February 25th, 2010
10:44 PM GMT
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A victory for figure skater Kim Yu-Na Thursday night gave her gold on the ice, but she is already raking in her fair share outside of the rink.

The 19-year-old is wildly popular in her native Korea, with nicknames like "The Queen" and "The Fairy of the Ice." That status has yielded her $10 million in sponsorships and endorsements deals, according to her representatives, IB Sports Management.

Forbes magazine ranks Kim as the top earning Olympic athlete this year, tied with U.S. snowboarder Shaun White.

Nike has created a Just Do It campaign around the young skater, showing her overcoming the pressure and challenges of Olympic-level competition. Though the campaign is only in Korea, Nike believes it will be seen around the world. "We are getting a lot of great response from our consumers and know that through our campaign, she is touching the lives of aspiring athletes, young people and fans throughout the world," Nike said in a statement.

Samsung Electronics has created the Yuna Haptic, a cell phone branded around the skater. In the accompanying ad campaign, she goofs around like an average teenager, using her phone to take pictures and listen to music. Samsung says more than one million Yuna Haptics have already been sold.

South Korea has never before won a medal in Olympic figure skating. Kimmy Kim, a reporter for SBS TV in Seoul, says many average Koreans believe Kim's victory would help reinvigorate the country. "The Korean economy is not as good as it used to be. They hope that she wins and gives strength and hope to everyone in Korea."

IB Sports Management hopes a gold medal could lead to even more deals for the young skater. This is Kim's first Olympic games and a gold would go a long way towards extending her fame beyond her native country.

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soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. jungcaca

    kim yu na!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i believe you. you can do it....no problem....

    February 26, 2010 at 2:18 am |
  2. Ha-ram, Hwang

    As the same Korean, I'm very proud of her achievement ^^

    February 26, 2010 at 2:27 am |
  3. yang

    You Korean are good at skatting. Kim yu na, Congratulations!!!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 2:37 am |
  4. onceagain

    There always one champion in the game, but there are still so many athletes not known by the viewer.
    Champion get much more in moneny and spirit, but most of the athletes get nothing except the experience.

    February 26, 2010 at 2:37 am |
  5. Wayne

    Congratulations Yuna. Congrats Korea.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:33 am |
  6. Seri

    Articles I've seen mention her celebrity only in South Korea and fail to realize that she has been widely known and popular all over Asia.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:42 am |
  7. dennice

    Winning a gold medal is important.
    But I want her not to be too stressed out because of people's expectation

    February 26, 2010 at 4:06 am |
  8. Gyongyoo

    Wow! Amazing Yu Na

    February 26, 2010 at 4:59 am |
  9. ketsui

    onceagain I agree with you, she is good but sheesh men stop drooling over her. She is like the asian anna kournikova.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:00 am |
  10. yw.lee

    concratulation. you got a great thing and very proud of you.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:06 am |
  11. hc3693

    Yu-na Kim has made her whole nation proud!!!!! Her amazing performance brought tears to my eyes

    February 26, 2010 at 5:26 am |
  12. junghee

    Congratulations Yuna ~ ^^

    February 26, 2010 at 5:34 am |
  13. David Min

    Congratulations! Yuna!
    While she was skating, a sunny smile spread over her face.
    She knows how to enjoy her perfect performance.
    -연아선수 수고 많았습니다^^

    February 26, 2010 at 5:45 am |
  14. Kwon Kyungmin

    I'm Korean too!!! Yu-na, You were great!!!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:00 am |
  15. grover

    yuna kim........amazing!!!! amazing!!!! amazing!!!!
    Congratulations.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:14 am |
  16. kim

    We are the Koreans!!! We can do everything in Jesus christ!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 7:10 am |
  17. Jinah Kim

    She so gracful and butiful, number 1!! we are very pride of her!!

    February 26, 2010 at 7:17 am |
  18. yujin

    Today is one of the best days ever for me~
    so touching moment~
    your performance was so amazing~~
    enjoy your moment~~
    you did perfect!!

    February 26, 2010 at 7:24 am |
  19. Aman Sherchan

    Yuna you,re the proud of Korea. When I watch your marvellous performance I just hold my breath and in so tension of if something went wrong by you , but I am very happy that you,ve showed the entire world that what you can do. Forward Yuna for-ever forward without hesitation. I know impossible is nothing for you. You,ve shown all the entire world by your own hard effort. My best wishes for your success in your coming days.
    "Aman Sherchan"
    South Korea
    Daegu city.

    February 26, 2010 at 7:25 am |
  20. David

    Yu-na eeh gyu tah!

    February 26, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  21. Kim Ji Won

    I'm really proud of her..
    I always believed that she'll win the golden medal..
    It's really proud and good to be a Korean.
    It's really a fact that we have nationalism(I cried....when she won the golden medal )It could be ridiculous but I have real patriotism in my heart.. and I'm really really really proud of her...
    Congradulations Kim Yu Na~~~

    February 26, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  22. Kim Ji Won

    Kim Yu na
    I'm really proud of your achievement
    I cried when your won your goldmedal..
    It's really proud to be a Korean!!
    Go Korea!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  23. Kim Ju sung

    Kim Yu na I'm really proud of you
    I want to see your smile when you go skating again.
    I want your autograph

    February 26, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  24. Jeon

    I agree dennice's opinion . She was so overwhelmed from her country at gold of Olympic.
    But she overcame with pressure and got the gold.
    She sets the Thames on fire indeed.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  25. sherlockian

    i'm very proud of her
    although i'm not good at english couglatulation Yu na!!
    when you cried I'm can expect your feeling.
    김연아 당신이 있기에 우리들이 살 맛이 나요.
    앞으로도 최선을 다해 우리나라를 널리 빛내주세요!!
    김연아 화이팅!!!
    -당신이 대한민국에서 태어났기에 무척 자랑스럽습니다-

    February 26, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  26. YeEun

    That was INCREDIBLE!!!
    From all the stuff I've seen Yuna do, I feel like this was the best performance EVER
    I wish her luck in the future, and I hope the pressure doesn't get to her.
    :)

    February 26, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  27. chang bohanan

    you are the truely and only shinning star makes me proud to being korean. god bless you.

    February 26, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  28. Jung Hyun Kim

    When I watched her performing, it was flawless. It was the best performance I ever saw!!! Yuna is the pride of South Korea. (from elementry school grade 5 student)

    February 26, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  29. Berm Toch

    Our Thai people conratulate you. One day you shoild come to visit Thailand. Congratulate you again and again.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  30. JP

    I was not interested in figure skating at all. But, after I watched Yuna Kim's performance on Youtube, I became a big fan of figure skating.
    She is a goddess on Ice.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  31. rubran

    Congratulations!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  32. Roi-Earl Silva

    Little Princess, Yu na Kim, not only you won the Gold, but also the whole world. A lttle Skater, A gift of God.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  33. Dave Smith

    Kim Yu Na,
    Congratulations on such a wonderful, exciting performance! You are truly a Golden Star! I have never seen such perfection on ice before! You should always be proud of your accomplishements, and I am positive there will be many more in your bright future! Keep shining bright, KIM YU NA!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  34. So Jin

    Kim Yu-Na, you made us so proud! All Koreans around the world are behind you. We love you!

    February 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  35. Amy

    Yuna!! You were absolutely terrific today... You really reached your full potential out there... I was amazed just as the rest of world was :)

    February 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  36. kumar

    Congratulations! I went speechless by looking at your performance. There is no ice skating the country I'm from. But, I started following the game after much talked YU-NA in the media. You are the true legend on the ice! I want to see you break your own record! good luck!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  37. Adam Artis

    It is so wonderful to see someone triumph when they are supposed to.My heart was in my mouth with every jump,every spin.It's amazing when the great ones show us all just why they are great. Yu-na is like a goddess on the ice.No Sports Illustrated,NBC attempts to create a Winter Games blonde goddess,aka Lindsey Vonn. Fortunately for the world greatness,ability,and exquisite beauty won out.Bravo Yu-na

    February 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  38. Gaston the Frenchman

    congratulations to Kim Yu Na, a real queen on ice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  39. Gary Yim

    She was performing the art of skating while everybody was competing for the Olympics medals.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  40. Jina Lee

    Congratulations, Yu-Na! Koreans everywhere are proud of you, I was so proud and happy to be a Korean as I watched you skate. Keep that beauty within!

    -from a Korean-American

    February 26, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  41. eliisis7

    kim is a champion skater – a gem – but for south korea to even begin to think that her winning the gold medal will make any significant change in the economy of their country is, i think, quite unrealistic – and to put such pressure on her to win (good thing she did or she would probably have had to leave the country) is selfish, unkind, and no way to treat another human being – her country had no right to do that to her – if that is how they comport themselves, no wonder they have a struggling economy

    February 26, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  42. Paul

    Go Yuna! Great victory, and an amazing performance considering the immense pressure she had from Korea to succeed on such a huge platform as the olympics. I know this will be a tremendous jolt in inspiring future Korean figure skaters. I'm also impressed with her coach, and his ability to instill calm in her while navigating the olympic experience. Go Korea!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  43. Toddy

    Im so happy she won....I LOVE KOREA

    February 26, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
  44. Ben

    Yu Na. Great performance! You are wonderful!

    February 27, 2010 at 12:33 am |
  45. Judy Segraves

    She skated the most beautiful performance with so much calm and patience. She seemed to just float. It was amazing and she is a very beautiful young girl. I hope her country treats her well. They should be very proud of her. Congratuations, you are so derserving. Good fortune in your future. You are a definite role model, regardless of how you may feel. You must be sincere to yourself and always think twice what is best decision in how you lead your life.

    February 27, 2010 at 2:25 am |
  46. A. Smith, Oregon

    Kum Yu na, you skated with true inspiration, Thank-You.

    Of all the skating events at the 2010 Winter Olympics, there was only One in my opinion where there was only One skater that entirely elevated herself and that sport to a level of incredible performance which was entirely and solely her own, that skater is you, Thank-You Kim Yu na.

    February 27, 2010 at 6:09 am |
  47. jeong ju hee

    We are so proud of you Kim Yu Na!
    You made us happy and your score made Korean proud.
    I always have believed you..
    Thank you for winning the gold medal and congratulations for
    winning Mao Asada..
    I hope you to make the best score next contest.

    from..South Korean

    February 27, 2010 at 7:31 am |
  48. Aileen Marie

    Great! Two thumbs up Yu-na!
    ^^Savor your victory....
    You deserve it. =)

    February 27, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  49. darelo

    To Kim Yu-na,
    First is congratulations for the best performance i've ever seen in Ice-Skating. Once in a while I check videos thru youtube regarding skaters (variety of skates e.g. snow board. ice skate, downhill etc...) and all other sports....
    I applaud your graceful execution all the way thru. I agree with the other comments that there is no such of your move that did not earn points.
    Since i don't know how figure skaters really learn to become one like you...I'll take that those smooth moves must have some part of vallet dancing otherwise you're just a natural.

    Yu-Na Yr Cool !!!

    darel

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21057976@N06/

    February 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  50. 김연아최고1人

    Go연아Go연아GO!!!

    February 27, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  51. minseok

    kim yu-na, korea's proud and amazing sensation has beaten her japanese rival, Mao Asada!!!!!
    I watched the programme and Mao made so much mistakes!!
    it's a wonder the referees gave Mao such a high score...

    February 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  52. China Observer

    Very graceful!

    February 28, 2010 at 4:31 am |
  53. Seonghee

    People in Korea, sometimes, say even though the best sports men and women do well done in normal season, whenever they participate in the Olimpic they failed to get medals. However this time deffers from the past. So she is great. She overcame the weight of the pressure. I was really really surprised to see her flawless performance. There was no doubt for her to be absorbed in her dancing without thinking nothing. That's what is a pure art. Congratulation for Yuna's medal. Lastly I am very happy and pleased as a Korean.

    February 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  54. Kim Na-yeon

    wow...
    your performance is so excellent and elegant so much!!
    fighting

    March 1, 2010 at 12:50 am |
  55. ballerina

    Congratulations to the all time "Queen on Ice" who has more than derserved to win the Olympics! I was quite surprised about the great performance of Korea and they should really win to host Winter Olympics in future.

    March 1, 2010 at 2:31 am |
  56. yuna fan

    yuna is the best!

    March 1, 2010 at 5:33 am |
  57. tina

    This is no more then gold medal. Why u Korean regard her as a god?
    Ur reactions make other Asians annoying, There r so many jokes from South Korea every year. Just a gold medal can even have impact on ur economy. haha. The girl is quite great but not so amazing as the media says. Anyway, congratulations to her.

    March 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  58. curious steve

    Yu-na, you made me spend hours on youtube, watching your past and olympic performances, ha ha ha.

    you bring tears to my eyes, every time.

    congratulations. you've achieved greatness. please try not to worry about impressing anyone else any more.

    March 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  59. Peter

    Congratulations not only on your performances on the night, but also on your hidden painful prepareness for the night such as your endless planning, practice, and more practice. Good luck on your next move whatever you decide.

    March 4, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  60. Tom

    Hard work can make all of you to be great at anything you want.
    She was just working hard and demonstrated it perfectly. Congrats!

    March 6, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  61. Vanessa

    We watched the entire Olympics especially all of the figure skaters and Yu-na Kim was truly magnificent. She belongs to the WORLD! It would be great to see her performance again. Spectacular!

    March 16, 2010 at 12:59 am |
  62. uol

    what`s a ludicrous fact. this all-time skater really a pro

    March 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
  63. Steven Winters

    Korea is an amazing and beautiful place with amazing and beautiful people. It seems only natural that such a heavenly performance should come from such a heavenly place.

    Thanks for thrilling the world with your inspiring artistry on ice.

    March 25, 2010 at 6:45 am |
  64. Alissa

    I can't understand the people who leave bad comments here.
    Normally you should be celebrating her,(well sort of for South Koreans) and congradulating her, but some say nothing but critical comments. South Koreans are known for racists, but I think that other countries are not that positive either. Also Koreans are famous for their nationalism, so they're better than other countries. They think that Kim Yoona is their pride, but us don't pay attention to the skaters and don't think much for them. I think we should respect Koreans. They're intelligent too. My Korean friend was really nice. Also Koreans are fantastic people, who think not only for them but other people.
    Let's not criticize them. Let's be respectful.

    April 17, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  65. Hunter Reed

    Anna Kournikova is one of the sexiest russian tennis players i have ever seen. Russian tennis players are really pretty eh.;**

    May 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  66. Benjamin Hall

    i love to Figure Skate, and this has been my favorite sport ever since i was a kid.-`'

    May 21, 2010 at 2:43 am |
  67. Microwave Cart `

    i love to see women doing some figure skating routines:..

    October 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  68. megumi

    BE PROUD YU NA !

    October 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  69. Thermoplastic Elastomers :

    my girlfriend got a bad sprain during her figure skating routine but she is fine now:.-

    October 22, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  70. Health Juice

    i would love to do figure skating every week, this has been my hobby and a mild form of exercise for my body `*:

    December 13, 2010 at 5:37 am |
  71. deals

    We would like to thank you yet again for the stunning ideas you offered Jeremy when preparing her post-graduate research as well as, most importantly, pertaining to providing all the ideas in a single blog post. Provided we had been aware of your web site a year ago, we may have been kept from the useless measures we were employing. Thank you very much.

    October 21, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  72. icon pack

    What nice message

    hpixel

    September 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  73. Ruebentman

    The curve radian

    May 28, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

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