Yuna’s father wrote her this letter.
Grateful and proud of my Daughter.
My dear Yuna, my lovely daughter, Today when I was watching your programs on TV, I thought my heart was going to burst. I know that the music to your free skate program, “Adios Nonino”, is originally a tribute for a father and because of this people asked me how I felt as they felt like this program could’ve been a tribute to me during your last program ever.
But I did not hear anything. I could not feel anything. The only thing that came to my vision were the detailed moments of the rise and falls in your movements. My feelings when watching your competitions over the past seventeen years were the same as when I was watching your last competition; it was difficult to watch.
10 days before, when you left for Sochi I did not tell you “Bring home a gold medal”. Instead I only told you to do your very best. Because it was your last competition, I told you to show everything that you wished to do, to pour every fiber of your being into this endeavor, and to not let your supporters down. I told you that the Olympic Gold Medal is something that only the heavens gift you with and that if you did your very best wouldn’t the proper results follow?
Even as I said those words to you, in my heart I had a wish for a gold medal. That is because more than anyone in this world I know of your incredible skill and work ethic. A couple days before, I dreamt that I had won a game and collected all of the money from my friends. After I awoke, I thought to myself that the money in the dream could signify another gold medal and my wish for your 2nd gold medal grew bigger.
However, during the competition I saw an earlier competitor’s, Adelina Sotnikova’s, score and thought that it would be very difficult to overcome this mark. After Vancouver four years ago, because of the scoring system changes I knew that unless you received extra points it would be very difficult for you to get the winning score.
Our Yuna was last to skate in the competition and how nervous you must have been! What would happen if our Yuna makes mistakes? As I awaited for your turn my lips turned dry and my heart felt like it was going to rip apart.
At that moment, the 17 years and 7 months that I have spent with figure skating flashed before my very eyes. Do you remember? The times of countless tears and hardships…I then fervently prayed that in this very situation you would unfold and perform everything that you wanted to perform and leave this stage happy regardless of the result. I sincerely wished for my dear daughter , just as always, to humbly accept reality, to not make excuses, to not complain, to not argue, and to not blame others.
In your last competitive stage you didn’t falter even once. Even with that score, you accepted it, kept the tears back, and smiled. The moment I saw your smile was the happiest moment of our entire journey with figure skating from when you were only six years old to now. I thought that even in adverse conditions you did your best. You didn’t cling onto the results and gave a self satisfying performance. You confidently faced reality and moved forward. I am so thankful that you were able to smile for me like that.
Our loving Yuna, standing here now and looking back at these 17 years and 7 months the countless moments of triumphs and disappointments are coming to mind. The joys were but only fleeting moments while adversity was continuous. When we first started figure skating, our family could not even imagine that you would eventually win an Olympic gold medal. We could not forsee the incredible hardships of figure skating but sacrificed everything while slowly taking things one step at a time, ending here at this point in our lives.
When you competed at international events and received scores that did not reflect great judgment, as your father I was very sorry. I once told you, long ago, that I was sorry that I was not able to give birth to you in a more powerful country known for its figure skating might. Even here, in Korea, without a proper skating rink you trained hard while getting injured over and over again. And every time I sent you off to international competitions while knowing that you were so injured, my heart was deeply troubled.
Despite all of this, you never lost a medal even once in any of the events in your competitive career. Without adversity there are no results, injuries are the evidence of hard work. Once you set a goal, don’t even bat an eyelash and solely focus on the road ahead to run towards your goal. With all this, I am so proud of everything that you have done.
Dear Yuna, you can rest now to your heart’s content. You won an Olympic Gold Medal, you’ve received so much love from so many people, and you’ve even blazed a trail for future Korean skaters. Now, let us return back to being normal people from being celebrities. As your father, I wish that like normal people you will be able to enjoy common, everyday happiness while living a normal life.
Now since we have so much time, let’s ignore the public eye and go out to eat delicious things. Let’s go out to cafes and drink coffee while chatting endlessly. Let us allow for you new dreams to blossom. As your father, I will do everything in my power and will to help you in your new journey.
As soon as your program finished early this morning, I texted to you “Yuna~ You are the real champion” to which you replied “Thanks, I’m fine”.
No my sweet Yuna, thank YOU for boldly overcoming everything in the face of adversity. A job well done. For all these years you have gone through so much. I am incredibly proud of our great Yuna.
I love you. [♡]
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