushenko during his comeback. It is important to note that Plushenko (via batshit crazy agent who 'translated' for Khorkina on The Rosie O'Donnell Show) previously cleared his intention to compete at the 2010 World Championships after the Olympics, but then immediately scheduled shows that prevented him from doing so. As always, there was talk of his poor injured knee, but he was skating again in a week's time.

The entire National Team (minus Va Zam) will be present at the first World Selection Camp. It is important to note that Amanda Jetter has successfully petitioned to the camp.

Ashley Wagner has posted a new vlog.

Always one for attention, child star Dominique Moceanu has posted a montage and video of her speech from her Hall of Fame Induction.

78 comments:

  1. Fab post. But neither of the two "warning signs" can be a valid reason for the breakup, or...can it? Something substantial definitely happened between the two parties, and they are sidestepping the real issue is how I feel. Reason for Orser's anger/resentment/regret is on surface unprofessionalism on Mama Kim's part, and Kim's angst/tantrum/whatever is due to Orser's lie, which is?

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  2. It sounds more like Yu-Na needs to grow a pair and talk to Orser directly.

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  3. "...and Dominique completely choked on vault during team finals in the 1996 Olympics."

    Funny how people always forget about that.

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  4. 2nd best post ever. After the Frank Carroll Politicking one.

    Lets get real-- they said "uncomfortable" because it was the word that made Brian look the worst. Yuna's agent and mother are greedy, manipulative and two faced, and I don't even know why Phil Hersh decided to give them a legit avenue to spout total bullshit.

    I don't believe for a moment she actually wrote that on her twitter-- for one thing, I feel like she has more discretion and class than that, for another, her English may not be great but I know asian-mother fob-speak when I see it-- I have one.

    I feel bad for Brian, not because Yuna left, but because he has to deal with this drama. I agree with him that Yuna probably had very little to do with this coach-ditching. Poor Brian, and poor Yuna.

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  5. Moceanu hadn't practiced vault before Atlanta and fell while dealing with an injury. The rest of her routines in the team competition were near perfect. It is not like any of the other people in the hall of fame never had a choking moment.

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  6. As for the comment about Yu-Na needing to grow a pair...

    She is likely conflicted and doesn't know what to think. Athletes in Yu-Na's situation are stunted emotionally and socially. Their primary need and desire is to please....their coach, parent, agent, etc. There are a lot of people here and when your parents becomes your agent, they lose that parental concern and may be blinded by new concerns and ambitions.

    It is quite strange that neither Mao nor Yu-Na have a proper coaching relationship, though I suspect Mao is working full-time with Akiko Suzuki's coach, who could obviously be her main coach as well.

    Orser's group looks happy and primed for success this season. Unfortunately, Yu-Na seems to be the one missing out in all of this.

    *sob* why can't they just go back to starring in James Bond commercials together?*sob

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  7. My favorite former russian diva Svetlana Boginskaya is in the Moceanu video. It appears that life in the US has erased all signs of her Mother Russia past life. She looks down right dowdy. Sad. Once she came to America and got that tooth fixed she began to smile and it ruined everything.

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  8. Everything that was quoted in this post about the Brian-Yuna situation is largely based on what Brian said. All I am saying is that there are two sides saying different stories, and Yuna's side story was somehow missing from most of the North American media that covered this incident. Also, it is clear that Orser is so much media savvy than Yuna, her mom and Ms. Choi who sent the email response to Phil Hersh. And if what Tony Wheeler's source said is close to truth, Brian was not only in bad terms with ATS but also with Yuna as well. It can be interpreted that something happened that made Yuna and her mom lose faith on Brian and he tried to regain their trust.

    Anyhow, I think there are some crucial details Brian left out in his interviews.

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  9. Cudos to Yuna's side for keeping things to themselves. Brian should have done the same.

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  10. Yu-Na's side has been linked here and they haven't said anything.

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  11. I don't think Orser said anything that bad. Had he not said anything, rumors and suspicion would've only blown up.

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  12. The Seoul-based AT Sports, which represents Kim, said Orser was the first to give notice of the separation, adding, “We received notice from coach Orser Monday that he would no longer coach Kim Yu-na.”

    On the reason for the separation, AT Sports said, “Since hearing that coach Orser will coach another skater in May, we have maintained an awkward relationship. Kim has effectively been training alone since June.”

    “Early this month, we proposed a grace period to coach Orser and he also agreed to this suggestion,” it said. “Kim Yu-na has been training with choreographer David Wilson without coach Orser."

    SO - the above was first reported, and then within a few hours it's a completely different story (the tweet saying it was Yuna's decision)

    massive contradictions and inconsistencies?

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  13. If we see Mao Asada show up in Toronto, we'll know the truth.

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  14. This whole thing may seem messy and complicated, but isn't this essentially a client ready to move on for a new coach? Why does Orser have to talk to the media that he was fired without reason? It is totally unprofessional. I am sure Yuna's side had a good reason, but even if they didn't it doesn't make a difference. He has been saying as if some serious injustice was done to him, but what all happened was that his client pupil was ready to move on. Even Orser admitted that he sensed ATS thought Orser neglected Yuna, and considering the circumstances, it is very probable. Furthermore, whether Orser himself didn't felt that way doesn't matter - what matters is how his client saw the quality of his service, and that is all needed for a coaching change. Too cold? Well that's the industry he chose to work for.

    Orser benefited from his relationship with Yuna as much as Yuna had from hers with Orser. When Yuna and ATS decided to leave Orser and gave him the notice, he should have given her blessing instead of going to the media with his agent on his side.

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  15. I think the whole thing is due to lack of good communication. After reading the statements from AT Sports, if whoever wrote that thing did all the translation between Yuna's mom and Brian, there is a good chance that there were misunderstandings here and there. I think that person also translated for Yuna during 2010 WC press conference and showed very limited English skills. Also, Brian expressed his thoughts on Yuna's mom before all of this and he sounded like he doesn't like her being too much involved and who knows if they didn't have a good relationship for years but Yuna's mom just went along with it for Yuna's sake.
    It is a bit unfair to Yuna that Brian is going around the media and saying all these things while Yuna doesn't even have someone who can represent her in a professional way (with professioanl English skills).

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  16. The Yu-Na & Brian drama is so disappointing. These two people had a happy working relationship just a few months ago! Some of this seems like a big misunderstanding and miscommunication. Also, a mother should never be involved with the business side of things. Be a mom! Let the agent be the agent. And let the coach COACH.

    Sad story. You want Yu-Na to be able to look back fondly on her time with Brian. So much good happened. Don't let this ruin it! Yu-Na and Brian need to sit down and discuss this like adults.

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  17. It's incredibly crazy how a relationship like this can deteriorate in merely a few hours. I hope both sides can work things out and at least remain on okay terms because Orser and Yuna did A LOT for each other, and deserve to closure in this situation rather than persistent uncomfortable and hard feelings.

    So much DRAMA in skating. Grow up everyone.

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  18. Oh please. Yu-na has lots of money and can easily find someone with decent English translation skills. And arguably Yu-na benefited a lot more from the relationship if you consider the endorsement deals she landed while competing.

    This just sounds like Yu-na's mother being a psychobitch and Yu-na being too busy or confused to formulate a proper response. I also wouldn't be surprised if her mother wrote that tweet, because psychoAsian mothers have no concept of privacy.

    You also have to remember that it was Yu-na and her mother that pressed Brian to take her on in the first place, which makes the split all the more odd. It's likely they realized that Yu-na didn't need to make money from competing again and just dumped Orser.

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  19. I am so disappointed with Orser. To me this mess began because of Orser's sense of entitlement for Yuna. Whoever made the parting decision, Yuna herself, her mom, Orser should have accepted and respected their decision rather than going crazy with the media, pointing fingers to Yuna's mom and painting her with the evil skate mom image. Yuna happened to be her daughter, and I can totally understand Yuna's twitter message in rage (if it was truly Yuna's), considering her age.

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  20. I think Brian has said too much to too many people in the media at this point that there is really no going back. Even if I give Brian the benefit of the doubt and assume all of the things he said about Yuna's mom are true, it is still her MOTHER. If someone out there, whoever it is, is portraying my mom as an evil person who controls her daughter, I would be so PISSED. It was Yuna's mom who convinced Brian to be her coach in the first place (he wasn't even a coach back then). If he really cares about Yuna and her future like he says, he never should have gone to the press about all the "juicy" details and I think this is something he will regret for many years. This is his first break up with a student so maybe next one will be much better then this but it's too bad Yuna's is caught up in all of this.

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  21. Orser hardly went crazy. The Yunabots need to stop making him some villain. He was always extremely respectful and supportive of Yu-Na in the interview. What is really curious is that she wants to continue on as a skater. I wouldn't be surprised if Mama felt too much focus was on Gao and Rippon...but was Orser just supposed to wait around for them to make up their mind? He held off on Mao and didn't take her. Orser has been very good to Yu-Na and put up with all of the Korean batshit crazy mayhem over the years.

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  22. I doubt Mao has much to do with this. She's been open about wanting to stay in Japan and have a Japanese coach.

    And frankly, if a rumor about another skater is what broke up Kim & Orser, then the relationship wasn't exactly strong to begin with.

    Sounds like Mrs. Park is a skating mother from hell; Yu-Na doesn't/can't stick up for herself and I feel bad for Orser and Yu-Na herself. Wasn't there a huge brouhaha when Yu-Na broke up with her last coach, pre-Orser?

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  23. Orser going to the media and badmouthing Yuna's mom is so low. She hired him, their contract was up after the Olympics, and she wanted to move on, for whatever reason. Because of Yuna and her mom, Orser started his meteoric coaching career and now he is one of the sought after coach in the industry. No one owed anyone anything.

    They could have had the easiest split of the century. But no, he had to go to the media... Here is a lesson for young skaters and their moms considering Orser as a future coach.

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  24. Anonymous, are you Park Mi-hee's lackey?

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  25. OlympicEffect, then why go to media? Was it really necessary for Brian to do so and say no reason was given to them, only to change his words later to that her mom might have thought he was neglecting Yuna? I like Brian but that seems to me just another coach doing a damage control after a star pupil leaves him.

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  26. No, but are you Orser's?

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  27. wow, invasion of the Yuna-bots!

    Yuna probably needs to break away from skating and her mother, Nastia-style. Except skip the weight gain and wretched fashion choices. But a little independence from her mom might do her some good.

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  28. Orser's actions are much more professional than AT Sports. Any rumor of a split would be blown out of proportion and it would be better to go public before it happened. Orser's own statements aren't inflammatory in any way and he spoke highly of Yu-na. All Helen Choi's statements do is fuel the idea that there is some big hidden ugly fallout, when the real reason could be a lot less dramatic. i.e. could simply be agent/mother deciding it's safer to go pro and therefore Brian's services were no longer needed.

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  29. LOL, I was just wondering when this would lead to Nastia. We need a new article on her, although admittedly there's not much to say.
    I have come to the conclusion that she looks much more overweight than she really is because she wears such unflattering clothes...but I may be mistaken

    I don't think Orser's done anything horrendous.

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  30. I remember reading an interview circa TBP 2009 with Adam Rippon saying that as a training mate, you know things about each other's training process that no one else knows. I'm not going to be swayed one way or another by the media at this point, I'm sure both sides suffered.

    I can't say Brian comes off as a class act from all this eagerness to win media favor. He's publicly attacking someone's mother, which in many cultures is less tolerable than an attack on oneself. Say what you will of Park, but to Yuna she is someone who has sacrificed her life so that her daughter's dreams may be realized. Her mother is, more than any singular figure in her life, the determining factor in Yuna's success as a figure skater.

    And why does Brian sound bitter? Why does he have to sensationalize a simple coaching change and feel a need to paint himself as the victim? There are MANY unspoken motives here we are not aware of, and people need to stop blindly jumping to conclusions, seeing things in black and white like simpletons. People here should have lived long enough to know relationships between human beings are NEVER that simple or easy.

    There ARE certain things that should be left unsaid.

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  31. Her mother is also a woman who completely neglected her other daughter and her husband to helicopter-parent her daughter. I'm not sure she's a sane human being.

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  32. Brian didn't attack the mother. He said she didn't keep him informed or respond to his emails. That is not attacking. That is just saying what happened. I'm going to have to stop commenting on this before I yell at people for needing to smash their heads into cement.

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  33. becauseofitall, Are you for real?

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  34. I didn't know I was dealing with IQs in the two-digits here, but no, he did not attack her LITERALLY. But he knew exactly what he was doing. There's something called SUBTEXT and word choice that influences the meaning of a text; ever take a high school English class? If you've been keeping up with the articles covering this incident, he knew what his words would stir up in the public and it is clear what his intentions were. He had a bone to pick and he directed it at certain individuals. What part of "insulted" and "disrespected" sounds entirely objective to you?

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  35. Brian clearly disagrees with ATS's version of the events. His professionalism is being called into question and he has every right to defend himself. He's had nothing but kind words to say about Yu-Na herself.

    As for Yu-Na's mom, I can't help but think about this article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/world/asia/10iht-skater.html?_r=1
    "Ms. Kim [Yu-Na] said she hadn’t planned her life beyond the Olympics next year. But of one thing she is sure.

    'I wouldn’t let my daughter take up figure skating,” she said, when asked whether she would follow her own mother’s path. “I know how hard this life is.' "

    That's quite telling to me.

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  36. I know many helicopter parents, would hardly be surprised if Park Mi-hee was just a very extreme version. How anyone can say that Brian is acting out of line when he's just being honest is beyond me. Yu-na's camp has made absolutely no effort to defend the lack of response he supposedly received, which smells fishy to begin with, not to mention countless other things. Of course it's a complicated situation, but Brian is definitely looking like the reasonable one here.

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  37. OlympicEffect, most of this blah going on here is based on what Brian said to the media. Why should his account have to get the benefit of the doubt? You did quote Yuna's side, but they didn't say much, and the spokesperson's command of English is limited. That does not mean their story should be considered less credibly.

    IMO, at least Brian could have offered a joint statement instead of going to the media alone.

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  38. Calling all Yunabots. Shut the F up.

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  39. I love the people suggesting that going to the media was some sort of move of aggression on Orser's part, as if they could've parted ways with no public comment.

    What I don't get is why during these last few weeks that Orser was keeping quiet, Yu-Na's agency didn't put out their own press release describing the amicable parting for such-and-such innocuous reason, whether that was true or not.

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  40. Or why Yu-Na's agency couldn't have hired someone with a good command of English.

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  41. isn't this yu-na drama fun? I missed skating drama!

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  42. I know, all this "Oh, Poor team Yuna! Their spokesperson has poor command of English!" Seriously? Girl rakes in millions of dollars. She (or her mom) can hire someone fluent in Korean and English. I'm sure there are plenty of people in Seoul who would jump at the chance to be Yuna's translator.

    As for Brian possibly issuing a joint statement with Ynua regarding the split....how? According to him, his e-mails and calls have been going unanswered for some time now.

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  43. @becauseofitall - No shit. Is there suddenly a shortage of English speakers in South Korea? Give me $20, craigslist, and about an hour, and I could get a decent English-Korean translation of a short press release. And somehow I feel like Yu-Na's agency has a few more resources than that at their disposal.

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  44. She's written a letter on her Cyworld

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  45. Translation please. This just gets better and better

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  46. (Rough translation from the Yunaforum)

    "Hello everyone...
    I've been restraining myself, but I couldn't just stand back and watch so I am writing this.
    Everyone that's involved in this matter including coach Brian Orser and I know the truth.
    An athlete and a coach may part ways, and there are always reasons behind it; but I am truthfully disappointed and hurt as to why they used the press to release the news about the break up, as well as the process of it, which we could've kept to ourselves, with untruthful statements in such haste.

    Unilateral notice...
    Would it really be true that my mom alone decided that I part ways with my coach?
    I am not a child anymore. My mom's the same. (This statement is a bit ambiguous..I'm guessing she means that her mom isn't naive or foolish either)
    Whatever the case, he was my coach, and whether the decision be staying with him or parting ways with him, I have the ultimate say in this, and this is the decision I prudently came up with after discussing it with my mom.
    And truthfully, would there be a person would would directly discuss with a coach when trying to end the relationship with him?
    As a daughter, I don't want to be foolish to just stand and watch as my mom is being reproached without any reason or fault.

    Reason for break up is only because of recruiting another skater...
    There definitely was a problem tied with the offer from the other skater, but is that indeed the only reason?
    Judging just by coach Brian Orser's interviews, it looks even to me, that it was not carefully thought out and was disrespectful, and made it look like it was our, no, my mom's fault.
    Is everyone going to just believe this as it is?
    For almost 4 years, did I indeed just train happily without any problems as it seemed?

    He said he was surprised after receiving the notice....
    For a few months now, we've been prolonging an ambiguous relationship and this matter came to an end just a few days ago.
    If everyone knew the process, then you would understand how shocked we were when we found out his conclusion from the interview that was released by the press. However, I do not want to reveal that process and there's no need, because this is a problem between us.
    It's stifling because I can't explain in full detail, and this situation of being expected to elucidate this situation as well as why this problem started, is very difficult for me.
    This matter already became too big, but I can't just bury the truth that's wrapped in lies, can I?

    I'm not trying to blame anyone, but the truth must be told and even if not everything may be revealed, it's difficult to just let people believe in lies and innocent people be criticized.
    This matter could've been wrapped up nicely, but why did it end up leaving scars on both parties? I really want to stop it now.

    You may be questioning whether or not my company forced me into writing this, but because I'm also human, I couldn't just stand still.
    Either way, because this matter pertains to me, I wanted to tell the truth.
    I swear to God that we were being prudent and that we didn't do anything that disrespected the other.
    Please trust me.
    I'm sorry to have worried you.."

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  47. Yu-na's not being terribly informative.

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  48. Her camp is in desperate need of PR guidance

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  49. Seriously, who's going to want to be managed by AT Sports now? Unless you're Korean.

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  50. i don't follow ice skating other than during the olympics but just reading all this sounds like fame and money got the best of everyone.

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  51. "And truthfully, would there be a person would would directly discuss with a coach when trying to end the relationship with him?"

    If this is translated correctly, then, ummm, yes. I think most people would directly discuss with coach when trying to end the relationship with him.

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  52. Perhaps this is how she has been raised? To avoid difficult confrontations and send someone else with the message. You can sort of see why Orser may have had no idea she had grievances if she is not able to communicate them. What a mess.

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  53. Why do I feel like her message to her cyworld is a complete fake?

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  54. Yu-Na clearly doesn't make enough money to afford to hire someone fluent in English.

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  55. As in she didn't write it? Or just not the truth?

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  56. I don't see why Orser should be expected to keep quiet about this. They were in a professional relationship; Orser speaking with the press doesn't betray any personal information about Yu-Na, but helps to defend his professional integrity. The relationship between Yu-Na and Brian was extremely well publicized going into the Games, so it stands to reason that, you know, eventually people would realize that Yu-Na wasn't paired with Orser any longer. Plus, like, she is one of the most famous figure skaters in the world. Things aren't going to stay silent.

    I don't know who did what or why this happened, but I don't see any reason to vilify Brian Orser for speaking with the media. Yu-Na is his big star, and her leaving him could hurt his prospects a lot (something of which he seems aware). If, as he claims, he is innocent, then I see no reason why he should have to sit down and shut up. He is allowed to defend himself.

    I just wish they'd split on less ambiguous terms. One solid conversation between Yu-Na and Orser could have prevented this =/

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  57. Yuna should really just retire. It's clear that competing is clearly not her focus anymore. Her focus now is on being the media queen of Korea. Her skating shows draw in a ton of revenue and she has a ton of endorsements. Now she is trying to break into a singing career. She recorded the Korean theme song for the World Cup and she had a live showcase on a Korean concert program.

    If she continues to compete in Worlds, I would be very upset. Her skating skills deteriorated from a lack of coaching this summer. It is likely that her jumps may be completely lost by March. If she is able to place at all, it would only be due to Wilson's choreography and the fact that she has built up a reputation from her past successes, where she has been severely overmarked since the 2008-09 season onwards.

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  58. Probably not a fake, Park Mi-hee just made her write it. Probably even dictated exactly what she was supposed to write as well.

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  59. I seem to remember alot of people saying Kwan shouldn't compete 2003 worlds....

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  60. Watching Yu-Na in the kiss and cry, I always got the impression that she was very shy. I don't know if this was because of the language barrier, or if she's just rather reserved. I could totally see her not want to approach Orser face to face about leaving. But an email couldn't hurt!

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  61. i do hope you to stop putting insults on Yuna's mother. because she is the first one who sacrifice herself for Yuna. I think this opinion is also biased. NO? we need more time to reach to the truth.

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  62. OlympicEffect / anyway yourself is also depending on Orser's interviews... but if the things.. like Orser accepted Japanese Junior skaters.. as one of rumors.. really happened? (of course we don't know yet) that's an obvious betrayal brings anger. the thing that i want to tell is.. we have to wait.

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  63. @Anonymous I'm a Korean and I think that is quite correct direct tranlation of her writing. I'm really dissapointed...

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  64. @Anonymous I'm a Korean and I think that is quite correct and direct translation of her writing. I'm really dissapointed...

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  65. There are so many Yunabots in these comments!

    Brian Orser did nothing wrong. He's been mistreated by the multi-million dollar agency of Yu-Na, her mother and her company, whom he's dedicated four years of his life to. He spent a month trying to work things out with them, and now that's he's gone public they're STILL mistreating him. People who are saying he should just move on don't understand that he's deserved to be given a straight answer, not just dropped now that Yu-Na wants to be a popstar. He was still her coach when he had to read that she was still competing on the Internet! It's ridiculously bad treatment of him on Yu-Na's part.

    Calling Park Mi-Hee a "psychobitch Asian mom" and saying that everything that has been purportedly written by Yu-Na has actually been written by her mom seem out of order. Yes, Yu-na's mom IS crazy ambitious for Yu-na and looks to be taking her in the Korean pop sensation direction, but Yu-na has been a public figure in S. Korea for years! She clearly had some a part to play in all of this. People who are saying that the tweet must have been written by Yu-na's mom because it's bad English forget that Yu-na's English isn't that great either.

    Brian Orser said that Yu-na seemed confused about the whole situation, but I suspect she told him that to avoid confronting him about her real issue with him. She says herself that she didn't even want to be there to tell him she was breaking up with him, after four years and a world record Olympic gold! She clearly has some confrontation issues and would rather her mother and agent do her dirty work for her. It's quite childish behavior on her part, but a lot of figure skaters are similarly unimpressive in that regard.

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  66. Every time Yu-na's agency tries to stir up those old Mao rumors in an attempt to scapegoat her and Brian Orser (who rejected the offer wholeheartedly!), a puppy dies.

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  67. To Anoymous (August 25, 2010 3:03 AM)

    It might be more important to look into actions and not empty words dressed up by savvy media individuals.

    Who is the person that seemed too well prepared (he literally had them lined up) for an full on assault 1 day before the tix went on sale/press launch for the Yuna's biggest show in LA, thus maximise damage to its success including the announcement of Michelle Kwan doing an US show in years. Don't you find the timing rather coincidental?

    If Brian's real motive is to patch up things with Yuna who he claim he loves and have best interest at heart, do you think this is the right way to go about it? Putting his student against his mother, backhandedly accuse them for not being respectful and that he felt insulted as well as sabotaging her show her career, her state of mind?

    We don't know what truly happened over the last four years, and frankly the relationship with coach and his star pupil should remain private like it always have been.

    But instead keeping everything in and talk it over with those that matters including discipline them if things are not working, he chose to air all the dirty laundry in the open without warning. I am sorry, but this is not how a classy person should act.

    Why go all media crazy instead of preparing his student for the break up to release some joint statement? He claim he has Yuna's interest at heart, but does his action clearly does not reflect this.

    I have great respect for Brian and always thought he is a classy guy. He is the older wiser person with far more life experienced than a 19 year old. He should be a bigger person than that rise above all this mess. It has been months since Yuna has been training alone on site in Toronto, what was he doing? Why didn't he talk things over with her 121 and resolve any ill feelings he has? One meeting with Tracey Wilson is clearly enough. I hope he doesn't treat all his student this way in the future, because right now, he doesn't appear so innocent to me by his actions.

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  68. Clearly the Kim camp needs to hire a decent agency immediately. This is a global sports story, which means that you need to hire someone who can communicate with the modern media in proper written English, and provide a reasonable response to perfectly legitimate questions.

    For reference, a reasonable response does not include formulations of any of the following: "he knows what he did," "there is no reason to discuss this in the media" or "any discussion of this is disrespectful to Yu-na and/or her mother."

    Think of it as a big Hollywood divorce: the best possible outcome involves a joint statement from both parties expressing two things: 1) the split, which has been "amicable" and "mutually agreed" and 2) a mutual desire for both parties to happily move on.

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  69. Brian Orser has every right to defend his professionalism! I feel bad for Yuna because she is clearly being controlled by her domineering mother. Man, woman makes Mama Zhang look like a coach's dream.

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  70. I'm not impressed with either side, and I'm angry with people saying that those of us who question some of Orser's actions at all, are some how all Yu-na bots. I love Yu-na but I'm willing to see her faults.
    I have no issues thinking Mom disrespected Orser handled things in the wrong way, given Mama's history.

    But I do have issues with some of the things Orser said. Dave, Orser said that Yu-na was confused about the break up and that it was his Mom. He said Yu-na will come back if Mom decides. I'm not sure how that's not saying bad things about the mother-i.e the Mother treats the daughter like a puppet.

    Even if its true, Orser had no public issues with Mama running things, as long as Mama allowed him to coach. Now Mama wants to break things up and he needs to bring up that Mama controls everything? If its true that's something quite personal.

    Given Yu-na's tweet and letter it seems she is P**D of at Orser portraying her as someone who is controlled by Mama. You don't think she wasn't going to want to publically defend Mom or defend herself after Orser's sayings.

    Everyone thinks Danny Kwan broke up Michelle and Frank. But did Frank feel the need to go to the media telling everyone how Danny Kwan broke up him and Michelle, and that Michelle will come back if Danny decides? No.

    I think Orser is a new coach and perhaps needs to learn a bit from that. I think his recent interview emphasizing he's an adult recognizes that.

    As for Mama Kim, I believe she's a Skating Mom from Hell. Certainlly, but I bet she's no different from a lot of skating parents. Lots of these child stars have Stage parents. The thing is a lot of them didn't have documentaries or openly admit to their Stage Parent ways. In fairness to Mama Kim, it seems like with the book that she felt bad about the things with the other daughter/husband. Maybe she didn't who knows. The point is its still Kim's mother.

    I will say though that I thought ATS is clearly unprofessional too. Yu-na needs a spokesperson with PROFESSIONAL ENGLISH. Can you imagine the miscommunications that had to have arisen with Team Kim and Orser... I also thought them bringing up the Mao rumors was classless and probably led to Orser going off.

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  71. Well so far Yu na and crew aren't looking to good in this. Shady is the word that comes to mind.

    Dominique Moceanu...man has she grown. That dress is horrible on her.

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  72. Something must have happened for their relationship to become uncomfortable. Some kind of riff started this breakdown of their relationship because I can tell how fond Brian was of Yu na. I think Brian tried to repair the damage or was hoping but it doesn't seem like the Yu na crew were interested. If Brian did indeed do something to cause this then I hope it comes out but for now it doesn't appear that he did anything.

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  73. Both sides in this drama look quite immature, but nobody's perfect. A better test of character will come in how they patch this issue up. If both sides just remain bitter, well then that's sad and childish on BOTH sides' parts.

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  74. Moceanu's injury in 96 was BS. Right after the competion ended she was fine and the "injury" was never mentioned again.

    Just because Moceanu said she had not trained the vault doesn't make it fact. The fact is Dominique was seen practicing fully when she was "injured" and petitioned to the team unlike Miller who couldn't even practice bars without crying because the pain was so bad.

    Moceanu needs a freaking shrink. Her poor kids especially that ugly girl of hers are going to need to go with her for therapy when she is old enough to be sent off to Bela. I can see him coming out of retirement now.lol

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  75. Dominique was nearly perfect.lol That is the dumbest thing I have ever seen written on this blog. Her bent knee's alone on beam make her scores ridiculous.

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  76. "Always one for attention, child star Dominique Moceanu has posted a montage and video of her speech from her Hall of Fame Induction."

    That is being nice. I would call her a media whore but that is an insult to the real working girls of this world.

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  77. I wouldn't use the word perfect either. Overscored is a better desciption.

    Mowhore

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