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4 minutes ago, MatchaBeans said:

I thought I would do a transcript as it was a really pleasant, gracious press conference. Great sportsmanship among all of them!

 

Host: Good evening again, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming here, thank you to the skaters for amazing short (programs) tonight. Let's start with Nathan. What do you think of your performance today?

 

Nathan: I'm pretty satisfied, I'm happy with the scores, of course, I am glad I was able to land all the jumps, and it's a really awesome opportunity to be able to compete with Yuzu, and of course, Kevin. Every time I have this opportunity, it definitely pushes me and makes things a lot more exciting. But beyond that, there are things that I can always improve on. I will have to go back and watch what happened and just go from there. Again, happy to be here.

 

Host: Yuzuru, the same question to you, after an amazing fight between you guys, what do you think about your performance?

 

Yuzu (his original words): Um...um...um... I don't know. I really respect to him (Nathan) because um... he has wonderful jumps and wonderful access for the jumps, and then you know like um... he can play...like you know like... with the music. It's like really...um... it's like really feeling good when I am watching him. And then, you know, of course Kevin has like music sense too, so feeling like really happy to see it. But, you know, I really want to, I really want to um... watch him program, him performance today, because I know he was really good today, so yeah, I am looking forward to see it. Heheheheheheh. 

 

Host: So Kevin, after this amazing performance you put on the ice, how did you manage to keep the concentration at the beginning with this music problem at the very beginning?

 

Kevin: So first I just want to congratulate every skater today, and I was so lonely when the music didn't start, but I think the job of skaters is to be focused on what we need to do, so when the music starts again, I was in the program. 

 

Host: I think we have many questions for our skaters, let's start with the questions with the audience, if you can introduce yourself and then make the question.

 

Q1: Congratulations, it's great to see the three of you in the same podium. When, Nathan, you were saying it's always a great opportunity to skate with Yuzu, and Yuzu, you said basically the same. Can you tell me why it's so nice to be skating on the same ice together and compete against one another? Can I ask the question to both of you?

 

Nathan: Um, I mean, Yuzu is like the GOAT, he's the greatest of all time really, one of the best ever to step on the ice, so to have this opportunity to be able to share the ice with a guy like that, someone that I have looked up to for a long time, someone that I watched growing up through the junior ranks, when I was like, a baby. It's really cool to be able to see him now. You know, it's really cool to even be able to see him in person, so of course having the opportunity to finally be able to compete against him, and you know, have someone who's constantly in the distance that I am trying to catch, is really cool.

 

Yuzu: Sorry, I am speaking Japanese, heheheh. Translator: He always likes to compete against very good skaters, so he was very excited to be in this competition against Nathan. Before he skated today, he watched just the points that Nathan got, and so he was, he knew that he had to make a good performance, so he wanted to skate his best, he wanted to do a great performance into a good competition against him, but that didn't happen this time, so he wants to make this a good experience going into the Free Skate, and he has a new good goal to set for the Free Skate now. So, he wants to make this a good experience for him. 

 

Q2: Question to Yuzuru. We have seen here that you are all alone in the Kiss & Cry, can you talk about what happened? Why your coached are not here, and how difficult is it, maybe, to be without a coach?

 

Yuzu: (He answered in Japanese) Translator: He doesn't feel any difficulty that his coach isn't here with him, but simply this time, he could not get accreditation for more than one coach, because Brian was busy a week earlier, he asked a different coach to come with him, but there was some difficulty coming into the country, so he (the coach) is coming in a little bit later, but he knows that they are competing with him, within him, so it didn't really bother his skating today.

 

Q3 (in Japanese): Translator: So the question is, how he thought during his performance today and what he wants to do in his Free Skate the day after tomorrow.

 

Yuzu: Translator: To tell the truth, this program was performed by Johnny Weir in Turin and he got second place at the Olympics, so he (Yuzu) wanted to do a good performance as well, so to be honest, he feel a little bit disappointed, and also the number of points between him and Nathan is a little bit big, so it would be pretty hard to come back, but he just wants to think about what he should do in the Free Skate, take one step at a time, and make a good performance in the Free Skate, that's it. 

 

Q4: Kevin, we have seen all season that you and Silvia Fontana have had very emotional Kiss & Cry's, today was no different, what did she say to you before and after the short program?

 

Kevin: She told me when we were about to be here tonight, she told me to skate free with my heart like I can do, and after she just told me she was proud of me and proud of what we did this summer in the beginning of the season.

 

Q5: This is a question to Kevin and Nathan. Kevin, they made a mistake in your music, how did the crowd support you, how helpful was it to your emotions? and for Nathan, is there any reason you changed your costume in the short?

 

Kevin: So when the music didn't start, I feel lonely and I just try to concentrate to the maximum I can. I think the pressure disappeared, I wasn't stressed at all, the little bit of pressure had disappeared. When the music start, I was totally like 'I need to do it, so let's go'. 

 

Nathan: I saw Vera before I came here and she was gracious enough to really really quickly get a new costume done for me. We played around with a couple of different designs and I have been talking to her, so this may or may not be the final costume, we will see as the season goes on, but yeah, I really like her costumes, and the costume that she did last year for my long program was really really comfortable, and I haven't really been in a costume that comfortable before, so I wanted something that is similar to that, that was simple, that was relatively easy at this point of time, so that's why I chose this costume, mostly out of comfort. The other costumes are a little thick, a little heavy, a little restricting, and I didn't feel that I was able to get into my jumps very easily because I was so stuck. So her costumes, at least I felt free and I think that's what's important. 

 

Q5: Question for Yuzuru. Your programs here are tribute to Johnny Weir and Evgeni Plushenko. I was wondering if you have in mind, some music for the years to come, if you do, will they be tributes to skaters or not?

 

Yuzu: (I was surprised he didn't chose to answer this in Japanese! and he was laughing all the way through his answers :D) Hahaha, I don't know. Um... I was really looking forward to skating in here with both programs, it's like really special for me, and then Evgeni Plushenko didn't use Nijinsky in here, but he got gold medal in here. That was really good moment for me, because I was really young, like a children... child... like I was dreaming Olympic in here, so it's like feeling like in a dream to skate in here, so yeah, I actually felt really good to skate, of course I got mistake in here, but yeah, feeling really good in here. Um... I don't know who the other skaters for the tribute... umm... I don't know, I just feel like I think they are hero and idol in the whole world, and I want to skate like him, like Evgeni Plushenko has like really great performance each time; Johnny Weir has really good posture and good flow for everything, and I want to skate like these skaters.

 

Q6: (in Japanese) Translator: The question was that usually at press conferences like this he (Yuzu) has a more soft facial expression, but it seems like he has a stronger expression today, so is it something that still continuing from the short program he just did, or what is he feeling right now regarding that?  

 

Yuzu: (in Japanese... I heard 'kuyashii') Translator: He's not really thinking regarding expression, but he is a little disappointed, but he is looking forward already to the Free Skate. He's already thinking about what he can do to make the Free Skate better, and he's also learning from Nathan and Kevin who's sitting next to him regarding what he can do for his skating, so there is a lot to learn from them, so he's just thinking next, to the Free Skate already. 

 

Q7: (in Japanese) The question is regarding that he's already thinking the Free Skate. Is he going to try the 4Lz in the Free Skate? and also because it's his birthday, is he thinking (of anything) special skating on that day?

 

Yuzu: Translator: Regarding his birthday, there is not much comment, he just wants to have a smile on his face at the end of the day; and regarding the 4Lz, he wants to try if he can.

 

Q8: Question for Yuzuru. We were told in previous interview that it would be interesting for him to try to get some training with Russian coach. Will you looking forward for some training camps, for example?

 

Yuzu: (laughs) I don't know, if I can, I don't know. I actually ??? (learn a lot from?) the junior Russian girls and senior Russian girls too. If I can, I want to go, like some day, for the learning, but I don't know (laughs). I can't say anything without any coaches from the Cricket Club today, so (laughs) just kidding. I just really want to learn from the Russian girls, yeah, that's all. 

 

Host: That's the end of the press conference. I thank Yuzuru, Nathan and Kevin. See you tomorrow. 

 

 

 

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On 11/30/2019 at 2:19 PM, MatchaBeans said:

 

Hi everyone, I thought this interview was very insightful (with regards to Tracy, Yuzu and TCC), so I have made a transcript of it for everyone who don't have the time to listen. Enjoy! :)

 

*

 

Jack: Hello and welcome to the Ice Time Podcast. I am your host, Jack Gallagher. Today we have a very special guest, that is Tracy Wilson, the former champion ice dancer and one of Yuzuru Hanyu's coaches. Tracy, how are you today?

 

Tracy: I am actually... I am great, thank you. I am happy to be in Japan and it was so wonderful to witness Yuzu skating at home. A big competition for him, and he had injuries the last couple of years in his Grand Prixs, so it was key for him to stay healthy to get to the next round for the Grand Prix Final. He is just going to another place, I think we thought we have seen the best of him, and the best is yet to come. 

 

Jack: OK Tracy, let me ask you this. Can you explain your role in the Brian, Ghislain, Tracy triangle? Just to understand better.

 

Tracy: So when Yuzuru first came to Toronto, he was working with Brian as the head coach, technique and myself on the skating skills and balance. That's what we do. I try to come up with all kinds of exercises for him to practice, to train, to make sure in terms of his balance, control, the technique across the ice, because if you are not balanced going into a jump, three of four steps before, often you can't. So yeah, we work on that, we work on the artistry, general flow and ease across the ice, all of the stuff between the jumps. 

 

Jack: Alright, let me ask you, if there anything that we don't know about Yuzu that you can disclose?

 

Tracy: I can tell you, he is such a student of the sport. He never stops learning. He is like a sponge. We will do a stroking class, Brian and I, with a group of the skaters, and he will be right at the front, and he will be wanting to understand that, and the other skaters are so inspired by him, but also he is such a leader that way. I look at Yuzuru at the high level that he is at, and he wants to go higher. For him, there is such a love of the sport and the challenge I think we all know that he has an incredible gift, but he takes full responsibility for it. He has such a respect for the sport, it's like redefine what's possible. That's one of my philosophies in skating. It's like OK, this is what we do, we redefine what's possible, while (chuckle) Yuzu is just taking it to another level.     

 

Jack: Right I remember when he won NHK Trophy three years ago, I sat directly behind him on the bus on the way back to the hotel, and I said, 'God, he must be exhausted', but he doesn't seem worried. He talked skating with the person sitting next to him the entire way back to the hotel, and I just thought, this is incredible. 

 

Tracy: It is... and he does. He will come off the ice, and then we will want to sit and talk. It's in his bones, he's remarkable. I don't think we have ever seen a skater like him, and I don't know if we will ever see. I mean, it's magic what he does, and we get to witness it at The Cricket Club too on a regular basis in all the years. He has been with us for eight years now. I've seen him more driven, but he has also got a control now and confidence. That's what makes him so successful.

 

Jack: We were in PyeongChang, I mean that was just incred... I saw him with gold in Sochi, I saw him with gold in PyeongChang, I mean that was just an incredible moment. What was it like to be inside there?

 

Tracy: For us, for me as a coach, to watch him, in especially something like the Olympics, knowing what it means for him, there is a lot of tension, because you know how quickly it can go, and you are watching to see how he is going to handle it, so of course, elation afterwards, absolute elation. But you have to remember, at the Olympics, he was injured going in, and he didn't have the benefit of months of practice. He had weeks of practice, he had to really save himself, and strategy came into play, he is brilliant that way. That, for me was like, once it was over, elation, but not going through it, because you just didn't know.

 

Jack: It was just... like you said, it was even more dramatic because of that. Now, you're also a broadcaster, how does that work? I mean, you schedule must be really busy, you have coaching, you have children. How do you make that work?

 

Tracy: When I started, I was in the TV business right after I think in the 1990, after the Calgary Olympics, I moved into TV, and I raised a family, and then it wasn't until Brian Orser and I got together and talked about helping the Cricket Club find some new coaches, so this was about 14 years ago. We went for 3 months to help them build a coaching team and we fell in love with it and stayed. Yuna came, Javi came, Yuzuru. Gradually, I got more and more involved, but initially I would work in terms of philosophy and organising the club and doing the stroking sessions. I would be the coach when Brian was on the road, I would train the athletes. Since that time I move more out of broadcasting because of PyeongChang, we knew to do service to both Javi and Yuzu, they needed more and I had been with them both for so many years, so I've moved more into coaching. 

 

Jack: I want to ask you just to clear up, you're not related to David Wilson?

 

Tracy: I am not, except that we are best friends.

 

Jack: David is a friend of mine, he's a great guy, he's over in Spain now with Javier, and he's posting all the stuff on Facebook... You are special yourself but you are surrounded by some incredible people. Do you ever think about that?

 

Tracy: Always, always. When we went to the club, Brian and I talked about, for me it was creating an energy, a learning environment and a place for skating to grow. Brian and I, as athletes, we are very much about building team, camaraderie, building a skating community. We have many great friends from around the world because of that. When we took on the coaching role, it was about power skating, learn to skate, adult skating, and then all the other levels. We wanted it to be international, we wanted it to be where you can re-imagine what was possible. Our first student was Yuna, who came in to do choreography with David Wilson, was learning triple axels with Brian, and then started working with me on the technique, and so it was the three of us. We kept saying, if we build it, if we create this kind of energy, and it's not about necessarily being the most successful, the most winning, it's not about that. It's excellence, it's about pushing yourself and as I said, we saw what Yuna did, Javi, brilliant, and each skater is so different. They are such individuals, and we have to make room for that. Javi and Yuzu are completely different, and so, we learn from them, we redefine what's possible in terms of how we see it. Yuzu, has just taken the sport to a new level and again, he is a treasure. 

 

Jack: When Brian first took on Yuna, he had expressed that he had some concerns about whether he could do it or not. Did you have to convince him?

 

Tracy: Totally. I just said I got your back, Brian, I am with you on this with everything. You know 'Brian you can do it'. It was really easy for me as he was the one who was front and centre but it was like 'c'mon', and we really... Brian and I have been good friends for many many years since he and my partner were good friends, and so tremendous support meant a world for Brian and we balance each other. We are totally different, but what unites us is our love of people and our love of skating. 

 

Jack: You were a world medalist as a ice dancer. Do you employ that when you are working with Yuzu, because he likes ice dancing?

 

Tracy: I learned so much in ice dance. I was a skater who was late getting into it, I was 18 or 19. I ended up with Rob McCall who was a Canadian champion and I competed in Seniors once and didn't do very well. I had to learn so much and so fast to keep up with Rob and to be worthy of that partnership. Anyway, I learned so much with ice dance. We were doing 6 hours a day because remember in those days, we were doing compulsory dances that were so technical, and we had to do endless amounts of repetitions, so we would have to do three or four patterns of this dance, and then if you didn't have excellent technique, you lost speed, because there was nowhere to gain it. Who we were competing against, had the exact same steps to the same music, so it's how you did it. At the time, I thought it was so interesting, so exciting and I thought it's too bad, I wouldn't be able to use this. Sure enough, yes, I use it for strategy coming out of a corner, how do you quickly build speed out of a corner without wasting energy, I use it with balance or with the ice dance. I also have worked with hockey players in Toronto and some top NHL players and they come at it from purely power. They don't care how you look like, it's purely power, and I learned from them too. So it's just a really cool thing and I just feel like the luckiest person in the world that I can pass this love of mine on, and the skaters find some of it useful.

 

Jack: I have heard that many NHL players want to improve their skating and they have turned to figure skating coaches, right? (Tracy: Yes) That's really interesting.


Tracy: Yes, it's all about learning. You learn from everybody. I learned... I have adult skaters who question me on things, question me on skate... you know usually the younger skaters they just want to go, it's like 'Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah', but the adults would 'Why would you say that?' and it really refines your coaching technique. You learn from everything.

 

Jack: How young is your youngest skater now?

 

Tracy: Ah... I work with a number of skaters at the club, so umm... (Jack: What I mean, do you have years under 10 or any other younger?) They are around 10, yup, we have a group that is around 10 and yup. (Jack: What about your older skaters? How old would that person be? Ah... 82. (Jack: Wow...) and you know what, that's beautiful, it really is. I do an adult class each week, and Brian does an adult class each week. 

 

Jack: That's amazing. Now, we saw (somebody's name I could not get who he's saying) in his thirties, he's still skating. Yuzu is only 24, he's going to be 25 next month, and I mean, can he go on infinitely?

 

Tracy: It depends on Yuzu, because I would have said he couldn't compete at the level he did at the Olympics with the amount of training he had, so he proved me wrong, and I didn't know how, after two Olympic Golds, you'd find the motivation to continue. I have never seen him more motivated, and determined. So, we will see with Yuzu, it depends what the sports is asking. With the value they place on the quads, it will take a toll on a skater's body, and so depending on how, going forward, the weight between artistry and the sport, which the sport really tries to hold that, so I mean it would depend on that, but Yuzu has learned the hard way with injuries, and he has been very very focused this year.

 

Jack: What is an average day for you when you are at the club? Like what time do you get there...

 

Tracy: I do everything from ice dance. We have a Japanese dance team now, Shingo and Yutana, so I can be on the ice helping out at six-thirty / seven in the morning and then I teach an adult. It really depends. I pace myself, and it depends on the time of year. In the spring, I would do a lot more group work. When coaches are on the road, sometimes, then I would be on early in the morning till later in the day. But what I try to protect, for me, is my love of skating, and that I don't overdo it that it becomes a job, and I manage it that way. Really, there is no typical day for me, it would depend on how I need it, but I feel like I have got 5 hours of good work in me max.

 

Jack: How old are your children?

 

Tracy: 28, 26 and 23. 

 

Jack: I thought they were like teenagers!

 

Tracy: No no no, that's why I have started coaching work.

 

Jack: I am not gonna disclose our ages, but I looked it up and I am 5 days ahead of you.

 

Tracy: Oh is that right? You're September? (Jack: Yes yes) and I share with Mao Asada. (Jack: Oh that's right.) Yeah so we are just 48 then, you and I. (Jack: There you go.)      

 

Jack: OK, we are about to wrap it up here, and just tell me one more thing about Yuzu. What would you think, what would you say is his greatest trait? His physical ability? His mental ability? His fortitude? If you could sum it up in one sentence.

 

Tracy: He has... I don't think you can sum it up in one sentence, because people have this incredible talent, Yuzu has that incredible talent, Yuzu has the respect for the sport, and a sense of responsibility and purpose, and I just feel like he's always had that and he cares about his audience, he cares about putting on a show for them, his fans... so it's that combination that he has that it is so rare, and he's a student of the sport.

 

Jack: Yeah, I mean he is patient, when you get to be that famous, it's probably easier to just block everybody out but he seems to show incredible patience with everybody. 

 

Tracy: He does, yes he does, even the kids at the rink. The other day, he was helping one of our boys who's 14 with his triple axel. He just saw him and he went over. He's remarkable. 

 

Jack: Tracy, thank you so much, best of luck, and we gonna have you back on this podcast again, I guarantee it. Thank you.

 

Tracy: OK thanks Jack. 

 

 

 

     

 

                          

 

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