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General Yuzuru Chat


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4 hours ago, sallycinnamon said:

 

I think he knew it well before the competition. He went for the team competition where he won the gold medal, that is what mattered. And since he was the only Russian competitor in the men's it would have been too much to skate his SP & FS in both events anyway. So he WD.

 

There's a clip on youtube, one of the Russian Sochi team watching Yuzu's SP in the team event, and you can see it on most of the faces but especially Plushy's, I think he realised then that even if he could beat Patrick, Yuzu could well be beyond them both. It's likely he still intended to try - the man has courage, whatever else people think - but once he got on the ice he really knew.

 

I don't think they therefore ever competed against each other...?

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39 minutes ago, TallyT said:

 

There's a clip on youtube, one of the Russian Sochi team watching Yuzu's SP in the team event, and you can see it on most of the faces but especially Plushy's, I think he realised then that even if he could beat Patrick, Yuzu could well be beyond them both. It's likely he still intended to try - the man has courage, whatever else people think - but once he got on the ice he really knew.

 

I don't think they therefore ever competed against each other...?

No, never.  That was Plushenko's final competition and he had surgery shortly after.  He didn't officially retire right away but he never competed again.  He had to have known, once he felt his back hurt, and having watched Yuzu skate in the team competition (where our boy didn't even do as well as he did in the actual SP), he couldn't beat him and he wouldn't have wanted to end his career with a loss to a 19 yr old boy (in his homeland).  But when I look at his history, I think his ins and outs of active competition and resolve to come back after injury have been as much of an inspiration to Yuzu as his actual skating.

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1 hour ago, TallyT said:

 

There's a clip on youtube, one of the Russian Sochi team watching Yuzu's SP in the team event, and you can see it on most of the faces but especially Plushy's, I think he realised then that even if he could beat Patrick, Yuzu could well be beyond them both. It's likely he still intended to try - the man has courage, whatever else people think - but once he got on the ice he really knew.

 

I don't think they therefore ever competed against each other...?

 

The only time they competed against each other was in the team short program.

 

Evgeni Plushenko scored 91.39 which was the highest he had achieved and Yuzu was just limbering up with his team short program score of 97.98.

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I'm sharing this here as well as in the Team Canada thread. Look at this beautiful view of Toronto provided by Nam. Can you imagine Yuzu being there too? 

 

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I remember Plushenko fans saying that the steel rods in his back was loosen or something was misaligned. He re- injured his back during the Team event. So it was actually dangerous for Plushenko to skate.

 

On injuries & competing with injuries, when Yuzu was criticized for skating when he was seriously injured, parallels were drawn with his idol Plushenko.

Plushenko has had knee surgery other than back surgery. He went back on ice shortly after his knee surgery to prepare for a major competition. Too fast some said.

 

Since it was anniversary of Yuzu's 1st OG Gold, I re watched the Team SP to refresh my memory.

 

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I rewatched the NHK documentary with Dick Button, Plushenko and Javi. This is what Plushenko said himself about the Sochi Olympics, his thoughts about Yuzu and his withdrawal after the warm-up of the short program:

 

Quote

'[Hanyu] is rising up the rinks', I thought. I got the best opponent heading towards Sochi Olympics. I can't wait to show my skills. Despite how long I've known him for, we'd be opponents once we got onto the ice. If it's him, then it's worth my effort to defeat him.

[...]

At the time of Vacouver Olympics, I had a lot of injuries. So truthfully, it was a miracle that I could compete. I was frustrated that I lost, and I was also discontent with the scores, but I think, if I didn't compete, it would have become an even more terrible competition. At that time, there were few skaters who continued competing and everyone retired right away, although they could have skated for much longer. Rather than the frustration of missing my back-to-back title, I was even more frustrated that my opponents were disappearing. [...] Because of that, the level of the highest competition, the Olympics, would end up going down. Asking 'are you retiring?' - 'you also?', that's frustrating.

[...]

On the ice, all I could think about was 'What should I do to beat [Hanyu]? Should I shock him a bit or beat him up?' That's my style.

[...]

A titanium bolt in my backbone came out of place in the practice before [the individual men's] competition. I've never felt so much pain. It was impossible to perform.

[...]

Yuzuru didn't retire after getting the gold at Sochi. I was over the moon hearing him say he'd continue competing. Even if I leave, the level of the highest competition, the Olympics, will be maintained with him continuing to participate. Yuzuru knows it, that the best performance can only be done in competition. And also that in the skating world, there's absolutely no greater joy than becoming the Olympic champion.

 

Translation by @axelsandwich and @tsukihoshi14

 

It's hard to tell, how much honesty there was in Plushenko's words, but I somehow believe him that he really WANTED to compete against Yuzu in the individual event. I think, his will to challenge Yuzu and increase the overall level of the field with his presence was bigger than his fear to lose.

Also, Plushenko knew that he pretty much 'robbed' Kovtun of his chance to compete in Sochi, so he had the responsibility to deliver and win a medal for Russia at least, which would have been absolutely realistic, especially after that mess of a freeskate.

 

EDIT: It was a shame that the titanium bolt had come out of place and he was forced to WD, but what really upset me was the fact that so many people left the audience in the middle of the SP, when they found out that Plush wouldn't skate. That was such an insult to all the other competitors.

 

I think, Plushenko and Yuzu are very much alike, when it comes to their dedication and commitment to figure skating. They are not only looking at their own medal collection and achievements, but the development of the sport as a whole.

'Quo vadis, figure skating?'

They both ask this question, in their own way. They always have that bigger picture in mind and care about the overall quality and growth of the field. They are not pleased with just winning. They want to win against the strongest field with the strongest performance and enrich the sport with their skating as long as possible. They do not only want to take, they want to give as much as they can as well. That gives them most satisfaction and this what sets them apart from the rest.

 

I'm not a big Plushenko fan, but if anything, I respect him for his longevity and attitude towards competing.

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After Vancouver 2010, some time before Sochi, Plushenko declared, "I'm the one who will win the next Olympic gold medal.  If not me, it's Yuzuru Hanyu."

As I read this in Japanese, I'm not sure how accurate it was compared to his original words, but this was his firm recognition of Yuzuru as his strong competitor, although Yuzuru was a possibility but still an unknown quantity at that time.  We can also feel Plushenko's joy to have a rival worth competing from his words.  Plushenko and Yuzuru have the same soul in this meaning.  I respect them, although I was quite doubtful about his words then considering their ages (for the totally opposite meaning for them) :P   

 

By the way, I learned today that the electricity outage in some areas last weekend after the earthquake was the intentional one in order to avoid contingent blackout in wider area. 

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Here is the video of Team Russia watching the end of Yuzu's SP. As a bonus you get to see Mishin's :| face as well, and his excellent outfit :D 

 

I think the moment Yuzu hit his lunge, Plushy knew he was done for.

 

You can see in different videos, all the other teams gave a standing ovation except these guys :salty:

 

 

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Plushenko had been naming Yuzu as his rival since long before Sochi, and he is not the kind of person who would say such a thing only to please someone. Unfortunately, most of the sources I read were in Japanese, and many of them have already been deleted, but here is one of his comments quoted by an editor of Figure Skating Life magazine in 2012. You can read a copy of the whole article here.

Rough Translation:

Spoiler

"I want to leave my mark on history," says Plushenko aiming for Sochi 

 

We interviewed Evgeny Plushenko (29 years old), the winner of three Olympic medals, including the gold medal at Turin 2006. He also won his first international competition in a long time at the European Championships in January. We asked about his aspirations for Sochi 2014, which will be held in his home country Russia.
 (Kyodo Tsushin, from Sheffield, England)

 

-Why are you keep competing after winning so many glories?
"I want to leave my mark on history. I've already made history, but I want to become even more untouchable. My goal is the Sochi Olympics. For me, just being able to compete there is a success. There are very few athletes who have competed in four Olympics so far. Of course, I want to be on the podium."
-How is your left knee injury?
"I will receive surgery in Munich in February. I won't compete in the World Championships (at the end of March), but I am hoping to compete in perfect shape next season."
-What is the significance of quadruple jumps?
"Quadruple jump is very important, because if you don't do it, you're just a mediocre athlete, since landing a quad is a whole different level of technique, so I am satisfied with landing it successfully here. The current scoring system is better than the one in Vancouver (where he won a silver medal landing quads) because it gives more importance to the quad."
-How confident are you of beating Patrick Chan, the reigning world champion?
"He is my rival, but there are many skaters who have the potential to beat me. No matter who I compete with, I get on the ice and do my job."
-Who are your rivals in Japan?
"In Japan, my rival is Yuzuru (Yuzuru Hanyu of Tohoku High School in Miyagi). He's a very good skater, an artist, and has good jumps. He reminds me of myself in the past. He's only 17, but as far as I'm concerned, he's the best."

 


In this Japanese translation of an interview in Russian given in 2011,  he said Yuzu was growing as a fierce rival for him and fellow Russian skaters. In this Italian translation of the press conference after TEB2013, you can find a reporter mentioning that Plushenko said Yuzu was his biggest rival, and in this interview released in 2013, you can hear Plushenko praising Yuzu as "No. 1" in English. 

 

If he were a person who would stop competing in fear of losing or disgracing himself, he could not have kept competing after Turin 2006.

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7 hours ago, fyere0 said:

Here is the video of Team Russia watching the end of Yuzu's SP. As a bonus you get to see Mishin's :| face as well, and his excellent outfit :D 

 

I think the moment Yuzu hit his lunge, Plushy knew he was done for.

 

You can see in different videos, all the other teams gave a standing ovation except these guys :salty:

 

 

Yes, I think he knew. And when he heard Yuzu's score, it was absolute.  He almost looks like he has tears in his eyes.  How disrespectful for the Russians to sit while everyone else, the other teams, gave Yuzu a standing ovation.  He loves the sport and, I'm sure, really looking forward to a head to head competition with the boy he knew would be his successor.  If he hadn't had the number of injuries and extended times away from competition, he may well have been able to win at Sochi.  I'm, of course, thrilled he didn't, but it's also encouraging to know that a 29 year old, if fit, could win.  Yuzu, at 27, can be his own record setter with a third gold.  He won't be too old.  He'll just be stronger.

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