“What am I supposed to say…”
The voice of ‘former volleyball player’ Kim Yu-ri, whom I contacted on the 18th, was still full of energy. She spoke openly about her feelings about ending her 14-year playing career, including her 7 years at GS Caltex.
Kim Yu-ri has not been able to play a single game this season due to a bad knee. At the beginning of the season, he even came out to the stadium to cheer for the players, but he only received rehabilitation treatment and did not participate in training for his team. Eventually, he decided to retire midway through the season. On the 16th, she announced her retirement to fans via social media.
Kim Yu-ri said, “I made up my mind in December of last year. Director Cha Sang-hyun recommended surgery. I went to three hospitals, and when they all recommended surgery, I tried to quit. He advised me to take a break if it hurts and do it if it’s okay. To be honest, it’s not like a professional player came out to play, and I couldn’t do that, so I decided to quit.”안전놀이터
Even to her colleagues, she did not directly mention the word ‘retirement’. So there were some players who found out later. Yu-ri Kim said, “They are all young friends, and I don’t have the personality to talk to others, so I got to know them naturally. The director only said, ‘Yuri is rehabilitating and taking a break from sports’, but he didn’t say retirement.”
Yu-ri Kim said, “(Oh) Se-yeon ran out crying. She was a child who was raised as a disciple by sticking to her like a chewing gum… I think it was because of her young heart.” They said, ‘Walk on your own two feet like a human.’ Some juniors said, ‘Sister, you decided to do it with me’, regretting it.” Kim Yu-ri laughed, “(Pepper Savings Bank, whom I worked with at GS Caltex) Lee Hyun said, ‘I will make a lot of money and buy you delicious food’. I raised you well.”
Coach Sang-Hyeon Cha was just as disappointed as the players. Director Cha Sang-hyun said, “It’s not another guy, it’s Kim Yu-ri, so I had a glass of soju the day before I left. I didn’t see her, so I told her to contact me.” Kim Yu-ri said, “The coach can’t say goodbye. He can’t express his disappointment to the players who are leaving. He says, ‘Yes, go’, but I understand.”
Kim Yu-ri, who joined Heungkuk Life Insurance in the 2nd overall in the 1st round in 2010, left the court after 2 seasons. The cause was a feud with her senior. Due to family circumstances, I got a chance to play for the unemployment team while working part-time at a convenience store. Then, at the call of coach Lee Jeong-cheol, he returned to the professional stage wearing the IBK Industrial Bank uniform. In 2017, he was nominated as an FA compensation player and settled at GS Caltex after being traded.
Kim Yu-ri said, “I did really well to come back. I am grateful for calling the people who left, and the family situation has improved financially. I am grateful to coach Lee Jeong-cheol. The players I call him ‘Jeongcheol hyung’, but the training was intense. GS is also a team that does not lag behind in training volume. I’m proud of how well I overcame it.”
Yu-ri Kim scored 977 points in 246 games. He played in 31 games in the postseason. He said, “Still, I have a lot of winning experience, and I am satisfied that I went to a lot of championship games. “I met the team well. It was good when I won the IBK Industrial Bank, and the treble (cup, regular league, championship win) at GS was especially memorable,” he said. “Not everyone can do it, and I made a lot of money.” said frankly.
Fans regretted Kim Yu-ri’s retirement. It’s because he likes the leadership of ‘Captain Yul’ who led the team members reliably, even if not flashy. Even when other players played well in the warm-up zone, not on the court, they encouraged the atmosphere more vigorously than anyone else. Kim Yu-ri said, “I thought about why fans like me, and I think they like it because it’s funny. I also liked the fact that I smell like a person.”
Yu-ri Kim, who said that the juniors are grateful, said, “Actually, I can’t even say empty words, and I’m good at ‘fact violence.’ I didn’t. I poured out all my honest feelings and even scolded them, but as I listened to them, trust built up. I think that’s why they came to me.”
There are also unforgettable scenes. On February 5, 2021, this is an interview with a distinguished player at Heungkuk Life. It was Kim Yu-ri’s first interview in 10 years since he came to the pro, and commentator Han Yu-mi and Kim Yu-ri shed tears as they talked about the past. All GS colleagues and staff were happy and shed tears together around Kim Yu-ri.
Kim Yu-ri said, “I still can’t watch that video. I tried, but tears still flow. I look pitiful.”
Kim Yu-ri, who is scheduled to undergo rehab by May, said she is still drawing out her second life. Yu-ri Kim confessed, “I felt burdened and thought, ‘Why should I do an interview while retiring?’, so I declined the interview at first.” I want to be a leader,” he said.
That’s how it is, but Kim Yu-ri took a step toward her future little by little. During her career as an athlete, she earned her coaching license and graduated from college. Recently, she is preparing for her computer literacy certification test while attending a computer academy. Yu-ri Kim said, “She hasn’t played volleyball for over 5 months, and it’s frustrating. When her rehabilitation is over, maybe she’ll look for a career path from then on.” She had a hunch that the future to come would be bright, just like her bright smile on the coat.