Monday, October 13, 2008

Naomi Nari Nam Announces Retirement from Competitive Figure Skating

Naomi Nari Nam, the 1999 U.S. ladies silver medalist and 2007 U.S. pairs bronze medalist, has announced her retirement from competitive skating. In her most recent appearance on the ice, Nam finished seventh at the 2008 U.S. Championships with partner Themi Leftheris.

Nam's brilliant free skate at the 1999 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships helped earn her the silver medal behind Michelle Kwan. A hip injury suffered in the 2000-01 season essentially ended her career as a singles skater.

She underwent successful hip surgery last year, but the risk of damaging the hip again and considerations for her future health forced her to retire.

“Skating has been a wonderful part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Nam said. “It has afforded me opportunities for travel and a venue to perform for supportive audiences around the world. I am lucky to have fans that have always encouraged my efforts on the ice throughout the years.”

Nam teamed up with Leftheris in 2005 despite having no previous pairs experience. At their first international competition, the pair won bronze at 2006 Skate America.

“I feel very lucky to have shared a partnership with Themi Leftheris,” Nam said. “He is a talented skater and has been a wonderful partner and a loyal friend.”

Nam acknowledged several people who have helped shape her skating career.

“I would like to thank the staff at U.S. Figure Skating for all their assistance, my former coach John Nicks and all those that have helped me along the way,” Nam said. “I would especially like to thank (my coach) Peter Oppegard for all his efforts on my behalf. His dedication to me and belief in me helped motivate my successful return to figure skating.”

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