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Commemorative medals for Kim Yu-na go on sale

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) -- Limited-edition medals commemorating the decorated career of retired figure skating star Kim Yu-na went on sale on Monday.

The Korea Minting, Security Printing and ID Card Operating Corp. (KOMSCO) released one gold medal, two types of silver medals and one white bronze medal for Kim, who retired from competition after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February. Each of the medals will be available in limited quantities, KOMSCO said.

Dubbed "Queen Yu-na," Kim left the sport with an Olympic gold medal from 2010 and a silver medal from 2014, along with two world championships and a slew of Grand Prix victories. Kim never missed a podium in a senior career that began in 2006.

All four commemorative medals feature the portrait of Kim and a laurel to signify championships, along with the words, "Figure Skating Legend Yuna Kim."

The gold and the silver medals also have the image of Kim in action and her autograph. The white bronze medal has the image of Kim waving at the crowd, along with the words, "Thank you. You're the true queen."

KOMSCO said it has issued 2,014 pieces of the gold and one type of the silver medal. The gold one will go for 1.32 million won (US$1,270) and the silver medal is worth 495,000 won.

KOMSCO said 20,014 pieces of the second type of silver medal and the white bronze medal will be available at 154,000 won and 55,000 won each, respectively.

Portions of proceeds from the sales will go toward helping train young figure skaters, KOMSCO said.

The unveiling ceremony had been scheduled for last Friday but has been postponed indefinitely in light of the deadly sinking of the ferry Sewol days earlier. The event was initially reschedueld for Monday before KOMSCO decided to put it on hold again. The medals went on sale Monday as scheduled.

Kim took to Twitter to express her condolences and wrote on Monday, "I am praying for miracles to happen" for hundreds of passengers that remain missing.

Kim holds the world record scores in the free skate (150.06) and the combined total (228.56) under the current judging system. Both marks were set in the gold medal-winning performance at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Her previous world mark of 78.50 points in the short program, also set in Vancouver, was broken by Mao Asada of Japan at this year's world championships last month.

In her Olympic title defense in Sochi, Kim settled for silver behind Adelina Sotnikova of Russia after a controversial ruling that raised suspicions about rigged judging.

Kim skated a near-flawless free program while Sotnikova committed a landing mistake. Yet Kim has refused to get dragged into the storm, graciously saying she won't dwell on a decision that was out of her control.

South Korean officials have appealed to the International Skating Union (ISU) regarding the composition of the judging panel for the free skate. One of the judges was a spouse of the director general of the Russian skating federation, while another member had once been suspended for trying to fix the ice dancing competition at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games.

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