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With each soft tilt of her head, she brought back memories of the little girl who began skating for the pure love of it, before medals or titles or the expectations of an entire country and sport ever entered her mind.
At 25 and with more expressiveness than most actresses, Kostner is one of the few skaters who can do “Bolero” justice.
Only four other times did she receive more than 200 points, two of them since her return from a 20-month break, raising hopes that she can defend her Olympic title in Sochi, Russia, next year.
Kim sat out competitions at home and abroad since her runner-up finish at the 2011 worlds in Moscow, triggering the speculation of her imminent retirement.
She broke her silence last July, saying the Sochi Games would be her final competition.
The victory in Canada is a big confidence boost ahead of the Sochi Olympics, she said.
Kim said her performance at the national championships in particular helped her to regain confidence.
“I had rarely done a clean performance at the senior stage,” Kim said yesterday.
“I had done my best in preparing for the free skate.” Kostner of Italy, who finished second in the short program at 66.86, settled for 131.03 in the free skate for a total score of 197.89.“For me, coming here, I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Kostner, who skipped the Grand Prix season. Before there were parenting blogs, trophies for showing up, and peanut allergies, there was a simpler time called the '80s.Kim holds the world’s highest mark, 228.56, which she set at the Vancouver Olympics.She earned 150.06 points in the free skate in Vancouver.