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  1. 2020 Olys brouhaha
    General Yuzuru Chat

    I thought about posting this when the last time this became a topic of conversation. I didn't because firstly, I don't like to argue over a prediction, and secondary, it was basically about the Olympics, not about Yuzu. However, reading the conversation above, I wanted to share my view. It is long and not fun, so I am going to put it in a spoiler.

     

    Spoiler

    Our government and the OC used to promote Tokyo2020 as the "Recovery Olympics," but it has become less connected to 311 as the pandemic proceeded. 

    In 2018, Mansai Nomura, the chief executive creative director of the opening ceremony at that time, said that the spirit of "Requiem and rebirth" would be the theme of the ceremony. However, the theme has shifted to something else since the pandemic. Last July, the OC released a promotional clip directed by Hiroshi Sasaki, one of the creative directors of the opening ceremony and the director of the flag handover ceremony at Rio2016. The promo clip featured Olympic swimmer Rikako Ikee who had been suffering from leukemia since 2019. Its focus was on athletes enduring under this circumstance and the people supporting them. Then in the autumn, PM Suga said that the Olympics would be held as "proof that humanity had overcome COVID." At the end of the year, the OC disbanded the team led by Mansai and appointed Sasaki, the director of the promotional clip for the new chief director, although he had to quit over a scandal a few months later.

     

    In March, Kahoku Shinpo, a local newspaper based in Sendai, published a column.

    Here is my translation:

     

    "It will be held as proof that humanity has defeated the new coronavirus." Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga repeatedly said this toward the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer, which has been postponed for one year from the original schedule. The wording surprised us and made us feel uneasy because it was detached from reality.

    We had the same feelings during the campaign to host the Olympics.  Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister at that time, said in his speech, "Fukushima is under control," while it still bears the huge scars from the accident that occurred in TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and many affected people are still unable to return to their home.

    What gave the sense of aversion in both cases was their stance of prioritizing holding the Olympics. The current situation appears to be no different. While the spread of new coronavirus infection has not yet subsided, the preparation for the Olympics proceeds, focusing on how it can be held.

    Allowing general spectators from overseas, which had been the biggest challenge, was abandoned.  On 25th, the torch relay is going to start in J-Village, a soccer facility in Naraha and Hirono, Fukushima. In a national telephone poll conducted by Kyodo News in February, over 80 percent of the respondents were still calling for a review on holding the Olympics this summer.

    "It's time to cancel this year's Olympic Games." At the beginning of this month, The Times published a column with such title. It also says, "The risk is too big not only for Japan but also for the world," and, "No matter what measures will be taken, people will get infected, and some may die." How should Japan respond to the anxiety of the world? We have numerous challenges and bear a heavy responsibility."

     

    Original:

    河北春秋(3/21):「人類が新型コロナウイルスに打ち勝った証

    https://kahoku.news/articles/20210320khn000066.html

     

     

    I quote Kahoku because it is a media of where Yuzu lives, but I believe many Japanese are more or less feeling this way, regardless of where they live. If the OC expects that they can defuse such sentiments by using a popular athlete, I would say they are incompetent and cruel because there is a conflict of interest between athletes and other people regarding the Olympics. I am not sure if international media has reported this, but Kohei Uchimura has been harshly criticized for asking people to change their mindset and try to figure out a way to hold the Olympics instead of just saying it would be impossible. Rikako Ikee was asked to withdraw from the Olympics on Twitter after she won an Olympic berth. Before the pandemic, people were cheering for them as they were fighting with injuries and disease. Of course, fans are still supporting them, but others are becoming less supportive because they see Olympics as a hindrance. IOC assuring the vaccination for the participants while saying the Japanese would endure with patience is making the situation worse. 

     

    If I could choose between drought and seeing Yuzu in the Olympic-related event, I would choose the former. I would rather worry about Yuzu working on 4A than worry about Yuzu in a rock-and-a-hard-place situation to save the situation for IOC or our government. If he takes a role in it, he would definitely try his best to make the action meaningful, but it is IOC and our government who can truly make the situation less hell-ish, and they are responsible to do so.  As a starter, I would like IOC to stop allowing drinking in the Olympic Village if they have no plan to cancel the event.

     

    Sorry for the long rant. 

     

    Reference:

    Presentation by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the 125th Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)

    https://japan.kantei.go.jp/96_abe/statement/201309/07ioc_presentation_e.html

     

    リオオリンピック 閉会式 - Rio to TokyoRio Olympic

     

    野村萬斎「鎮魂と再生の精神を生かす」東京2020開閉会式の記者会見

    https://natalie.mu/stage/news/293399

     

    Olympics: "Requiem and rebirth" will be theme of Tokyo 2020: team

    https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2018/07/c80ba1ae46d2-olympics-tokyo-2020-creative-team-to-showcase-japanese-spirit.html

     

    ⼀年後へ。⼀歩進む。~+1(プラスワン)メッセージ~ TOKYO2020

     

     

    菅首相「東京五輪、人類がコロナに打ち勝った証に」開催に改めて意欲 施政方針演説

    https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/80572

     

    Japan’s Suga tells UN Tokyo is ‘determined’ to host Olympics

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/9/26/japans-suga-tells-un-tokyo-is-determined-to-host-olympics

     

    内村航平「どうやったらできるか」五輪開催へ使命感
    https://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/202011080001107.html

     

    野村萬斎氏「苦渋の決断だが納得した」旧体制の解散

    https://www.nikkansports.com/olympic/tokyo2020/news/202012230000832.html

     

    Reorganization of the opening and closing ceremony production team for the Olympics, leaving Mansai Nomura and others –Tokyo Olympics 2020: Nikkan Sports

    https://www.world-today-news.com/reorganization-of-the-opening-and-closing-ceremony-production-team-for-the-olympics-leaving-mansai-nomura-and-others-tokyo-olympics-2020-nikkan-sports/

     

    Tokyo Olympics will show victory against coronavirus: Japan PM Suga

    https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210118/p2g/00m/0na/091000c

     

    It's time to cancel this year's Olympic Games

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/its-time-to-cancel-the-2021-olympic-games-3pb6sq9w9

     

    Editorial: Top planner again makes mockery of Tokyo Games' 'Unity in Diversity' principle

    https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210322/p2a/00m/0op/008000c

     

    池江璃花子に五輪辞退求める声「私は何も変えられない」SNSで思い吐露
    https://www.nikkansports.com/olympic/tokyo2020/swimming/news/202105070001212.html

     

     


  2. Tracy Wilson Interview 2021
    General Yuzuru Chat

    Kiss & Cry magazine interview with Tracy. She said so many awesome things. :tumblr_inline_n18qr5lPWB1qid2nw:

    • She thought TTCT was perfect at JNats.
    • She couldn't stop smiling when she was finally able to see Yuzu practicing again at 2021 WC.
    • She said that he does the most difficult things even though they look easy and everything is high quality and advanced but it's never fully appreciated. She thought LMEY at Worlds was underscored!
    • She said Yuzu tries to give back and leave something for the future of FS while other elite skaters try their best to protect what they can do and don't go out of their comfort zone.

     

     

    ETA:

    Another translation of part of the interview:

     

    Tracy is the best!!

    [NEWS]


  3. General Yuzuru Chat
    General Yuzuru Chat

    So there was another proposal at the latest ISU congress again to raise the minimum age limit for senior competitions.

    I have to quote the reasoning, because it makes my skin crawl:

     

    "Since 1994 four different Olympic champions in ladies figure skating were 15, 16 or 17 years old when earning their title (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2014). Neither of the champions were participating the following season at the World Figure Skating Championships. There is an immense pressure on the skaters on a top senior level and to debut on senior level at 15 years old does not seem to motivate them to have a long career in the sport. Our sport should facilitate rules and competition environment that support the possibility of a long lasting career. [...]

    To catch media and the audience interest, our sport needs profiled athletes that can promote the sport in a positive way over a longer period of time. Younger skaters are pushed to perform difficult technical elements to be able to compete against the more experienced and older skaters with better program component skills. As the skaters grow older and the mentality, body and technical abilities change, it is hard to maintain the same difficult technical level."

     

    Source: https://twitter.com/FedUpLys/status/1389980092231782413

     

     

    There you have

    • a reigning two-time Olympic champion
    • a megastar with record following worldwide
    • a mature adult skater with loads of experience and polished skills
    • who still competes after 11 senior seasons
    • who still grows technically at the age of 26 and strives for a friggin' quad Axel
    • and who popularizes figure skating even in the most remote places of this planet, where people have never even seen ice and snow before.

    This skater literally fulfills all their "wishes" listed above and what do they do? Do their utmost to rob, discourage and humiliate him, to push him out of the sport and belittle his achievements. And all that because he doesn't have the right passport.

     

    Seriously. It blows my mind that every ISU congress and webinar asks exactly for those things that Yuzuru Hanyu 100% embodies with his skating, art and persona. But when it's about medals and PR, they treat him like garbage. It's maddening.


  4. General Yuzuru Chat
    General Yuzuru Chat

     

    Direct link: https://sportlandiamartina.wordpress.com/2021/04/04/quality-goe-and-pcs/

     

    Interesting data analysis on scoring trends in GOE and PCS for individual elements (all in 100+ point short programs, so basically good quality ones) for Yuzu comparing his scores before and after his second olympic gold medal. 

     

    The result is nothing we on this forum and elsewhere haven't observed in real time as competitions have come and gone, but it's disheartening to see laid out like this in graphs and data points. Either Yuzu's execution of elements has drastically declined in quality (which we all know isn't true, and no one can convince me it is), or the scoring fuckery has increased with time. It's pretty disgusting when you see it displayed so clearly like this. 

     


  5. General Yuzuru Chat
    General Yuzuru Chat

    Whole interview of the video from Fuji TV in Japanese text, and rough translation by DeepL and me.

     

    正直悔しい気持ちはもちろんあるんですけど、ただトレーニングの成果自体は、点数に結びついていないところでしっかりと出せてもいたので、収穫もありつつという感じではあるとは思います。

    To be honest, of course I feel frustrated, but I was able to show the results of my training in the areas that didn't lead to points, so I think I was able to reap some benefits.

     

    それと、もちろん自分自身この世界選手権に出るか出ないかってことをギリギリまで迷いましたし、3月の、来る時にちょうど地震が起きて、かなり気持ちの方も、「これは出ない方がいいってことなのかな」とか、「そもそもこのような状況の中で僕が出ていいのだろうか」ということをまた改めて悩んで。まあ、結局来たんですけど、でもその来た理由はもう完全に、枠を取ってオリンピックに繋げていくということが一番だったので、だから勝ち負けではなくて、とにかく日本の枠取りに全日本王者として最大限貢献するということを一番の目標にやってきました。

    Also, of course, I was wondering until the very last minute whether or not to participate in this World Championships, and in March, right before leaving Japan, the earthquake happened, and I was feeling like, "Does this mean I shouldn't participate?",  or, "In the first place, should I be allowed to participate under these circumstances?", I wondered again. Well, after all I came here, but the reason why I came here was simply to win the spots and lead it to the Olympics, so my main objective was not to win or lose, but to contribute to winning Japan's spots as the national champion.


    まあ実際、この世界選手権で完璧にノーミスできて、もし優勝することが出来たとしたら、かなり自分の中で満足できてたと思うんです。ただそれをさせて貰えなかったというか、確実に順調な階段を上っていって、完全に良い形で練習から6分間練習までいっていたとは思うんですけど、ちょっとしたズレで本番が、ほろほろと崩れてしまって…でも、うん…なんかそれで良かったんじゃないかって思うんですよね。やっぱ「天と地と」は全日本でアクセル(4A)なしの構成で完成できてると思うんで、やっぱりアクセル(4A)込みのプログラムの完成形をちゃんと見せないとだめだっていうふうに言われた気がしていて、それが今モチベーションになっています。

    Well, actually, if I had been able to make no mistakes and win the Worlds this time, I think I would have been quite satisfied within me. But I wasn't allowed to do that, or how to say, I was going up the stairs steadily, and I think I went from the practice (before FS) to six-minute practice in a perfectly good shape, but there was a slight deviation, and the actual performance fell apart gradually. But, well... I think it was a good thing after all. I think "Ten to Chi to" was completed without Axel (4A) at the Nationals, so I felt like being told that I had to show the complete program with Axel (4A), and that's my motivation now.

     

    You know, 

    The greatest sarcasm to ISU from Yuzu without noticing :graucho: :  "I was able to show the results of my training in the areas that didn't lead to points"

    This post has been tagged by Fay as [NEWS].

  6. General Yuzuru Chat
    General Yuzuru Chat

    There is a lot of possessiveness about FS among older, often North American fans who have a tendency to regard it as ‘their’ sport .  Possibly also among Russians, which I’m less aware of because unfortunately I don’t speak the language.  There are also west  European purists.  They all do a lot of annoying things like gate keeping, insisting on western music/ themes unless a western skater is being ‘refreshing’ or ‘innovative’ by using someone else’s cultural music/iconography.  One thing that hasn’t been addressed above are the Western Hemisphere fans who take Asian skaters to their hearts then gatekeep their ‘Asian ness ’ - (idk if that is even a word but I drove a long way to attend a funeral today and I’m tired).  For example there were a whole lot of western fans who adored young YH and his lovely Japanese coach who went nuts when he moved to Canada, hated on Parisan, which as far as I can see Japanese fans took to their hearts, and have probably been sniping from the sidelines ever since.  (That’s not to say Japan doesn’t have its own nests of snakes - but that’s a different, more political story).   To them he should have stayed in Japan with his lovely coach rather than manifesting an ambition to do whatever it took to get those jumps and the technique that could take him to the top.  Thin line between love and hate, when the love is the possessive sort that doesn’t take kindly to the object of that affection demonstrating a will of his/ her own and changing the narrative.  


    Regarding Olympic programmes I think it would come as a shock to the people who only watch FS at the Olympics to hear that YH only does classical programmes- to them he’s used Parisian walkways, the soundtrack to the R&J film score, Chopin and a Japanese film score, with ex pieces set to a Japanese version of Tchaikovskys Swan Lake and an Italian tenor groups version of St Saen’s The swan. So two film scores in quite different styles,  two different arrangements of Romantic/ impressionist scores, one traditionally Romantic piece and a bluesy rock piece.  


    That’s all ancient history.  For me he’s the first male singles skater who has made me feel awed at his performance - transfixed by it at times - since I was a child watching John Curry gliding through jumps and steps when others were stiff and muscling their way through.  He’s magic - and the only ones currently with the same magic are Sui/Han in pairs.  I enjoy lots of skaters but after last weekend will undoubtedly cherry pick once he’s gone, rather than following whole competitions as I have done since 2015.


  7. [2021] World Championships (22-28.03) - Practice, Fluff, All the In-betweens
    [2021] World Championships (22-28.03) - Practice, Fluff, All the In-betweens

    The whole LMEY with sound, enjoy!

     

     


  8. [2021] World Championships (22-28.03) - Practice, Fluff, All the In-betweens
    [2021] World Championships (22-28.03) - Practice, Fluff, All the In-betweens

  9. [2021] World Championships (22-28.03) - Practice, Fluff, All the In-betweens
    [2021] World Championships (22-28.03) - Practice, Fluff, All the In-betweens

    aUsECQ0.jpghttps://www.instagram.com/p/CMu19_1JtcK/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This post has been tagged by yuzuangel as [NEWS].

  10. [2021] World Championships (22-28.03) - Practice, Fluff, All the In-betweens
    [2021] World Championships (22-28.03) - Practice, Fluff, All the In-betweens

    Yuzu, stop it!!:Just_Cuz_15:

     

    ExGwoNRXIAslmsV?format=jpg&name=4096x409

     

     

    While I know it's very tempting to find out who the infected person is and a lot of people think it is their "right" to know who it is, I also believe that keeping the person's identity hidden is a bigger right. And I can very well imagine that if the name is known, the person will receive immense cyber-bullying from the internet.

     


  11. Yuzu's SP 2020 (JPTV)
    [2020] Japanese Nationals (23-27.12) - Men's Short Program

    JPTV has uploaded the men’s and ladies. 

     

    This has the tech box as well as better angles and close ups than the stream earlier. The spin was originally called Level 2 here. Which was what Ambesi implied he would do - downgrade levels for lack of rotations, rather than invalidate.

     

     

     

     


  12. Yuzu's SP 2020
    [2020] Japanese Nationals (23-27.12) - Men's Short Program

    for now:

    will add backups as i find em

     


  13. General Yuzuru Chat
    General Yuzuru Chat

    What a Xmas week this is turning out to be!  As many of us are "stuck" somewhere, away from many of our loved ones, it is so good to have the Planet where we can reach out and connect.  And what better way to enjoy the unfolding drama and joy that is our overlord!  

     

    Some personal reflections on his choice of programs:

     

    SP LMEY - (we already have the acronym seared into our brain) - I am thrilled to have him turn on the rock star side of his performance!  It's been a while since LGC.  I agree with many of you that the song itself is not particularly artistic or deeply meaningful, but it shows off the playful side of Yuzu who wants to delight and entertain us.  The PC Olympics programs seemed to brand him as a serious and serene skater which, from a branding point of view, could pigeon-hole him to certain segment of the audience (market).  By choosing a breezy, catchy music with a potential for explosive energy - and also not too complicated music - for people unfamiliar with figure skating, he will be able to draw in a huge swathe of new audience into the sport.  Then once they are hooked with his rock gyrations... then BAM!!! he gives you a very cerebral, spiritual yet also "easy" to understand Sengoku-jidai (warring era) epic war hero.  It will give the new audience a whiplash to go from one end to the other.  What a great program concept for the Olympics!  He has matured so much and become masterful at marketing figure skating that reminds me of Steve Jobs at Apple: artistic and technical genius who could also sell to the global market.  

     

    FP Heaven and Earth - I am absolutely agog with his choice of the free program.  To give you a bit of background, for many of us growing up in Japan in the 1960s, when we were still recovering psychologically from the scars of the brutal war, NHK's Taiga Drama played a crucial role in teaching us with new eyes about our history, to reconnect with our past and regain our dignity and humanity.  I was a diplomat's child, and wherever we were stationed my father had to remind me that "We had lost the war" and "we must behave with humility and dignity".  I was often the only Japanese girl in the schools, and occasionally faced racists comments from my classmates.  But I learned to hold my head high - perhaps sometimes without adequate humility as this is very hard for a young child - and did my best to hold my ground.  You know how cruel kids can be...

     

    Whenever we were back in Japan, we watched the NHK Taiga Drama, every Sunday evening. This was such an integral part of my upbringing which I am only now beginning to realize the deep emotional impact that these programs have had on me.  The earliest and my favorite is the drama based on Minamoto Yoshitsune, with a famous young Kabuki actor playing the title role.  It was a year-long drama revealing all the cruelties and unfairness of war.  At some point in the future, I hope Yuzu will be able to play Yoshitsune in some program, on or off the ice.   

     

    But I digress.  I did not watch the entire series of Heaven and Earth since we were moving in and out of Japan that year, but I still recall catching glimpses of the program which had some incredible actors.   The choice of this particular drama and the main hero - Uesugi Kenshin, is truly revealing about Yuzu's mindset.  I recall Yuzu mentioning some years ago (perhaps after Sochi) that he would like to perform to one of the Taiga drama music, so he has been thinking about it for some time.  I often wondered which one he would choose: it would have to be both musically appropriate for FS and with a compelling and fitting storyline.   This choice of Heaven and Earth seems to fit both conditions extremely well.  Uesugi Kenshin is not well known outside of Japan, but he is an iconic warrior - highly educated, spiritual and deeply immersed in Buddhist teachings, artistic and poetic, striving for social justice in the midst of chaos and, of course, a masterful warrior/military leader.  His famous rivalry with another strongman of the time, Takeda Shingen (who was featured in Kurosawa's Kagemusha) is a model of Japanese medieaval chivalry, each showing great respect for each other as they continued to battle for supremacy.  (Their relationship is reminiscent of Yuzu and Javi's rivalry.)  By choosing this program, Yuzu will introduce the global  audience to the side of Japan that is not well known, and in the process bring us closer together by sharing the great and eternal story of human struggle. 

     

    I didn't realize myself how emotionally vested I had been in those old Taiga dramas, and when I heard the title "天と地と” I felt a guttral slam and tears came to my eyes as I remembered being together and sharing the story as a family.  Especially moving in this time of pandemic...  So, as we have done for millenia, these epic stories told around the fires in the evening are how we reconnect, share and re-discover meaning in our daily lives. 

     

    I leave you here with the poem written by Kenshin on his death bed, whence comes the title "Heaven and Earth": 

     

    Even a life-long prosperity is but one cup of sake;
    A life of forty-nine years is passed in a dream;
    I know not what life is, nor death.
    Year in year out-all but a dream.
    Both Heaven and Hell are left behind;
    I stand in the moonlit dawn,
    Free from clouds of attachment.

     

    Uesugi Kenshin
    1530-1578

       

    English translation from this source:

    https://phillipjohnston.net/blog/2018/04/25/death-poem-of-uesugi-kenshin/

     

     

     

     


  14. Skate Canada 2019 Gala rehearsal
    General Yuzuru Chat

     


  15. Brian Orser AERA interview
    General Yuzuru Chat

    This is Brian's interview by a magazine "AERA" published this week, it seems it was given after 4CC. (other translations are welcomed :))

     

    https://dot.asahi.com/aera/2020031800017.html?page=1

    https://dot.asahi.com/aera/2020031900017.html?page=1

     

    ── By winning in 4CC, Yuzuru Hanyu (25) has achieved Super Slam which owns the titles of all major competitions in both Senior and Junior stage including the Olympics and WC.

     I'm happy for him. It was the title Yuzuru had always wanted. This season, he won the first competition of the season, won SC for the first time, and he had the first victory in 4CC while being on a roll. I think Japanese nationals became a turning point. The moment he returned to the rink side after his free program, Yuzuru said "I am tired". I felt that it was not that he was tired from four minutes program, but that he was tired from the days he had been running for the last eight years. His spirit of fighting while retaining the title of two Olympic champions, two world champions and many more game is immeasurable. He missed the title at Japanese nationals, but I was rather relieved and finally felt that we could settle down and get a fresh start.
     
    ──NHK, Grand Prix Final, Japanese nationals, did these continuous competitions become a burden for him?

     If typical Yuzuru in continuous competitions, his adrenaline gradually comes out and picking up the momentum. However, this time, there were many trips to Japan, Canada, Italy and Japan again, and the coach who was scheduled to be at the GPF was not able to arrive in time due to the accident, and that unexpected drama called the absence of the coach was added, which made him tired mentally. What Yuzuru needed was to calm down and return to the usual environment, more than recovering physically.

    ──What was the process of returning to Pyeongchang Olympics season programs? 

     At the beginning of new year, the coaches heard from Yuzuru that he would bring back old programs and we all agreed. Immediately we called the choreographer, Shae-Lynn Bourne, and asked her to renew the program from 4 and a half minutes length to 4 minutes (since performance time was shortened in the last season). Since she had a work to brush up the program of his team mate, JunHwan Cha, she made the time and came to the rink very soon for us.

    ──What was your impression of seeing Ballad No. 1 and SEIMEI for the first time in two years?

    In a word, I felt, "This is true Yuzuru Hanyu." Of course, it is not that I didn't like the programs he had used since last season, but it was tribute after all. Sometimes the respect for someone can lead to less self-assertion. I was thrilled to see programs in which Yuzu could talk about himself and express his heart. Soon after bringing back the programs, I was relieved to see him happily skating, and after a week, the dignity began to seep out and I was impressed.

    ──The fans were also looking forward to the programs again.

    In the official practice in Seoul, when Yuzuru made a pose without playing music, the audience knew which pose it was and they applauded. It expands the imagination of the viewer and makes the invisible parts even visible. That is how it is with masterpieces.

     

    ──Yuzuru's jump layout of free program at 4CC consisted of 4 quads in 3 types.

    Originally, the plan was to not include 4Lo. Of course, I don't think this jump configuration is his technical limit. The strategy was to consider that finishing without injury was more important than anything else. Nathan Chen (20) from the United States also reduced the number of quad to 4 in free program at 4CC.

    ──Yuzuru's 4Lz was revived this season.

    He was injured in 2017, but since he has resumed training 4Lz this season, I can say that it has improved technically because he does it at higher quality than he did two years ago. I think he was scared when he restarted it, but he got over that stage. In the past, he could only do it on good days, but now he is on the stage that he can adjust to do it in any condition.

    ──How about 4A?

    Yuzuru did it in front of everyone for the first time in the practice at GPF. Moreover, he watched for a chance that the coach was not there (laughs). When I heard the news, I was not surprised at all. That was possible if I thought about Yuzuru's character. He often holds “theater”, he tries new things even when his feelings are rising at the finale of the ice shows. But at that time, it was not a very good jump and it was a fall. I have an impression that 4A in the practice in Toronto is closer (to success).

    ──What does he need technically a little more (for 4A)?

    The biggest task for him is that his 3A and 4A have to be slightly different in terms of the way he jumps. In other words, he has to learn and find tips as a different jump. His 3A has a large amount of floating time from jumping up to the start of rotation. An incredibly beautiful jump. But to make four and a half rotations, he has to start rotating as soon as he jumps up.

    ──How about him jumping bigger and extend the floating time?

    It doesn't work like that. Yuzuru's 3A is a type of large jump, so he doesn't need any more height. If he attempts to raise the height depending on the muscle strength, the rotation will be delayed. All he needs to do is to start rotating quicker after jumping up. It is difficult due to slight difference in sense at take-off. If you start rotating early, you will not be able to keep the height or your posture will be distorted. He has been adjusting it little by little. Yuzuru already knows that "the answer is around here". There is the answer in his body, so we are at the stage that I don't need to speak out anymore.

    ──What is the strategy for his future games?

    For Yuzuru, perfect performance with five quads is one goal, and he also wants to land 4A. However, what I stick to as a coach is the quality. Skaters want to play a "game" which they compete for the number of jumps. Especially when the rival, Chen, appears in front of you, you will want to do a lot of jumps. But the essence of figure skating is "quality, not number." Yuzuru has the ultimate beauty of "powerful but effortless skating," so taking advantage of himself is the strongest strategy. My mission is to keep saying, "Quality is more important" to the extent that he gets fed up with me.

    ──This is the 8th season in a team. What evolution has Hanyu achieved?

    For me, Yuzuru remains the same as a 17-year-old boy who came to Toronto eight years ago. But in the last eight years, the eyes of outside have changed. He became a celebrity, has obligations to fulfill, and always wants to keep his fans happy. In other words, the sense of responsibility has changed. That's why we, as a home, value "same as usual" so that he doesn't forget the love for skating and he can enjoy it. Yuzuru turned 25 and became a skater everyone respects. There is the intrinsic beauty of skating, not just jumping. I want him to keep telling, "My skate is beautiful."


  16. Yuzu CBC interview JP parts translation
    General Yuzuru Chat
    1 hour ago, makebelieveup said:

    If you dont mind giving us a full translation here 🙏

    Someone on twt already did, there are links on the previous page :tumblr_inline_nhkezsTB3v1qid2nw:

     

    //Actually I'm too tired to focus on my work so I might do a line-by-line translation anyway, I'll edit it here in a bit. Also I noticed the fsnanchara account didn't do a full translation, they just pointed out the translation was lacking.

    //So here's a more detailed translation. It's still pretty rough so please forgive me for any mistakes. 

     

    1:36-

     

    Y: Figure skating is something you can do on your own in a huge rink, where everyone kindly focuses on watching just you. I think that's what's really special about it. In other sports, I don't think anyone pays as much attention to just one person. If I were doing another sport, I also think I could not express what I want to express to the same extent. That's why I think figure skating is really special, and why I love figure skating. 

     

    7:00 - 

     

    Y: A lot of people have said to me, 'I felt encouraged when I watched your skating', or that they received some kind of happiness from it, and being told things like this is what motivates me to continue skating, I think. It's what makes me want to continue skating til the end/to pursue what I've started to its conclusion. 

     

    7:50 - 

     

    I don't think anything about this season is particularly different from the usual. I'm being called a challenger a lot, but.. I'm always chasing after the strengths of other skaters and challenging them. So I always think of myself as a challenger, and that applies to last year's and this year's world championships too. 

     

    8:38 - 

     

    I find it enjoyable to try answering to people's expectations. But.. the times I'm unable to do that are very frustrating and hard. In order to achieve that goal (of fulfilling expectations), I also need to accumulate a lot of practice and training. It often feels like a struggle, but I think that if I can overcome that struggle, I may be able to give a performance that fulfils people's expectations again. Because I'm able to think this way, it's enjoyable. So for me, I think it's like my mission/duty in life, and I'd like to see that mission through to the very end. 


  17. General Yuzuru Chat
    General Yuzuru Chat

    Here's the segment of Hodo Station aired after GPF2016 in which Shizuka doing a part of H&L to explain how upper-body movements and vertical motions affect the difficulty of Stsq.

    Spoiler

     

     

    Translation can be found here :68271262:

     


  18. General Yuzuru Chat
    General Yuzuru Chat

    Need to do a little digging for the actual video online, but here's the translation of the segment with Shizuka Arakawa and Nobunari Oda where she does a portion of the H&L step sequence. Seems to be a segment after GPF 2016.

     

    https://yuzusorbet.tumblr.com/post/155209568957/shuzo-matsuoka-interviewing-yuzuru-after-gpf-2016


  19. General Yuzuru Chat
    General Yuzuru Chat

    More from the amazing fanyu calligrapher, 紅鳳 (Koho) at kohoshodo.

     

    軸 is "Jiku" in Japanese, meaning axis (e.g., of a jump or a spin) as well as "core" (as in the Pilates core).  Echo Cheng has interpreted it as an axle of the wheel of life.

     

    In the tweet below, Kohoshodo asks: 

    "Oh Hanyu-senshu! Why do Kanji characters fit you so perfectly?  It is just too amazing!"  

     

    Kanji in the photos, from top left, clockwise: 夢 Yume -Dream; 舞 Mai -Dance; 躍進 Yakushin - Breakthrough;  魂 Tamashii - soul.

     

    The character 躍 in Yakushin also means to dance (躍る‐ おどる Odoru) in a special way, implying dancing with jumps and dynamism.  The kanji also appears in the word that means "dynamic".  The multi-dimensional aspects of kanji aesthetics are captured by this calligrapher. 

     

     

     

     

     


  20. Axel paper
    General Yuzuru Chat

    I bet my salary that Yuzu has read this paper already   :LOL:

     

    Biomechanics of the Axel Paulsen Figure Skating Jump

    by A. Mazurkiewicz et al., 13 Aug 2018

     

     

    EDIT: Here's a very interesting result from this paper

    Quote

    " It can be assumed that decreasing the ankle joint angle in the pre-take-off phase was the most essential for achieving more rotations in the Axel jump. This substantial change in ankle flexion caused greater stress on the blade before the take-off, which caused a reduction in vertical velocity and made the take-off angle more vertical. This caused the jump to become longer and higher, and, in the end, helped the skater to perform more rotations in the air. "

     

    I'm curious, if Yuzu uses research results like this for his 4A practice? I'm pretty sure he does :tumblr_inline_ncmifaymmi1rpglid:

     

     

     

    I scrolled a bit through the list of books and journals of our university library and there are soooo many papers specifically about figure skating. My search list with the key words "sport science figure skating" has 71928 entries! There are countless articles about measurement tools, biomechanics of different elements, nutrition and training methods and sooo many other interesting research topics. If I have the time, I really want to read some of them. They sound super interesting :10636614:


  21. General Yuzuru Chat
    General Yuzuru Chat

    Japanese media has always loved rivalries. I'm sure there were rivalries even before Yuzu, but there was Yuzu vs Daisuke, Yuzu vs Tatsuki, Yuzu vs Javi, and so on. Of course it's now Yuzu vs Nathan. Another great example is WTT. Everyone goes there just for kicks and they have fun and fool around, but in Japan, the media is all about "Japan vs the World!!! Will they win?" and acting like it's an actual Team Championship.

     

    On top of that, Japanese culture frowns upon praising one's own people. Many Japanese parents will praise other kids, but when it comes to their own, they'll majorly downplay them. I think that has started to change with new generations of parents who fall into the overprotective side, but I think largely, praising your own kid is too much like bragging and that's frowned upon. Humility is an essential part of Japanese culture and one we generally admire, but it does have this downside: on a large scale, Japanese athletes, musicians etc. will always be downplayed by Japanese media in comparison to their foreign counterparts.

     

    That said, it's actually kind of amazing that Japanese media, for a while did accept the "Yuzuru Hanyu, absolute champion" narrative, though I suspect some people might have been shocked when Yuzu used the term himself. I can imagine that to some it might have felt uncomfortable, somewhat, so they might feel relieved that he now has a rival again.

     

    I don't think that means they don't appreciate their athletes. They genuinely love and appreciate them, and if they triumph over their rivals, it's like it makes them even more successful. But beyond that, culturally, they need to keep it low.

     

    Also, I don't know what media had that headline, but generally broadcasters do promote Rika vs whichever Russian Lady she's up against and such narratives, as well. Admittedly, less so for Satoko or Kaori, as Japanese media seems to have set their heart on Rika now. At least as far as I've seen.

     

    That said, their priorities are weird at times, while at the same time, they enjoy the entertainment aspect. The whole Masaru stuff is fun and cute, so they go for it, because they know general audiences will like it, too. I have no real idea why they didn't broadcast Skate Canada live, though... That was really weird of TV Asahi


  22. Elvis Stojko interview with Skate Canada
    General Yuzuru Chat

    Elvis Stojko refers to Yuzuru in discussing "Warrior vs Performer" in an interview with PJKwong, at 12'30".  Thank you PJ and Elvis!

     

    "Hanyu has the perfect balance. He goes out there as the Warrior, and then performs. And does not have the Performer attitude first. If you have the Performer attitude first, you will get destroyed in competition, hands down. I've seen it all the time." - Elvis

     

     

     


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