One source told me "it was obvious [a few months ago] that there were problems. Yu-Na would land a jump, and [Brian] would clap to acknowledge it, and she would just turn away and skate off." The source continues, "there were definitely no lessons taking place. Yu-Na would work with David [Wilson] on choreography a little bit, and sometimes on her own, but there was no communication with Brian. None."
The two did have to be cordial towards one another during a press interview/photo shoot in one of the restaurants at the Cricket Club. Did either go out of their ways to communicate then? "Just the necessity, nothing more. We have to remember that people will act a certain way around others that might not be the most honest, but you can only hide your true feelings to an extent."
Another source tells me that because Yu-Na was not being coached by anyone, "When I arrived, she seemed out of shape. She would attempt triple/triple combinations, but always pop the first jump. She was also struggling, even falling, on a triple Salchow in early run-throughs of her exhibition program. She only started to get into better shape a few days before she left for Korea, luckily."
I asked about whether Min-Jung Kwak, who also left Orser, was still receiving lessons at that point. All of the sources say that he was still spending plenty of time with her, but one adds that "we have to remember she is also managed by Yu-Na Kim's agency, so maybe she didn't have a choice."
Another question being raised is whether rumors of Mao Asada being trained by Orser had anything to do with the beginning of the falling out. I asked all of the sources whether her name was ever circulated around the rink during their stays, and while all of them arrived after the original rumor surfaced, none of them heard a single mentioning of Mao. "I only heard about Brian [Joubert] coming all the time," says one.
Also of interest, and something I had not heard about until speaking with these sources, is the possibility of Yu-Na or her camp writing a letter to Orser in May or early June which stated that she "felt no reason to return to train with [Brian]." When she did return to the Cricket Club, she certainly stood by her words (if this is true) and only worked with David Wilson. Had she contemplated retiring from amateur competition in the early summer months? That would be a logical explanation for not needing to return to a coach, but this is where the big question mark occurs within the whole story.
I don't have allegiances to either side, but I hope the drama is settled sometime soon. And if Yu-Na Kim is truly serious about continuing to compete next season, I hope, for her sake, that she finds a full-time coach soon. She might be the Olympic Champion and she might have a mom who seems to know all, but it doesn't mean she knows what is best for Yu-Na.
Oh, and as I was typing this up, Yu-Na graced her Twitter account with the following message:
Would you please stop to tell a lie, B? I know exactly what's going on now and this is what I've DECIDED.Seems the real drama has just started. Sigh.