South Korea rallies behind Kim Yu-Na
SEOUL, South Korea -- South Koreans still love Kim Yu-Na. The judges, however, are another matter.
Kim, known as the "Queen" in South Korea, finished with the figure skating silver medal at the Sochi Olympics behind gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova of Russia.
That left many South Koreans furious over what they saw as questionable judging. Local TV replayed her performance repeatedly, likening Kim's performance Thursday with that of Sotnikova's. Commentary was shown in several languages, including some that had predicted gold for Kim.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams called this matter over the judging a "purely hypothetical thing." He said any formal complaint would have to be made with the International Skating Union.
"I'm certain there hasn't been any complaint," he said from Sochi. "If it does, that would be the first step to go through. If there isn't a credible complaint, then we wouldn't take it any further."
Most South Korean newspaper front pages focused on Kim's performance over other news items, like tearful reunions of war-divided families from the Koreas.
"I was angry," Bang Sang-ah, a skating commentator for South Korea's SBS television station, said in a local radio interview. "I had expected something like this ... but the home-side advantage (in Russia) was too much."
Allegations of unfair judging in Sochi were among the most popular searches on major portal sites in South Korea, one of the world's most wired nations.
Kim was trying to become the first to win back-to-back Olympic figure skating golds since Katarina Witt in 1988. The 23-year-old Kim is now retiring, saying she is relieved the Olympics are over and she wants to rest.
After winning gold in Vancouver four years ago, Kim left competitive skating for a year, prompting speculation she would not attempt to skate in Sochi. But Kim returned for the 2012-13 season and won her second world title.
Kim will skate in a show in South Korea in May but otherwise has no plans. She will skip next month's world championships in Saitama, Japan.
Kim has said that her mindset was such in Vancouver that she would "die for gold." That passion was missing in Sochi.
"The motivation was a problem, I think," she said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.