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Kim, Kwan to close Special Olympics

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Published : 2013-02-04 18:40
Updated : 2013-02-04 18:40

South Korean figure skating star Kim Yu-na will perform with her idol, Michelle Kwan of the U.S., in the closing ceremony of the Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, organizers said Monday.

The 10th World Winter Games will close out Tuesday here in the alpine town, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul. Kim and Kwan, who have won six world championships between them, will put on an ice dance performance.

David Wilson, a Canadian choreographer who has worked with Kim for several seasons, also handled the choreography this week, organizers said.

Organizers added that the theme of their ice dance will be “hero,” and the background music will be Mariah Carey’s hit single titled “Hero.” It is to recognize and celebrate all participants in the Special Olympics as heroes, organizers added.

The ice dance routine will also be about the “Promise of Tomorrow,” as PyeongChang hands over the Special Olympics flag to Los Angeles, the site of the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2015.

More than 3,000 athletes and officials from 106 countries have taken part in the World Winter Games, which kicked off last Tuesday.

Kim and Kwan will be joined by 18 figure skaters with intellectual disabilities. The two figure stars last performed together in July 2010.

Kim, 22, has won an Olympic gold and a world championship. She ended her 20-month hiatus last December and will enter the 2013 world championships next month in Canada. Kwan, 32, has five world titles, nine U.S. championships and two Olympic medals to her credit.

Kim has said she grew up idolizing Kwan and nurtured her own Olympic dreams after watching Kwan at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, where the American won silver.

Kim has been the global honorary ambassador for these World Winter Games since August 2011. She also attended the opening ceremony.

PyeongChang is the first South Korean host of the Special Olympics World Games, which alternate between summer and winter editions every two years. They’re open to anyone over the age of 8 with intellectual disabilities.

The closing ceremony will also feature performances by South Korean pop groups such as Wonder Girls and f(x). (Yonhap News)

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