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Everything posted by micaelis

  1. With some of the matters that have emerged of late, specifically Yuzu's great sensitivity to music, I think we might see evolving the next stage in Yuzu's development in figure-skating - Yuzu the choreographer, initially for himself but eventually for others, particularly for those needing programs for galas and ice shows and not competition. It is there that Yuzu could become a very potent influence in the development of figure-skating and its expressive potential. Particularly if he is producing ice shows he could be the major shaper of the overall choreography of the show. If this is to be it can't come along soon enough for me.
  2. One should be careful with one wishes, since the results might not be desirable. The skating authorities wanted Yuzu to retire, but they didn't really think about the fact that all those sold out arenas were sold out because of Yuzuru Hanyu. Now there will be those many empty seats and the discouraging sights of arenas filled to capacity where Yuzu's ice shows are underway. Yuzu was the goose that laid the golden eggs and the ISU and JSF killed the goose. No more Yuzu, no more golden eggs, no more sold-out arenas. I shed no tears for them. They wished for his retirement and now they must live with the results.
  3. It's going to take a while before I gather my thoughts to express my homage to that seminal human being, Yuzuru Hanyu. Right now, though, I have some thoughts about his immediate career choice - ice shows. There seems to be a consensus emerging that Yuzu will not hire himself out to those ice shows already existent. Rather, he will go it alone and produce shows over which he can exert full artistic control. Will he get the financial support to do so? You have to be kidding. He is the greatest draw in the history of figure skating. The money will be there as also will be the skaters. Indeed, because Yuzu's at the helm, his figure skating shows will be able to tour internationally because it doesn't matter where he goes sellouts will be guaranteed. I can see, in fact, that Yuzu's company could become something similar to Cirque du Soleil, a place where retired skaters (retired gymnasts in Cirque) go to develop their skills beyond what was required to rack up the points in competition. More importantly his shows will probably also be instrumental in making figure skating popular beyond the bounds of the traditional skating countries. All in all, Yuzu is well-placed to place his stamp on ice shows just in the way he has made his stamp on the stuff that makes ice shows - figure-skating.
  4. With his looks, his musicality, his reputation, if he decided to embrace J-pop he'd be an overnight superstar. (Not that he isn't already, but that's in figure-skating).
  5. As a person who vividly remembers the assassination of John F Kennedy (I was a junior in high school at the time) I can fully empathize with the shock the Japanese people must be experiencing right now. My sorrow at this is not merely for Abe's family but the Japanese people as a whole. No nation should have to be put through this. It's not business as usual in Japan today and won't be for some time to come. For the Japanese people the parallels are similar to America's when JFK was shot since he survived long enough to be taken to a hospital where he then passed away. My memories of hearing that Kennedy had died over the school's announcement speakers and what followed immediately after remain etched in detail in my memory even to this day. Sadly the Japanese now have a similar memory to take to their dying day.
  6. I'd not watched that video of Yuzu in practice before but watching it and particularly how interesting he was just when skating without both his skates leaving the ice together in a jump, watching just his stroking and turning and such and it suddenly came to me why Yuzu is so successful in the PCS scores, it's because he's not just skating; he's making love to the ice. No other skater seems to have such a relationship between himself and the surface on which he is soaring. Yuzu loves the ice and his every program is a serenade to that most frigid of beloveds.
  7. The world will be tuning in again to see Yuzu. Just think, is there any other skater out there who will draw the viewers like Yuzu. His nobility and purity of purpose are the gold standard for figure skaters, although, considering it's Yuzu, we might better say the 'platinum standard'. All other skaters pale in comparison to Yuzu since none others are so pure in their dedication to the sport. If figure skating could have saints, he'd be at the head of the list.
  8. With all this speculation about Yuzu retiring my thoughts have led me to think that maybe they want Yuzu to retire, to make room for those younger. The thing is, as I look over the situation season by season the accusations of underscoring him really don't become numerous until after the 2017/18 season in which he took his second gold. I know it is fairly usual for an Olympic FS men's gold-medalist to retire after that season but for Yuzu that would be absurd as he was only nineteen when he won in Sochi. Retiring at age nineteen would be absurd. On top of that he had stated publicly he wanted a second straight gold and actually that was quite good to the authorities since it added suspense through the countdown to PC. But then he didn't retire after attaining his second gold medal but instead he declared he was determined to be the first to do a quad-axel, the Holy Grail of skating jumps. As far as the ISU and JSF were concerned Yuzu was overstaying his welcome. The figure-skating industry (I use that word deliberately) is driven by the need to have ever fresh young faces working on clawing their way to the top. Yuzu, however, was at the top and showed every sign of remaining at or near the top. He was fouling up the normal modes of procedure. Moreover, I think the skating authorities are afraid of Yuzu. He's TOO popular, too much the object of an almost cultlike following (nothing wrong there, though, considering it's Yuzu). In Japan he's one of the most popular individuals in any field of endeavor. They can't simply demand he retire so they start making it ever harder for him to succeed in winning. Thus all the underscorings. They want him to finally tell the ISU and everyone out there that he's had enough and quit in disgust. They really don't understanding Yuzu very well. He'll keep on going until he has his 4A. What the ISU and the other authorities have to do is to help him get that 4A so he can retire with grace. He almost had it this season but landed on two-feet. A one-foot landing would have Yuzu now duly retired and have everybody here and elsewhere wondering 'What next?'
  9. An idea has recently occurred to me about what Yuzu might do post-retirement. Might he go into movie acting? It's not a farfetched idea. We know he's capable of acting by the way he sinks into the music when skating. So why not Japanese hollywood? I'm not thinking of truly serious roles but rather into movies similar to those of Sonja Henie, a Norwegian three-time Olympics gold-medal winner back in the 1930's. She starred in a number of Hollywood films that were designed around her skating and they were quite successful. Further, I'm not thinking of Yuzu going to Hollywood. No, these would be Japanese productions which could be shown worldwide with either dubbing or subtitles. The thing is that Yuzu would have almost complete artistic control and in these movies would be able to display and promote his skating aesthetic. I'm thinking that this vehicle would be far more effective in reaching audiences beyond those of skating competitions and ice shows. As far as financing, it's a no-brainer. Yuzu has looks that are as good as the best Japanese pop idols and he has a reputation as being a person with a personality of exceptional depth and, to be blunt, Yuzu is amongst the most 'bankable' individuals in Japan. I know this idea seems far-fetched but if you think about it movies would give Yuzu a platform for his skating in terms of international exposure second only to Olympic competitions and might actually be greater. We have to remember that Yuzu is extraordinarily gorgeous and has all the ingredients for movie-stardom - good looks, talent, a record of skating achievement unrivalled by any skater male or female today, and an inspirational biography beginning with the earthquake and his subsequent efforts to aid in the recovery. and his struggles despite his many injuries to achieve his many skating successes. So think about it. I really do think that if Yuzu went into movie-acting he could achieve astonishing success and could also display what he thinks figure-skating is capable of doing and should, in fact , be doing.
  10. When Yuzuru put the blade-cover on his right foot after his FS in Beijing, he said 『頑張ったね』 (“You’ve worked hard!”). He probably said those words to his right ankle which had been holding up so well until the very end. I read somewhere that when Yuzu does those motions with his hands just before he skates (it looks sort of like making the sign of the cross) that he's actually taking a mental inventory of all of his body reminding himself where each part is required to do the skate, rather like telling each part of his body that 'it's showtime' so be ready. Maybe here he's thanking his ankle for going beyond what duty requires. After a skate he always bows to his coaches. Unfortunately he can't bow to his ankle so he bends down and thanks it.
  11. My guess is that he chooses that time for two reasons - One, as noted, he has the rink to himself. Secondly, he's practicing at that time so he can link up with Toronto, which is during the daytime there. I also feel he's not practicing absolutely alone, just no other skaters practicing. There is somebody with him for safety reasons.
  12. Yuzu producing an ice show? He's done it once and shown that he can do it. If he wants to do it he'll not lack for backers. Yuzu's name attached to an ice show, particularly as its producer, guarantees a sell-out anywhere on the planet (yes, even in my US of A). The reason is that unlike some other prominent skaters Yuzu is the symbol of style, of completeness, of integrity. Will he have trouble bringing on other skaters? You have to be kidding. They'll be lining up hoping they're among the chosen. Nathan may hold the various top medals right now but there is no way that he can lay claim to the GOAT. That's Yuzu's and he's locked it up even before he displays Nessie. Nessie will simply tell everyone they were right all along in proclaiming him the GOAT.
  13. I get beyond 2014 COC by focusing on GPF 2014 where Yuzu, having just squeaked into the final went to deliver one of his greatest skates ever and winning the thing by a landslide. One of the things many people have not picked up on is that if Yuzu hadn't fallen on his final jump (a Lutz) he would have broken the FS scoring record (he was that close). As it was he had to wait until 2015 when in NHK and GPF he did it twice.
  14. I'd be very happy if his gala program was POTO, which was my favorite of his programs until --- until Masquerade -- which I think is an absolute masterpiece. Hope to see Phantom but I'd be in seventh heaven if I see Masquerade, which was a program of Yuzu's that had far too short a lifespan.
  15. I have to agree with all that people here have been saying about Yuzu and this won't be one of my long discussions but a simple observation very relevant to Yuzu's GOAT status and that is this. - How many skaters have there been who have competed in 3 Olympics and been a contender in all of them? I can't think of anyone offhand but I think you get my point. Yuzu's name will be in the histories of figure skating long after the names of most of those competing today have been forgotten.
  16. I know everybody is upset, almost everybody is more upset than Yuzu. You have to remember that 11 years ago next month Yuzu experienced something that radically altered his perspectives, namely the earthquake. He survived and thousands others perished. He felt guilty about continuing skating, feeling he should be more directly involved in the recovery efforts but a series of experiences later made him realize that his skating was sufficient to cheer up many of those who were so frustrated with their situations following the quake. On 3/11 Yuzu learned what it takes to be a survivor and he's carried that knowledge within himself ever since. I doubt that there are any other skaters out there who literally have stared death in the face as Yuzu did that afternoon scrambling from the ice wondering whether he'd make it outside before the building came down. He did and the building didn't collapse (though it was heavily damaged and Yuzu's still contributing funds to IceRink Sendai to help it pay off the loans it needed for its repairs). If anything, though, this accident has given him the ability to keep in focus his real reason for being in Beijing - bringing Nessie out in all her 4 1/2 spins glory. No longer considering himself in contention for the gold he can now relax and do the 4A like he has in the past (I'm privately convinced that those failed attempts everyone saw the other day were fakes, meant to keep his opposition asking - Can he? Will he?). I think we will see a Yuzu beginning his free skate with a zen-like calmness tomorrow, with all his focus on solving that figure-skating koan, the 4A (4A is analogous to the Zen koan, being in its way like the riddle of explaining the sound of one hand clapping, the answer being that you can only explain it by doing it). PS - I'm thinking (maybe even hoping, though Yuzu would thoroughly disapprove of me doing so) that having sailed through the SP with a trumped up world record score Nathan might lose his focus because of overconfidence and thoroughly screw up his free skate, delivering the gold not necessarily to Yuzu but at least to someone not named Nathan Chen.
  17. The Americans are talking up Nathan as much as possible but I have a feeling that secretly they are terrified because China is a place where American money and influence will not work as far as this Olympics are concerned. I know everyone here has been lamenting over unfair judging but (this might be wishful thinking on my part) they are not taking into account that these Olympics are also a political event as well as a sporting event and here's where the American scenario will not inevitably work to the Americans' liking. The fact is that the current Chinese head of state, Xi Jinping, is betting a lot on this spectacle. He wants it to run smoothly and free of controversy. He even went so far as to order the shutdown of many industrial facilities so as to remove as far as possible the air pollution so prevalent in Beijing. He wants blue skies for the event (at least if the skies are grey he wants them to be natural, not manmade). The last thing he wants is a scandal and a scandal in figure-skating would be the last kind of scandal he wants. One has to remember that figure-skating and alpine skiing are the two glamor sports in the winter games. They go all the way back to the beginnings of the Winter Olympics. He knows also that Yuzu has a huge following in China, a following that is substantially greater than that of Boyang Jin, China's premier men's skater and that Nathan's following there is virtually nonexistent. I am certain that he is quite aware of the criticism of judging of Yuzu and Nathan and realizes there is potential scandal there and he also probably knows how strong Yuzu's fanbase is around the world and that outside of North America the prevailing sentiment amongst the public as well as the skating commentariat is for Yuzu to get his third gold and do his 4A. I am quite certain that the Olympics authorities have been told that the judging of the men's figure-skating be totally by the book and that if Yuzu is clearly the superior the judges' scores should reflect that. The thing is that if Nathan were to win because of biased judging the furor would not make Xi look good. It would mar his Olympics and right now his position in the Chinese power structure is a bit shaky because of very serious problems with financing of construction projects over the years that are now facing the fact that the bills are due. The problems threaten the entire Chinese economy and Xi needs every bit of good news that he can get and an Olympics scandal is not the kind of news he wants. So I am not so bleak in my outlook as so many here are. If the scoring is fair (and it should be if my reasoning here is sound) then Yuzu can do the job all of us expect him to do and come home with the gold.
  18. The ISU might resist as much as possible AI judging but that won't stop the skating broadcasters from doing it and they, of course, will let the public know how inept or biased the judges are. There's nothing the ISU can do to stop the networks from using AI technology since the ISU is not in a position to stand against the money these networks bring to skating. Basically the ISU is in a Catch-22 situation, they will lose one way or another, one way by taking up AI technology and showing the emperor has no clothes, or they will lose because the networks and their commentators will use it. l shed no tears here for the ISU.
  19. I can see how it would. If Yuzu successfullylands a 4A it would be virtually impossible for the judges to give someone else (guess who?) the gold. The resultant scandal would involve not only Yuzu's fans (plus all of Japan) but would be worldwide. I know there are those who say the judging is owned by American money, but money can only go so far. We have to remember that except for the Americans pitching the line of a showdown between Nathan and Yuzu the overwhelming story from everybody else will be will he get his third gold and will he do a 4A. I imagine that Nathan will be seen in a fairly negative light as the person wanting to deprive the king of his well-deserved gold. Keep your hopes up, everyone. America is not the whole world (though it likes to think so, and I have a right to say it as I'm American) and American money can only go so far. If Yuzu misses the gold it will be because it's something he didn't do and not because of something Nathan did.
  20. It seems almost like yesterday when we were watching Yuzu win his second Olympic gold, but that was four years ago and now we are at the stage where it's only four weeks to go. For Yuzu, it's time to start psyching himself for the coming skates - two for the team, two for himself - and get Nessie ready to appear on the world's stage. There was discussion about the composition of the audience (if any) for the skating events. However it would seem to me that the arranged audience might not be as disinterested as ZuCritter was speculating. The authorities in Beijing, if they allow an audience, will want one that is engaged with the proceedings on the ice. A lackluster crowd would not do for the potential billions in the TV audience. They'll almost certainly get some FS enthusiasts into the mix with the general order for the untutored to follow the experts lead in reacting. We all know that Yuzu's followers in China are legion and they would almost certainly be in the audience. In fact, I think the authorities in Beijing might pack the audience with Yuzu fans. Why? Well, on the basis of recent history Boyang will not be in the hunt for the gold. A medal, yes, but not the big prize. So of those not Chinese will those in charge want to mount the winner's podium. I don't think they want Nathan for the gold. Sure, he's ethnically Chinese but the fact is he's American and right now the US of A is not on China's list of best friends. The last thing they want is for a Chinese-American to take the gold. It sets the example of what is possible if you're in not in China. (I know this is getting political but it's necessarily political since the Olympics are very political.) That's why I think they'll want Yuzu since, for one, he's very popular in China and two, Japan is not currently on Beijing's blacklist. A Yuzu win would be credible. That brings us then to the issue of the judging, which has been a major issue on this forum for I know not how long. I've said this before but it bears repeating - The judges will be on best behavior. The difference between Olympic figure-skating and figure skating in any other competition (including Worlds) is immense when considering the audience. The TV audience will be immense, with many of those tuning into the figure-skating men's event not being skating fans. They will be tuning in because they want to witness history, the taking of a third straight gold medal in men's skating, something not achieved since 1928. That will far overshadow attempts to frame this as a Yuzu-Nathan showdown. This additional interest will make it quite difficult to judge unfairly, particularly since except for the Americans the audience overwhelmingly will be rooting for Yuzu. We have to remember that Nathan's following is almost exclusively American and that is much based on the fact of his American identity. Yuzu's following is everywhere and he is easily the most widely-respected skater when it comes to the attitudes of the other skaters and the broadcast commentariat and the seasoned fans. And there's also the fact that there is a great deal of money riding on Yuzu. I don't know if Nathan has any endorsement contracts but even if he does they probably are only a fraction of what Yuzu has and once had. For men's figure-skating, figure-skating in general actually, Yuzu is big business. What I'm saying, then, is that the prevailing sentiment in Beijing is one that desires Yuzu to win and the corresponding desire not to have anyone rain on Yuzu's parade. Which makes me think, also, that the very fact that this is Yuzu's third Olympics will also be prominent. Figure-skaters basically don't remain credible as contenders for three consecutive Olympics. Yuzu, at the ripe age of twenty-seven, is now the Grand-Old-Man of men's figure-skating. Wnich brings me back to the judging. The judges will score Yuzu fairly because they don't want the bulk of the skating establishment (except for the central authorities in the ISU and the Americans) to be down on them. They don't want to be seen as biased or inept. And if Yuzu successfully births Nessie, the overwhelming sentiment then will be that Yuzu takes the gold. When a skater achieves what is arguably skating's Holy Grail, well it's hard to deny that person a very well-earned reward. So I'm not too worried about the judging. Judges may be biased but their bias first is to their public reputation. They don't want to be seen as corrupt or incompetent. They'll do their job the way it's supposed to be done. As for Yuzu triumphing the reaction in Japan will be thunderous. It may not involve dancing in the streets but there will be general jubilation. Of course Yuzu will get his parade in Sendai but my guess is that he'll also have one in Tokyo. In both cases they'll have to find a route of sufficient length to handle the expected watchers. As for the issue of retirement, he might just decide to end things in Beijing and allow Nathan to get a gold at World's for consolation. After all, with a third consecutive Olympic gold and the first to perform a 4A, what more does Yuzu need to do to be certified as the GOAT?
  21. Thank you. So now we have to wait until Beijing. Oh, well, we've had plenty of practice in waiting so we should be able to cope.
  22. Can someone clarify something for me? Some of the news reports I've read seemed to imply that because of his landing his 4a on two feet it doesn't count as a 4a. Are they correct? I thought because of the points the judges removed that the basic 4a remained but with negative GOE. Exactly what is the situation? Did Yuzu skate the first 4a in competition?
  23. On Nats and specically Fuji's coverage of the competition. I think the folks there must be grinning with great anticipation. Why? We all know Yuzu is big in Japan, but big far beyond being a figure skater. He's a national figure and the Japanese public know of the injury that kept him out of NHK and they know it's been quite some time since he last competed and they know he's (hopefully) heading to Beijing for potentially a third consecutive gold medal. With all that Fuji's ratings for Nats are going to be HUGE. They'll want to know - Is he healed? Is he ready? Is he going to give us Japanese the first sighting of Nessie in full glory? If not for the rest of the competition (women, pairs, dance) the men's competitions are going to be very, very widely watched and probably the international streams are going to have gigantic audiences also. I'm just hoping they'll allow gifts to be thrown on the ice. If so, well, the Pooh supply has been damned up for far too long. The return of Pooh will be a grand sight to behold.
  24. So we know he's going. Great!!! It's in Saitama, which is part of the Tokyo metro and not all that far from Sendai. My guess is he'll be driven there and also he and his party will stay with some friends or supporters there rather than a hotel. It'll be easier to stay safe from the nasty virus and it'll also be easier to keep out of sight of avid Yuzu-watchers (he needs to keep himself focused and I don't think the presence of fans outside the competition venue is conducive to his mental concentration). Speculation as to what's he's doing this year will be widespread around the world (despite what the American media claim, Yuzu's fandom extends far beyond the Japanese isles). At the end of affairs in Saitama all eyes will now be focusing on Beijing. The fact that the Chinese aren't letting any foreign nationals into the audience will actually be a disservice to Nathan who, despite his Chinese ancestry I doubt has much of a fan base in China. That can't be said for Yuzu who all evidence seems to point to his having a huge fan base there, which means Japanese flags (if they're allowed) will be very much in evidence in the stands. That's also going to make it difficult for the American media who would very much like to frame this as a showdown between Yuzu and Nathan (only to American eyes). The fact is, and I've stated this before, the real narrative will be Yuzu's seeking a third consecutive Olympic gold (not done in almost a century) which will make that narrative one of the primary ones of the games as a whole. There will also be the question of whether Nessie will at last be revealed to the world, which if that happens Nathan might just as well forget about competing. The public sentiment will be overhwhelming to have Yuzu get his third gold. If that happens Yuzu will be given far more than his usual hero's welcome upon returning to Japan and my guess is that in addition to his becoming-traditional Sendai parade he'll also get one in Tokyo (If so, they'll have to find the longest street in the city to handle all the crowds. A question though - If Yuzu decides to participate in the opening ceremonies, will he be chosen as flag-bearer? After all, asides from being the most prominent of all the Japanese competing there he's also one of the most senior. I don't know how many of the other athletes will be able to call this their third Olympics. Just a thought.
  25. I think he'll go to Beijing out of loyalty to Japan but he might skip CoR and thus the GPF since the US just upgraded Russia to the highest risk travel category because of the number of Covid cases there.
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