“Queen Yuna” Kim might have been robbed of the Gold by Russia Thursday night, but the superstar 23 year-old South Korean figure skater (who won Gold in 2010) will always have her faith to fall back on. In 2008, while recuperating after a knee injury, Kim and her mother converted to Catholicism.
The injury brought them in contact with local nuns and numerous Catholic organizations. Moved by the simple faith of the nuns and feeing something missing in her lonely life on the road, Kim found what was missing in the unconditional love of Christ and Mary.
According to the Catholic News Agency, Kim is now seen in the Catholic community as “an example of how to live the faith publicly.” Kim has combined her faith and fame to not only spread the news of her Catholic beliefs but through generous charitable acts. Always with Kim is her rosary ring [pictured above] and she can be seen making the sign of the cross before every competition:
Since then, Kim has shown her faith to the international world, crossing herself as she steps onto the ice during performances and competitions. In 2010, she also joined with the Korean bishops in a national campaign to explain the rosary to the Korean public – and to explain the meaning of the rosary ring she herself wears to fans who mistook it for an engagement ring.
Kim has also been active in using her position as an opportunity for charitable works, volunteering and donating funds to Catholic Hospitals, Universities, and other charitable organizations, and working alongside the Catholic bishops in Korea as a spokeswoman for Catholic charities in Seoul.
Additionally, in 2012, Kim donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Salesian of Don Bosco to help support the missionary brothers in South Sudan and to establish Catholic Schools throughout the war-torn country, meeting with Salesian brothers in Seoul to personally deliver the gift.
After her baptism, Kim chose the Catholic name “Stella,” which means “star”– not as in “celebrity” — but because it is a name for Mary the Mother of God.
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