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About micaelis

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    Lincoln, Nebraska
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    classical music, art, literature
  • Occupation
    retired after a life spent as record store clerk, university instructor, supermarket employee and bed and breakfast employee

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  1. Maybe he already has it and is just figuring out exactly when Nessie will emerge from the water.
  2. This shows precisely why I do not think Yuzu should be classed with those pop-music and other media idols that some here were worried about. If Yuzu acquires a girl-friend only a few (a very few) of his fans would react negatively. Yuzu's fame is that of a national hero and like all heroes he can have faults. The thing is that his faults are not somethings that matter but faults that every human being has. One has to remember that pop-idols do not get victory parades no matter how great their achievement is. Yuzu's victory parades and even his People's Honor Award are because he is a survivor, a person who did not let 3/11 derail his plans for himself, although as a result of information that came out after Sochi all know that he almost did. He persevered and went on to achievements that few athletes ever achieve. His struggles through his first injury to his attaining his second Olympic gold merely added to the legend of his being a survivor. As to Yuzu's lifestyle, I think it is largely self-imposed. His life revolves around the two things (outside of family) that most matter to him, skating and his education. He limits himself so he can focus on those things because Yuzu knows that in a symbolic way he's living on borrowed time and he wants to make sure that his achievement in some way matters to the world at large. In his skating he's already well-along that path. He's become a living legend and has pushed the sport to new levels, not so much in terms of quads but in terms of the balance of athletics and aesthetics. He's making his mark as a skater who pursues the elusive goal of being the perfect package. In the eyes of the fans here he already is but it's the remaining skating fans he's after, although he knows he'll never have them all. As to his educational goals I'm still puzzled. Cognitive science is by and large a very esoteric pursuit although one with potentially major human consequences. Like so much in his life Yuzu is not tipping his hand here. Perhaps he's still not sure exactly what cards he's holding there. I sense here that Yuzu now thinks he's at a stage where major decisions must be made. He senses that he's reached pretty close to the end of his competitive career. Two injury-damaged seasons in a row have underlined his sense of fragility. His receiving the gold medal in Moscow while on crutches is to me clear evidence that he knows he's not invulnerable. He's never committed himself to Beijing so he can leave competition before that with a reputation intact. He didn't chicken out. This season is the decider. If he doesn't think he can catch the gold in Beijing he'll retire after this season, not after the following. To leave competition at the end of one preceding an Olympic season will not look well. So this is the season that matters. I just hope that this season goes well for Yuzu, goes well enough that the decision to pursue Beijing is an easy one, easy enough that he can go forward to Beijing yet also a season that is good enough that he can retire after it and not lose face.
  3. Incidentally, has anyone tried that How-Old.net program on Pooh? It would be interesting (if it actually worked) to see the result.
  4. I'm thinking he's thinking about 'Where do I go from here?' I think this season is the critical one when the decision is made to go to Beijing or not. If he has an extremely good season, meaning going gold at every competition I actually think that might be when he retires. It all depends on how hard he had to work to get all those wins. If they came easily, judging by his margins at each competition, he'll hang on through Beijing. If every one has been a struggle, he'll announce his retirement. If he has a season with mixed results, but one in which those wins he has came easily (again judging by winning margins) he'll go to Beijing. If he had to struggle even for this mixed season, he'll retire. One thing I'm fairly confident is that he'll not announce his retirement (except for a very bad injury) at the end of the season just before the Olympic season. That would seem to be too much of an admission of inadequacy. That's not in Yuzu's nature. So he's thinking about things knowing that this season will decide whether he continues to Beijing or not.
  5. Well, it's coming up fast and I think it's getting close to the time we should put a Tokyo Olympics thread on this forum. The chatter can only increase as the months and weeks go by. Some speculations on the games, specifically the opening ceremony. Unless he's competing, my guess is that Kohei Uchimura will be the person lighting the torch. In terms of Olympic summer sports he's the only Japanese with such a long record of successful Olympics involvements. As for where Yuzu, being right now the reigning Japanese winter sports figure, I'm sure there's some planning of involving him in the torch-carrying ritual that will proceed the opening. It's almost certain that he will carry the torch during part of its passage through Sendai. My thinking is that he might also be involved a second time, and that would be either that he's the one carrying the torch as it enters the stadium and, as is often the case, handing it to a succession of former summer gold medal winners who carry it around the stadium before handing it to (as I presume) Kohei, who will actually light the main torch signalling the beginning of the games. The other possibility is that he's the person who hands the torch over to the main-torch lighter, the symbolism there being very apparent - Winter giving over to Summer. Whatever the situation ultimately is I can't imagine the Olympics organizers are not planning to have Yuzu involved somewhere along the line. His achievement is just too great and he is just too prominent and popular to ignore him. I will make one solid prediction, though, and that is that Yuzu will not do anything that seems to him to be overshadowing those Japanese who've made great achievements in summer sports. His sense of propriety will veto anything that seems to him to call undue attention toward him.
  6. I want to thank you for clarifying what I intended. I did not think he actually owed his fans anything except acknowledging how important they are to him. We have to realize that as a result of his experiences of the earthquake I think he has a keen awareness of how fragile life is, which has raised his sense of right and wrong well above that of most individuals. The very substantial donations he's made to Ice Rink Sendai and other programs meant to help in the recovery are a clear indication. As such, much of his generosity, as I see it, is because of his sense that he is fortunate to be alive when so many other thousands from the quake are not. Ice Rink Sendai did not collapse from the quake but the sixteen-year-old Yuzu could not know that when he was fleeing the building during the quake. As it was Sendai was right in the middle of the destruction from the subsequent tsunamis and out of just over a million in the population well over one thousand Sendaians perished. It's very possible that he may have known some of those who died. So, yes, I agree that he does not objectively owe his fans anything but I think what he gives to his fans is just part of what he gives to children and elderly and all the others he visits in outreach activities and such. It's all part of Yuzu's way of being thankful that he survived.
  7. I've been thinking quite a lot recently about being a Yuzu fan and with the interest in this thread right now being focused on that I think it right to add a few words to the conversation. First, after looking at what other skaters have in terms of fan interest sites and such I can say, at least for those in the English language, that this site here in scale and activity has no parallel to be found for any other skater. As for Yuzu himself it has no peer. In many ways it could be labeled Hanyu Central. I can't imagine that Yuzu doesn't know about us here and doesn't keep tabs. He is always considerate of his fans and what way to better know his fans than through the Planet. Second, being a Yuzu fan is more than just having an interest, or even an obsession. It's a way of life and like all ways of life it has its do's and don't's. I'm not sure how Yuzu fans act on other Yuzu sites but on this site decorum is mandated. Moreover, while there is a great deal of what I view as trivial chatter going on there is also a great deal of meaningful discussion taking place. The analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of his programs that have been so much the main part of the recent conversation here serves as a prime example. It is also evidence that being a Yuzu fan involves intelligence as well as enthusiasm. Third, the animosity which we see in so many fans of other skaters in their criticisms of Yuzu and Yuzu fandom I feel is frequently the result of jealousy. Not jealousy necessarily of Yuzu's obvious superiority but also of his fans. None of their skaters are prominent outside of skating like Yuzu is. None of their skaters get the kind of gush from the commentators like Yuzu does (well, maybe the Americans over Nathan but that's just Americans for you. Incidentally, I'm American so I think I can criticize here). The thing is none of their skaters can get huge victory parades or meetings with the emperor or really high civilian awards (People's Honor Award). None of the other skaters get Poohbursts (or analogous fan tributes) like Yuzu does. None of the other skaters have fans following them around the world like Yuzu does. They see Yuzu fandom and wish they had the same but, quite simply, their skaters just don't have the sheer enthralling charisma Yuzu has nor, despite all their achievements, which should not be dismissed, will those skaters ever get that. Finally, Yuzu fans are not just young and middle-aged and even elderly Japanese women. There are men (such as myself) out there who greatly admire Yuzu and their are non-Japanese (such as myself) who greatly admire Yuzu. Moreover there are fans of Yuzu who aren't even necessarily figure-skating fans. Yuzu's following is a following that is focused on Yuzu the person, not simply Yuzu the skater. There is a nobility in Yuzu which transcends sport and that's where his greatness lies. It's a nobility in which Yuzu acknowledges his gifts as a skater and the gifts of his fans (not simply the Poohs but the interest and love they have for him). Yuzu wants to give as much as he receives. He sees that as a duty and it's a duty he doesn't shirk. I can't think standing on top of a moving truck and waving, waving, waving, sometimes bowing and such could not have been boring. But he did it because he owes so much to his fans and this was one way to pay them back. All in all, I think it safe to say that the Yuzu phenomenon is comprised not only by Yuzuru the skater, even Yuzu the human being, but his fans are also a crucial part of that phenomenon. It is, in fact, his fandom that makes the Yuzu phenomenon what it is. There may be other skaters who achieve what Yuzu has achieved but I can't think any skater now or in the future will have the following that Yuzu has because with Yuzu it's not just his skating that is being celebrated by his fans. It's his humanity.
  8. The limited VPN I have with my Opera browser was not able to access this but I did find out that Australia is the country in which Seven Network is found, so if your VPN has a server in Australia you should be able to access it. Hope this helps.
  9. A long-range question - Now that this thread has hit page 5000, will it hit 10,000 before Beijing? Inquiring minds want to know.
  10. Face it! Yuzu and TCC have a plan, one that is centered on keeping the competition guessing until the practice session of the first competition (in this case ACI 2019). TCC's security has to be the envy of many a national government, so tight it is. Nothing gets leaked. The result is that while we languish in self-pity because WE WANT TO KNOW, our ignorance is simply collateral damage because Yuzu's competitors want to know also. The result? If Yuzu were a known quotient many of them might be training against what Nathan comes up with. With Yuzu shrouded in mystery they all have to train against what Yuzu might be skating, exactly the result he wants. Why? Because even after two successive injury-wrecked seasons they all know exactly what Johnny Weir knows when several seasons ago he said - Nobody can beat a perfect Yuzuru Hanyu. They know that that perfect Yuzuru Hanyu is still alive and kicking.
  11. Just looking at Yuzu's physique and face I can say that if he had been an American skater he would be a very major teen-idol, on the scale of a Justin Bieber, and all this without making a single record. One article some ages ago talked about Yuzu's 'boy-band good looks', and seeing him almost shirtless and with those skin-tight PVC pants, well, if he were American he would certainly ignite an interest in figure skating amongst the young and feminine in this country. Yuzu isn't handsome in the manner of, for instance, a Daisuke Takahashi, and he isn't good-looking cute in the manner of most of the teen heart-throbs with their images coldly calculated, actually, because of that aura of depths unexplored in him and the way his face so intimately reflects his every mood change, well, quite simply, he's just plain beautiful.
  12. I am really thinking Yuzu is closer to retirement than most of us think (or WANT to think since for most of us Yuzu should compete forever). I think, with all his mention of Nessie and wanting to do all of the quads that he is looking to retire after this season, but desires to go out in a blaze of glory, with his taking gold every time his blades hit the ice and his doing ALL of the quads in a SINGLE program. Sensing Yuzu's sense of what is right, I think this is likely his last season unless he hangs on until Beijing. If Yuzu doesn't retire this season it does mean he's planning on Beijing, since retiring after the season that directly precedes Beijing would not, to Yuzu, seem appropriate. He will, however, continue to Beijing only if he feels confident of doing a 'threepeat', something which has only been done once, and that back in the 20s and 30s. As far as ice shows, I have been strongly thinking since Continues that Yuzu sees his ice show future as a producer. His friendship with Plushie has almost certainly made him acquainted with a show Plushy has done in Russia with Plushy as the star in a masculine version of Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen. We were given a hint of that back in Continues in that Yuzu seeks an ice show format that has a unified theme or storyline and is not simply a collection of skaters doing their exhibition skates. Almost certainly Yuzu has seen the North American Stars on Ice, which has a format that involves the star skaters interacting with each other in ways they do not in Fantasy on Ice. As far as financing for such an endeavor Yuzu will have no trouble rounding up money to back him. In Japan the mere mention of Yuzu as being in a particular competition or show guarantees an almost instant sell-out. In many respects he may be the greatest cash cow that figure skating has ever seen. Coaching may also be in Yuzu's future, but only after he has made his mark in the history of ice shows. I wouldn't be surprised if Yuzu's intentions regarding ice shows involve putting together a show that can successfully tour internationally. In a career that has been highlight by a succession of 'youngest' and 'firsts' and record-breaking, Yuzu would not be averse to achieving a number of ice show firsts. He's already made his mark on competitive figure-skating, a mark that essentially makes this decade the Yuzuru Hanyu decade just as the preceding one is dominated by Plushenko. If he's made his mark as a competitor and an ice show producer then I think coaching will be the next mountain he intends to climb. He has as his model one of the most successful coaches in the history of figure skating. All in all Yuzu is not going to simply retire and fade into the hazy realms of figure-skating history. He intends to remain the Absolute Champion in one way or another well beyond his days of skating for points. As with all things Yuzuru it will be interesting, very interesting, and, as always, something which only Yuzu is able to do.
  13. Thoughts on Yuzu and his 4A. First, I think he's letting the competition know that he has a 4A, with the caveat that he's landing it less than 20% of the time. Does landing it mean just landing it or does landing it mean competition-worthy landing it? They'll have to figure that out for themselves. If by the time the season starts rolling it's quite possible he will have the 4A well in hand. Then, when does Nessie surface? I really think for maximum effect he'll do a 4A in his SP. That'll spook the competition since they'll be figuring that he'll do another one (or even two) in his FS. That should throw a lot of them off their game. Three, will he be doing a stripped down 4A or one with lots of bells and whistles, meaning the same type of entries and exits he uses on his 3A? I think Yuzu's sense of showmanship is such that we'll get a fully adorned rather than unadorned 4A. As long as he's doing it he might as well do it in a way that no other skater now skating will be able to do even after long practice. Finally, what will be the audience reaction when he does it? He'll get a standing ovation at the time and after the skate a prolonged ovation. Additional thought - How will the judges handle it? I really think the judges will be intimidated when it occurs. They'll be a lot more generous than normal, fearing that underscoring Yuzu will bring about the first collective judge-lynching in figure-skating history.
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