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On 9/6/2021 at 5:40 AM, Figure_Frenzy said:

This has been weighing my heart for a while, and I feel like I have to let it out sooner or later — while I agree with the sentiment that we should be happy with whatever Yuzu wants to achieve from each of his performances (eg. meeting his own standards in jumps, steps, choreo etc.) no matter the judging situation, I couldn't help but feel annoyed (and wrathful tbh) whenever I think of how the judges would shamelessly underscore him in the coming competition, especially when he faces off the favored, star-spangled skater™.

 

I could still kinda hope that the judges wouldn't be as egregious in other comps, where he wouldn't face him, but where he'd face him? Forget about it. As long as he doesn't fall the judges would be showering all the points on him, and I hate the thought that Yuzu could only win against him only when he is not skating cleanly (because remember that Yuzu is clearly the superior skater whenever they both skate cleanly :v).

I am having similar experience. I must first apologise for the lengthy reponse. But I need to get it off my chest. The way I see it - all this preferential AND underscoring (2-pronged approach by ISU) of the top two skaters is part of the bigger plan to boost PCS scoring of Nate to be on par with Yuzu before Beijing 2022. Going into PyeongChang 2018, there was little/no consideration to his PCS scores as they believed he could win with a high TES simply by jumping the most number of quads in his programs. Despite him coming back with a strong Free skate after faltering unexpectedly in his short program, he was unable to be on the podium, let alone beat Yuzu.  They realised his PCS scores were not in the range to help him secure a medal, specifically the gold one. Ouch, how it must have hurt their ego and pride! It has been a long drought for the US since Evan Lysacek won the 2009 World Championship and became the Olympic gold medalist in Vancouver 2010. Nate must end the drought in 2022 (in case he decides to retire after the Olympics) and ISU is not taking any chances after what happened in PyeongChang.

Looking at past Olympic games, I'm under the impression that whenever a skater from the strong US/Russian Fed was a contender for a gold medal, he/she would eventually become the Oly champ, with the scoring tilting towards his/her strength - athletic or artistic. So depending on the inclination of their favoured skaters, we have artistry winning over athleticism and other times, athleticism winning over artistry. Come Beijing 2022 Olympic, no doubt it's athleticism over artistry. Their favored champ already announced it's athleticism for him. To me, Yuzu is just as athletic as him. In fact, he's beyond any skaters the way he uses his high level of technical skills as tools to making music on ice.

 

The preferential and underscoring strategy adopted by ISU explained why Yuzu was systematically judged through microscopic lens, being picked on imagined/nitty-gritty mistakes and underscored (think ACI 2019 to GPF Torino 2019 to Nat 2020). He was quick to realise what was happening - the scoring was favoring athleticism (landing jumps consistently). I see such prolonged treatment from ISU as a form of emotional/psychological abuse towards one of its worldclass athlete while boosting the confidence of the favoured one with each successive win . When self-doubts set in where Yuzu questioned himself if he was heading towards the right direction ie retaining artistry in his programs. He knew he needed to skate clean/perfect and more quads to win competitions. I am sure having to deal with injuries, added stress from ISU bias judging (not forgetting the mounting frustration and helplessness in improving his situation), self-imposed pressure to perform well takes a toll on him. These come on top of the constant pressure and expectations from a nation. Tokyo 2022 put a spotlight on the mental health of elite athletes. It was a miracle he didn't fall into depression or develop other mental health issues. 

 

Should we stay hopeful for the future of the sport now that ISU adopts IOC Athletes' Rights and Responsibilities Declaration in April 2021 (under Athletes’ Rights) to promote the ability and opportunity of athletes to (among others):  

1         Practise sport and compete without being subject to discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other immutable status.

2     Be part of a transparent, fair and clean sporting environment, particularly one that fights against doping and competition manipulation, and provides for transparent judging/refereeing, selection  and qualification processes, and appropriate competition schedules, including training schedules at such competitions.

For full list and more details, https://olympics.com/athlete365/who-we-are/athletes-declaration/

Meanwhile, Yuzu was faulted for recycling his programs, inconsistencies in his jumps among other reasons, to help explain away his underscoring and judges were labelled incompetent. On the contrary, I think they are highly competent because ISU achieves its goal of raising Nate's PCS to be on par with Yuzu's by 2019.

 

At the 2018 US Figure Skating Championship, Nate’s scored SP 104.45, FS 210.78, Total 315.23. During Yuzu’s absence from 2018 World Championship, he earned SP 101.94, FS 219.46, Overall 321.40 and at 2018 Vancouver GPF, his SP 92.99, FS 189.42, Total 282.42. Winning these two coveted titles provided ISU the chance to catapult his scoring to surpass Yuzu’s level at 2019 US Championship where Nate earned SP 113.42, FS 228.80, Total 342.22. This launched the start of record-breaking phase of his competitive career.

 

It is in line with their narrative that this is the Nathan-era and have his name dominating WRs,

List of highest scores in Figure Skating, winning GPF and WC championships titles, emulating Yuzu’s previous achievements. Contrary to the reasons given by ISU, I’ve come to conclude the new scoring system was introduced to make way for a clean start (Yuzu’s past WRs became historical), provided more room for manipulation to quickly close the gap in scores between them and having Nate setting WRs.

 

Checklist – According to Wikipedia, Nate holds the highest scores for the following quadruple jumps: 4Lz (16.26), 4F (15.40), 4S (14.83), 4F+3T (20.23) and the second highest scores for the following quadruple jumps: 4T (13.71), 4T+3T (18.46), 4T+1Eu+3S (17.01), 4T+1Eu+3F (19.14). He also holds the highest and a perfect ChSq1 score of 5.50 and the highest StSq4 score of 5.73 among male and female singles skaters under the new scoring system. With this, he has established himself as a top skate with high PCS scores assured.

 

He became the WR holder for both Combined Total and Free Skate, set at 2019 Torino GPF. The WR Short program is set by Yuzu who also held all historical WRs for Combined, Free and Short. I imagined it wouldn’t be too difficult to break the current Short WR given the momentum ISU has been slaying Yuzu and rewarding Nate. He has overtaken Yuzu as three-time World champion and is a three-time GPF champion, possibly on par with Yuzu as a four-time champ this upcoming season).

 

I couldn’t help but felt there was just too much coincidence of chance happenings to Yuzu at both important/major competitions - 2019 Torino GPF and 2021 World Championships. At Torino GPF, of all participating athletes, it had to be Yuzu’s coach who lost his passport, hence he was left to be on his own heading into his short program. If it was part of a plan to prevent him from making history ie becoming a five-time GPF champion, I wondered if someone was inspired by Shoma Uno sitting alone at the Kiss and Cry area at 2019 Internationaux de France.

At 2021 World Championships, Yuzu was looking healthier and stronger than before and he was leading after the Short program, hence the argument of the asthma attack was triggered by him stressing over Nate did not stand for me. The possibility of sabotaging is not too far-fetched. If Yuzu wins both the 2019 GPF and 2021 World Championships, he will be a three-time World Champions champion and five-time GPF champion, furthering the gap between him and Nate (not forgetting the two-time Olympic champion titles). If Nathan wins, he will be a three-time World Championships champion, three-time GPF champion, closing the gap between Yuzu and him. As ego and pride stand, the scenario of Yuzu winning both titles cannot be tolerated. In fact, it was an opportunity to suppress Yuzu’s scores at the Torino GPF so that Nate will be in a stronger position going into World Championships.

 

Now, the narrative continues with Yuzu regressing in his technicalities when another young skater, his compatriot Yuma Kagiyama beating him to a silver medal at the 2021 World Championships while Yuzu settled for a bronze medal. Nate has been successfully crafted as the untouchable one. Hence, anything that might jeopardize such outcome have been taken care of in advance. These include changing BV of 4A to a lower value of 12.50 (in case someone successfully jumps it at Beijing Olympics?) and delaying the implementation of full BVs of jump sequences after 2022 Beijing.

 

It is important all these are to be achieved before the next Olympic. The ISU has taken great pains in the making of a (US) legend post 2018 PyeongChang. So comes Beijing 2022, there will  be no surprise/scandal when the American becomes the Olympic champion. 

 

It makes me fuming with anger the more I think of it. No doubt, Nate is talented in technicalities but it is far from the truth (based on TES and PCS scores) to suggest he is a more well-rounded/complete skater than Yuzu. I am praying fervently for Yuzu’s happiness and good (physical and mental) health. May all the forces of the universe be with him, all the stars are aligned for him to reach his biggest dream of landing 4A.

 

I like the fact that he’s the only active competitive skater eligible for being the only other skater besides Gillis Grafström with three consecutive Olympics titles if he’s on the podium next year. or turning his attention full on chasing elusive title such as the only man in Figure Skating history to do two different quadruple jumps. It would definitely upstage the Olympic champion (unless it’s him) and everything else. It would be the perfect ending to his illustrious competitive career.

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30 minutes ago, YuzuSkating_IsTheTruth said:

I am having similar experience. I must first apologise for the lengthy reponse. But I need to get it off my chest. The way I see it - all this preferential AND underscoring (2-pronged approach by ISU) of the top two skaters is part of the bigger plan to boost PCS scoring of Nate to be on par with Yuzu before Beijing 2022. Going into PyeongChang 2018, there was little/no consideration to his PCS scores as they believed he could win with a high TES simply by jumping the most number of quads in his programs. Despite him coming back with a strong Free skate after faltering unexpectedly in his short program, he was unable to be on the podium, let alone beat Yuzu.  They realised his PCS scores were not in the range to help him secure a medal, specifically the gold one. Ouch, how it must have hurt their ego and pride! It has been a long drought for the US since Evan Lysacek won the 2009 World Championship and became the Olympic gold medalist in Vancouver 2010. Nate must end the drought in 2022 (in case he decides to retire after the Olympics) and ISU is not taking any chances after what happened in PyeongChang.

 

Looking at past Olympic games, I'm under the impression that whenever a skater from the strong US/Russian Fed was a contender for a gold medal, he/she would eventually become the Oly champ, with the scoring tilting towards his/her strength - athletic or artistic. So depending on the inclination of their favoured skaters, we have artistry winning over athleticism and other times, athleticism winning over artistry. Come Beijing 2022 Olympic, no doubt it's athleticism over artistry. Their favored champ already announced it's athleticism for him. To me, Yuzu is just as athletic as him. In fact, he's beyond any skaters the way he uses his high level of technical skills as tools to making music on ice.

 

 

 

The preferential and underscoring strategy adopted by ISU explained why Yuzu was systematically judged through microscopic lens, being picked on imagined/nitty-gritty mistakes and underscored (think ACI 2019 to GPF Torino 2019 to Nat 2020). He was quick to realise what was happening - the scoring was favoring athleticism (landing jumps consistently). I see such prolonged treatment from ISU as a form of emotional/psychological abuse towards one of its worldclass athlete while boosting the confidence of the favoured one with each successive win . When self-doubts set in where Yuzu questioned himself if he was heading towards the right direction ie retaining artistry in his programs. He knew he needed to skate clean/perfect and more quads to win competitions. I am sure having to deal with injuries, added stress from ISU bias judging (not forgetting the mounting frustration and helplessness in improving his situation), self-imposed pressure to perform well takes a toll on him. These come on top of the constant pressure and expectations from a nation. Tokyo 2022 put a spotlight on the mental health of elite athletes. It was a miracle he didn't fall into depression or develop other mental health issues. 

 

 

 

Should we stay hopeful for the future of the sport now that ISU adopts IOC Athletes' Rights and Responsibilities Declaration in April 2021 (under Athletes’ Rights) to promote the ability and opportunity of athletes to (among others):  

 

1         Practise sport and compete without being subject to discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other immutable status.

2     Be part of a transparent, fair and clean sporting environment, particularly one that fights against doping and competition manipulation, and provides for transparent judging/refereeing, selection  and qualification processes, and appropriate competition schedules, including training schedules at such competitions.

 

For full list and more details, https://olympics.com/athlete365/who-we-are/athletes-declaration/

 

 

Meanwhile, Yuzu was faulted for recycling his programs, inconsistencies in his jumps among other reasons, to help explain away his underscoring and judges were labelled incompetent. On the contrary, I think they are highly competent because ISU achieves its goal of raising Nate's PCS to be on par with Yuzu's by 2019.

 

 

 

At the 2018 US Figure Skating Championship, Nate’s scored SP 104.45, FS 210.78, Total 315.23. During Yuzu’s absence from 2018 World Championship, he earned SP 101.94, FS 219.46, Overall 321.40 and at 2018 Vancouver GPF, his SP 92.99, FS 189.42, Total 282.42. Winning these two coveted titles provided ISU the chance to catapult his scoring to surpass Yuzu’s level at 2019 US Championship where Nate earned SP 113.42, FS 228.80, Total 342.22. This launched the start of record-breaking phase of his competitive career.

 

 

 

It is in line with their narrative that this is the Nathan-era and have his name dominating WRs,

 

List of highest scores in Figure Skating, winning GPF and WC championships titles, emulating Yuzu’s previous achievements. Contrary to the reasons given by ISU, I’ve come to conclude the new scoring system was introduced to make way for a clean start (Yuzu’s past WRs became historical), provided more room for manipulation to quickly close the gap in scores between them and having Nate setting WRs.

 

 

 

Checklist – According to Wikipedia, Nate holds the highest scores for the following quadruple jumps: 4Lz (16.26), 4F (15.40), 4S (14.83), 4F+3T (20.23) and the second highest scores for the following quadruple jumps: 4T (13.71), 4T+3T (18.46), 4T+1Eu+3S (17.01), 4T+1Eu+3F (19.14). He also holds the highest and a perfect ChSq1 score of 5.50 and the highest StSq4 score of 5.73 among male and female singles skaters under the new scoring system. With this, he has established himself as a top skate with high PCS scores assured.

 

 

 

He became the WR holder for both Combined Total and Free Skate, set at 2019 Torino GPF. The WR Short program is set by Yuzu who also held all historical WRs for Combined, Free and Short. I imagined it wouldn’t be too difficult to break the current Short WR given the momentum ISU has been slaying Yuzu and rewarding Nate. He has overtaken Yuzu as three-time World champion and is a three-time GPF champion, possibly on par with Yuzu as a four-time champ this upcoming season).

 

 

 

I couldn’t help but felt there was just too much coincidence of chance happenings to Yuzu at both important/major competitions - 2019 Torino GPF and 2021 World Championships. At Torino GPF, of all participating athletes, it had to be Yuzu’s coach who lost his passport, hence he was left to be on his own heading into his short program. If it was part of a plan to prevent him from making history ie becoming a five-time GPF champion, I wondered if someone was inspired by Shoma Uno sitting alone at the Kiss and Cry area at 2019 Internationaux de France.

 

 

At 2021 World Championships, Yuzu was looking healthier and stronger than before and he was leading after the Short program, hence the argument of the asthma attack was triggered by him stressing over Nate did not stand for me. The possibility of sabotaging is not too far-fetched. If Yuzu wins both the 2019 GPF and 2021 World Championships, he will be a three-time World Champions champion and five-time GPF champion, furthering the gap between him and Nate (not forgetting the two-time Olympic champion titles). If Nathan wins, he will be a three-time World Championships champion, three-time GPF champion, closing the gap between Yuzu and him. As ego and pride stand, the scenario of Yuzu winning both titles cannot be tolerated. In fact, it was an opportunity to suppress Yuzu’s scores at the Torino GPF so that Nate will be in a stronger position going into World Championships.

 

 

 

Now, the narrative continues with Yuzu regressing in his technicalities when another young skater, his compatriot Yuma Kagiyama beating him to a silver medal at the 2021 World Championships while Yuzu settled for a bronze medal. Nate has been successfully crafted as the untouchable one. Hence, anything that might jeopardize such outcome have been taken care of in advance. These include changing BV of 4A to a lower value of 12.50 (in case someone successfully jumps it at Beijing Olympics?) and delaying the implementation of full BVs of jump sequences after 2022 Beijing.

 

 

 

It is important all these are to be achieved before the next Olympic. The ISU has taken great pains in the making of a (US) legend post 2018 PyeongChang. So comes Beijing 2022, there will  be no surprise/scandal when the American becomes the Olympic champion. 

 

 

 

It makes me fuming with anger the more I think of it. No doubt, Nate is talented in technicalities but it is far from the truth (based on TES and PCS scores) to suggest he is a more well-rounded/complete skater than Yuzu. I am praying fervently for Yuzu’s happiness and good (physical and mental) health. May all the forces of the universe be with him, all the stars are aligned for him to reach his biggest dream of landing 4A.

 

 

 

I like the fact that he’s the only active competitive skater eligible for being the only other skater besides Gillis Grafström with three consecutive Olympics titles if he’s on the podium next year. or turning his attention full on chasing elusive title such as the only man in Figure Skating history to do two different quadruple jumps. It would definitely upstage the Olympic champion (unless it’s him) and everything else. It would be the perfect ending to his illustrious competitive career.

 

 

I couldn't help but feel annoyed (and wrathful tbh) whenever I think of how the judges would shamelessly underscore him in the coming competition, especially when he faces off the favored, star-spangled skater™.'

 

Agree

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To be honest I don't like thinking about Beijing because I never know if I should think optimistically or realistically. Either way both scenarios leave a bitter taste in my mouth knowing that if Yuzuru does try for a third Olympic gold he will get SEVERLY underscored and God am I not emotionally stable enough to see that happening for the 2583th time.

 

If this makes anyone feel any better about this God forsaken season, there is a Russian YouTube channel called 'Sport Tarot' which basically does tarot card readings for athletes of different sports. Many of you might not believe in that stuff but I find it pretty intresting and I somewhat believe in it too. The "tarot lady" as some of us call her, has done a reading for Yuzuru. I don't remember too many exact details but all of his cards were pretty good. Meanwhile, another skater's cards... didn't seem so good. Apparently her readings have been scarily accurate in a lot of cases so I'm betting my sanity on this lady right now. 

 

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5 hours ago, LadyLou said:

ehhhh top3 for every component? Hard to say, so I'm not gonna do an actual top 3 but just top whatever :P Competition skates only!

disclaimer 1: the more I reread the keypoints the more it's hard to find a Yuzu program that doens't excel in them

disclaimer2: I'm a Ballade stan first and human second, so even when I don't mention Ballade specifically, please add it that to the other picks :biggrin:

Let's go!

  • Skating skills: since Yuzuru usually has more energy in the SP (because he can go all out and doesn't have to spare energy for... a whole Origin, for example), I'd say that his skating skills are usually best displayed there (though he has excellent SS all around). So....BALLADE!!!!! (and especially 4CC20) starting from the opening with the big-ass mega bracket, he truly shows off the best for every single keypoint for SS! flow, multidirecitonal, one-footed skating, change in speed, soft knees...  Also, LGC for the super crazy accel/decel!
  • transitions: this gotta be LGC/Ballade again XD I mean, remember the LGC transitions into 3A into sidelunge into illusion entry into spin with fistpumps on the note into stsq?:loveeyes: also, H&L for the perfect flow of movements.  I'd have Otonal too if it weren't for those few secs before the 4Tcombo that still don't feel supersmooth to me. Also Origin for the longest chsq (because it starts with the  combo and had a counter3Acombo as last jumping pass and that's insane).  I feel like I'm disrespecting SEIMEI&TenChi but well, what can I do? Yuzuru has too many good programs! (probably, I'm also disrespecting RJ2 and its SEcounter3A:smiley_hairpull:)
  • Performance ahhhhhhhhhh how to chose? Cruel angel's thesis joking! I gotta go for SEIMEI especially OWG, if one wants to see "emotional&intellectual involvement, personality, Variety and contrast of movements and energy" that's as good as it can get... another mandatory pick also being RJ1 in Nice (he lost something in carriage/clarity but overcompensated for then in individuality, projection, emotional involvement:love:). PyeongChang Ballade and the GPF14 Ballade too! (GPF14 is sooo good, it has a more languid/jpyous feeling, and that fall doesn't ruin a thing! Which is why I still dislike the default caps on PCS) and since I'm also a TenChi stan gonna say TenChi (WTT!!!!!!!!!!!! while waiting for more!)
  • Composition: H&L because distribution of elements is so exceptionally well balanced and fitting music and choreo truly towards all the sides of the rink <3  and up there I'd say TenChi too: "purpose, phase and form, originality, ice coverage etc etc". and SEIMEI. Those 3 programs are the holy trinity of Free Skating, and maybe it isn't surprising that Yuzuru played quite a role in defining the concept of the programs. I'll also add Etude, because Yuzuru at 17yo was just that good (and congrats to Nanami & russian coaches for building that program!). Of all the Ballades I I think I prefer the OWG one as elements distribution. And finally special mention for JNats Otonal (because I like it better with that layout!) and media day/ACI18 Origin because the first verison was indeed very very original as elements distribution and used an even wider variety of moves (and I mourn the loss, despite me being maybe among the few who though that changing ChSq into IB+hydro was a good choice)
  • Interpretation: all of them? :P if I must make choice, then it must be Blinding Lights he's feeling himself so much joking! More seriously: H&L (a fave of mine is NHK16 that also has the stsq and chsq camerawork we deserved and didn't got at WC), TenChi because as I said I'm a TenChi stan too and and also "timing, Expression of the music’s character/feeling & Use of finesse to reflect the details and nuances of the music" are exactly what Zu does with TenChi (ok pretending WC TenChi didn't happen I haven't rewatched that enough to see how he was doing there sorrynotsorry it's still painful) and... PW. I must choose PW or Pari-san won't forgive me that I'm not mentioning even once the program that made me a fan:poke: Tbh all the SPs are up there: LMEY for example isn't among my fave Yuzu SPs but oh boy if he didn't throw himself into it even despite the rather weak ass shake! You can especially notice the big upgrade in WC and WTT compared to Nats were his IN was a bit weaker (he was playing the rockstar there, rather than being it).

usually with Yuzuru's programs I tend to like his more recent programs/version more. In part it could be some recency bias:67638860: but also, Yuzuru became an even better skater, so PE and IN always get up a notch with him, even when I still have in my hearth his precious previous versions that could have been skated only by younger Yuzu.:10636614:

 

 

I love this! it's what the most undescored LMEY deserves!

(still can't believe it got less than the WTT illusion 3A:mad: despite jumps all spanning from mor ethan decent to mindblowing and no invalid elements)

 

it's kinda been my secret wish since it was designated as oly test event, but if China doens't weaken the restrictions upon entering (and Japan doens't find a way to make their vaccinated skaters train decently even when isolating upon return) then no, he won't be able to go even if he wished so :/

and tbh with CoC happening later being cancelled, I don't see why China should be less strict with what is in theory a much less important comp...

 

 

while I'd find it amusing if Yuzu got his first JO partecipation of his career the same year he came back to DOI and SOI, and while it would certainly drive even mor einterest (and gain for sponsors) idk tbh. I expect Yuma to absolutely join. Maybe Koshiro who is Kinoshita skater? (guessing Kinoshita still the sponsor?)

As for ladies, I expected Rika too but maybe if she's busy in Canada now they'll call for Waka instead (I had no doubt they'd call Rino, they're pushing her for Olys partecipation so hard)

 

 

late to comment on Yuzu and Canada, but while I'm sad that he's not at TCC right now, there are at least as many cons to being in TCC as pros.

I don't really want Yuzu to go there is he still has to quarantine upon return, especially not during GP series, not with his schedule that is semidecent only if he's based in Japan, and even then Japan must decide what to do with its quarantine mandate). If he had gotten SC like Rika, it could make more sense, but well... he got RC instead.

I honestly don't see Yuzuru going to Canada for a few weeks, then back to Japan again (and possibly quarantining). He used to do some back and forth once, but then he preferred to minimize travelling between different training bases even before a whole pandemic screwed things up.

Maybe he'll be able to go to TCC after JNats and prepare there for Beijng (if he feels he needs in person coaching) but right now I kinda think that the hassle of renting an apartment and travelling there (with or without his mum and with all connected risks because even vaccines can't protect 100%) for a mere month isn't worth it, if he thinks he has an acceptable arrangement in Sendai. Maybe one year ago he would have considered going back to TCC as soon as possible, but in hte meanwhile he's been able to find some balance on his own (however hard it can be)

For sure yep, I hope that wherever he is he's getting his physio with a professional.

I don't think he will go back to TCC now TBH. Like you said, he has figured out the balance in training. Plus, travelling back and forth from Canada will turn him and his schedule into a mess, aka the 2019/20 season. He won't make the same mistake again. Boy is good at learning.

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11 hours ago, Pammi said:

......as do those trashbag pants! :agree2:

excuse you, they are the Gleaming Pants of Ascension:10742290:....because fanyus ascend to Heaven upon seeing them grace our boy's beautiful leg lines...:8788161:

 

@Henni147 again with the tough to answer questions! Rather than pick a program for each one, I'm just going to go with the one that I think is the best all-arounder on all those points, and that's LGC. Notwithstanding that Yuzu never quite did it clean in competition, it's still the best designed and probably most difficult program he's ever attempted. The step sequence alone is insane.I think if he revisited it now, with the added ability all his training for 4A has given him, not even a judging-bias-boosted certain other someone could possibly touch it in terms of excellence. if he ran it with 4A as the starting jump...just imagine.

 

but in terms of a skate that was perfectly performed by Yuzu in every way, and was everything skating should be, it's Worlds 2017 H&L, and then 20204CC Ballade.

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4 hours ago, rockstaryuzu said:

excuse you, they are the Gleaming Pants of Ascension:10742290:....because fanyus ascend to Heaven upon seeing them grace our boy's beautiful leg lines...:8788161:

 

They may be the Gleaming Pants of Ascension and Fanyus may ascend to Heaven upon seeing them, but I think it’s because they snugly grace another bootiful part of our boy’s anatomy…

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to the Ballade stans around, there's this streaming party scheduled on Kast in a couple hours (if I did my math right):10636614: 

all Yuzuru's Chopin Ballades!:eeking:

since choreographers&skaters are half-assing their recycling through merely changing background music but keeping choreo and with no PCS development, let's watch how the superior recycling is done!:biggrin::biggrin: (changing transitions and layouts, upping SS from amazing to otherwordly, polishing PE, deepening IN...)

 

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22 hours ago, LadyLou said:

ehhhh top3 for every component? Hard to say, so I'm not gonna do an actual top 3 but just top whatever :P Competition skates only!

disclaimer 1: the more I reread the keypoints the more it's hard to find a Yuzu program that doens't excel in them

disclaimer2: I'm a Ballade stan first and human second, so even when I don't mention Ballade specifically, please add it that to the other picks :biggrin:

Let's go!

[...]

usually with Yuzuru's programs I tend to like his more recent programs/version more. In part it could be some recency bias:67638860: but also, Yuzuru became an even better skater, so PE and IN always get up a notch with him, even when I still have in my hearth his precious previous versions that could have been skated only by younger Yuzu.:10636614:

 

14 hours ago, rockstaryuzu said:

@Henni147 again with the tough to answer questions! Rather than pick a program for each one, I'm just going to go with the one that I think is the best all-arounder on all those points, and that's LGC. Notwithstanding that Yuzu never quite did it clean in competition, it's still the best designed and probably most difficult program he's ever attempted. The step sequence alone is insane.I think if he revisited it now, with the added ability all his training for 4A has given him, not even a judging-bias-boosted certain other someone could possibly touch it in terms of excellence. if he ran it with 4A as the starting jump...just imagine.

 

but in terms of a skate that was perfectly performed by Yuzu in every way, and was everything skating should be, it's Worlds 2017 H&L, and then 20204CC Ballade.

 

Thank you very much for the detailed responses! I definitely agree with you in many aspects. LGC and Ballade No. 1 are frontrunners for me too in most components. It's tricky to compare short programs with free skates, as there are more than twice as many jumping passes in the free, but only one minute more time. So in the free you are really limited with creative transitions and showcasing your skating skills.

 

We always tear the judges apart for the scoring, but I really asked myself - if I was a judge and had to score the components for these programs - what would I give to them?

 

Short programs: detailed comment :68271262:

Spoiler

Skating skills: as much as I love Ballade, I think that GPF LGC and COR Otonal are that tiny bit stronger, specially in terms of speed, dynamics and multidirectional skating. One-foot-skating is extremely strong for all four.

Transitions: My only issue with LGC is that compared to the absolute skating madness in the second half, the first half feels a little modest. Same goes for Otonal. Ballade has a better balance of complex continuous transitioning throughout the program. I see 4CC Ballade a bit ahead of the OWG version, because the transitions between the 4S and 4T+3T are absolute god-tier and deserve that extra credit.

Performance: Otonal and 4CC Ballade were great, but the energy and drama in LGC and OWG Ballade is A+++ level.

Composition: Otonal's composition and music cut, especially between the 3A and the combo and also the final spin, doesn't feel right. The ACI cut and distribution of the elements was much better despite the missing 10% bonus. I loved the composition of OWG Ballade with the backloaded combo on the crescendo of the music. That jump truly deserved the label "highlight distribution". It was the most dramatic composition you can possibly get in an SP.

Interpretation: Seriously, Yuzu's impossible 4Lo save in LGC with that irresistible smile right to the lyrics "A world of never ending happiness.
You can always see the sun, day or night" was SO on point, it was peak entertainment and perfectly fit the vibe of the whole program :laughing: Overall that interpretation of LGC was the best by a mile. He was on fire from start to finish and really sold that program. I also loved his interpretation of Ballade at 4CC, he was fully immersed into the piece and every finger movement was placed right on the note. Can't be done any better.

 

Component LGC GPF 2016 Ballade OWG 2018 Otonal COR 2018 Ballade 4CC 2020
Skating skills 10.00 9.75 10.00 9.75
Transitions 9.75 9.75 9.75 10.00
Performance 10.00 10.00 9.75 9.75
Composition 9.75 10.00 9.50 9.75
Interpretation 10.00 9.75 9.75 10.00
Total PCS 49.50 49.25 48.75 49.25

 

Free skatings: detailed comment :68271262:

Spoiler

Skating skills: This one was really tough. For a free skate with 3-4 quads all four performances were very strong skating-wise, but H&L just stands out for me here and is one of very few free skates where I would give a 10.00 for skating skills at all. The other two are Patrick's FS at Eric Bompard 2013 and 4CC 2016.

Transitions: Sorry, but Origin with 4 minutes length, 7 jump elements and yet THREE full sequences (THREE!!!) is the epitome of transition madness and deserves all the credit. I still don't know how this is even humanly possible and I don't think that anything can ever top that.

Performance: All four were awesome, but OWG Seimei exists and that means sorry for the rest.

Composition: I feel that the transition overkill in Origin spoiled the composition of the program a bit. I liked the original design of the second half a little better, when Yuzu presented it at TCC (with the Ina Bauer into the final 3A).
TenChi for me has absolutely brilliant composition, because the elements are ideally distributed both in time and space. The number of jumps in the first half is identical to the second half (if we don't count the Euler), the number of jumps performed at the left and right end of the rink equals the number of jumps placed in the center, and the spins and sequences are also positioned around the center, which illustrates the balance of heaven and earth and man. This is so well done.

H&L was also epic with the final 3Lz at the end of the program. It gave the program extra drama and a badass moment.
Interpretation: Yeah, same here. OWG Seimei and WTT TenChi exist. That is an automatic knockout for the rest.

 

Component H&L WC 2017 Seimei OWG 2018 Origin SC 2019 TenChi JN 2020
Skating skills 10.00 9.75 9.75 9.75
Transitions 9.75 9.75 10.00 9.75
Performance 9.75 10.00 9.75 9.75
Composition 10.00 9.75 9.50 10.00
Interpretation 9.75 10.00 9.75

9.75

Total PCS 98.50 98.50 97.50 98.00

 

 

Many people would probably say that programs with errors (LGC 2016, Seimei 2018, Origin 2019) must not get such high PCS, but I think that these programs are paramount examples that a performance does not automatically suffer from minor mistakes in the components. In case of LGC and Seimei (and also WTT LMEY) those mistakes even add to the drama and entertainment factor that would be actually missed in a perfectly clean skate.

 

I also experienced that it's almost impossible to perfect all 5 components at the same time. Your skating skills and composition can suffer from very packed choreos with many difficult transitions, while huge speed and a very energetic performance makes it very hard to execute steps and turns cleanly and so on.

That's why I think that LGC deserves the most 10s. Despite the ridiculous speed and transition escalation the skating quality, musicality and performance do not really suffer. That makes the program extra special.

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17 hours ago, YuzuSkating_IsTheTruth said:

At 2021 World Championships, Yuzu was looking healthier and stronger than before and he was leading after the Short program, hence the argument of the asthma attack was triggered by him stressing over Nate did not stand for me. The possibility of sabotaging is not too far-fetched. If Yuzu wins both the 2019 GPF and 2021 World Championships, he will be a three-time World Champions champion and five-time GPF champion, furthering the gap between him and Nate (not forgetting the two-time Olympic champion titles). If Nathan wins, he will be a three-time World Championships champion, three-time GPF champion, closing the gap between Yuzu and him. As ego and pride stand, the scenario of Yuzu winning both titles cannot be tolerated. In fact, it was an opportunity to suppress Yuzu’s scores at the Torino GPF so that Nate will be in a stronger position going into World Championships.

 

Now, the narrative continues with Yuzu regressing in his technicalities when another young skater, his compatriot Yuma Kagiyama beating him to a silver medal at the 2021 World Championships while Yuzu settled for a bronze medal. Nate has been successfully crafted as the untouchable one. Hence, anything that might jeopardize such outcome have been taken care of in advance. These include changing BV of 4A to a lower value of 12.50 (in case someone successfully jumps it at Beijing Olympics?) and delaying the implementation of full BVs of jump sequences after 2022 Beijing.

 

It makes me fuming with anger the more I think of it. No doubt, Nate is talented in technicalities but it is far from the truth (based on TES and PCS scores) to suggest he is a more well-rounded/complete skater than Yuzu. I am praying fervently for Yuzu’s happiness and good (physical and mental) health. May all the forces of the universe be with him, all the stars are aligned for him to reach his biggest dream of landing 4A.

I love reading lengthy posts! (Forgive me for mine) I definitely agree and see a lot of the points your are making because the last three (four?) years of the Nathan-Yuzu "rivalry" has been infuriating to watch. 

 

Nathan absolutely has the technical prowess, but the narrative directed by the scores he receives from the judges, ESPECIALLY in regard to PCs, is just suspect. No American figure skating commentator/journalist points this out because they are completely on board with Beijing 2022 redemption story for Nathan. I remember someone had made a chart/graph documenting how scores and PCs had changed season by season for the last few years and the dramatic improvement of Nathan's PCs between the 2016-2017 season to the 2017-2018 (the Olympic season) is simply baffling. From that I believe it was clear that US Figure Skating wanted that 2018 gold medal for Nathan because at the time he was their best hope and Nathan really seemed like he did not wish (or care) to continue skating after the 2018 since he was going off to college to become a doctor (or whatnot). 

 

After Nathan bombed his SP the media turned on him, but when he landed 6 quads in the free skate they pretty much boasted about that for the rest of the Games as his "redemption" which I thought was complete overkill. He landed 6 quads so he had nothing to lose, he rose in the ranks from 17 to 5 place because all the competitors in-between weren't landing a ton of quads to get the points, and even with that many quads he didn't beat the world record score Yuzu had with just a 4 quad layout. If anything the whole 2018 Olympics proved Yuzu had the stronger mentality for the Games and didn't need to land all the quads to get high scores. Yuzu is the complete package while Nathan is not. 

 

I do believe that after the 2018 Olympics Nathan did find some more passion with skating than he had before so I am not nearly as put off by him as I was before. But the narrative that he dominates over Yuzu by the media is really misleading. While it's true that he has beat Yuzu in all their matchups, the scores do not reflect reality. In addition, Yuzu has been hindered by injuries and even his asthma since 2017 and I don't believe he is in his top physical shape (ankles and knees can only take so much). The American media would NEVER mention any of this since Nathan gets ridiculous scores that crush Yuzu's. 

 

2021 Worlds and the fallout honestly was just painful to watch. Yuzu crushed the short program, but was underscored by at least a few points. Nathan, despite a FALL still got third. WHAT? Then, despite what Yuzu has claimed, I do believe he probably suffered an asthma attack the night before the free skate. Brian knew something was up because he was late and he sought the attention of a Russian doctor. The backstage footage of him really just hammered in that something was wrong. Did the American media say anything? Nope. Instead they said because Nathan crushed his free skate and Yuzu was seemingly so affected by Nathan's performance that Yuzu had "settled" for bronze. Ugh. 

 

As much as I have loved seeing Yuzu continue competing after 2018, it's hard to watch how the ISU and the federations just push him down. They know that he aims for the 4A so they lower the BV. Why not do that to all the quads since so many young skaters are sacrificing their bodies for them? I also believe the JSF is oblivious to what Yuzu brings to figure skating since it is obvious that they are pushing Yuma to be his successor (if the skating show pamphlets and promos are anything to go by). The JSF and ISU are just dumb if they think anyone is going to replace Yuzu's charisma and popularity in the sport anytime soon. 

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I have an... intresting story. 

 

I've been trying to make my mom a fanyu for a while. At first she was 100% uninterested and would get really bored every time I talked about Yuzuru and she would barely listen. Recently though she doesn't seem to mind him so much. Maybe she is in the stage of denial, lol.

 

I always talk about how much I miss him to the point where about 60% of my daily speech consists of "I miss Yuzuru". Recently her constant reply to that became "Sent him a DM then" to which I painfully reply "He doesn't have social media" (not that I would have the guts to DM him even if he did have a public account).

 

Today, her reply was "Well why don't you send him a letter then? Make sure to give him my regards too". At first at thought she was joking but apparently she was serious.

 

Realistically I am way too much of a chicken to send an actual physically fan letter to Yuzuru but uhhhh... just for future reference... does Ice Rink Sendai accept fan letters for Yuzuru?

 

This is a bit embarrassing... :8788161:

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21 hours ago, hananistellata said:

If this makes anyone feel any better about this God forsaken season, there is a Russian YouTube channel called 'Sport Tarot' which basically does tarot card readings for athletes of different sports. Many of you might not believe in that stuff but I find it pretty intresting and I somewhat believe in it too. The "tarot lady" as some of us call her, has done a reading for Yuzuru. I don't remember too many exact details but all of his cards were pretty good. Meanwhile, another skater's cards... didn't seem so good. Apparently her readings have been scarily accurate in a lot of cases so I'm betting my sanity on this lady right now. 

 

I'm joining you:agree2:

4 hours ago, KendallKlaire said:

I love reading lengthy posts! (Forgive me for mine) I definitely agree and see a lot of the points your are making because the last three (four?) years of the Nathan-Yuzu "rivalry" has been infuriating to watch. 

 

As much as I have loved seeing Yuzu continue competing after 2018, it's hard to watch how the ISU and the federations just push him down. They know that he aims for the 4A so they lower the BV. Why not do that to all the quads since so many young skaters are sacrificing their bodies for them? I also believe the JSF is oblivious to what Yuzu brings to figure skating since it is obvious that they are pushing Yuma to be his successor (if the skating show pamphlets and promos are anything to go by). The JSF and ISU are just dumb if they think anyone is going to replace Yuzu's charisma and popularity in the sport anytime soon. 

Thanks for your kind words. I was worried I would bore everyone with such a lengthy post (promise I won't do it again). Yuzu was in the way of a fabulous US narrative once he decided to stay on competing instead of retiring. His superstardom overshadows everyone else.

Yuzu bares his heart and soul on the ice when skating to his programs, emotionally engaging and connecting the spectators. This rare and unique ability, together with his fusion of athleticism and artistry, allows him to weave stories and magic on the ice, transforming sport to an art form, gifting us masterpieces. Many of us are drawn to him after setting our eyes upon him on the ice, making Yuzu the Piped Piper of Figure Skating. I’m so glad his magic ontinues to work on others as @Henni147 pointed out he had conquered social media and drawing in new fans.

Have a great day!

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11 minutes ago, hananistellata said:

I have an... intresting story. 

 

I've been trying to make my mom a fanyu for a while. At first she was 100% uninterested and would get really bored every time I talked about Yuzuru and she would barely listen. Recently though she doesn't seem to mind him so much. Maybe she is in the stage of denial, lol.

 

I always talk about how much I miss him to the point where about 60% of my daily speech consists of "I miss Yuzuru". Recently her constant reply to that became "Sent him a DM then" to which I painfully reply "He doesn't have social media" (not that I would have the guts to DM him even if he did have a public account).

 

Today, her reply was "Well why don't you send him a letter then? Make sure to give him my regards too". At first at thought she was joking but apparently she was serious.

 

Realistically I am way too much of a chicken to send an actual physically fan letter to Yuzuru but uhhhh... just for future reference... does Ice Rink Sendai accept fan letters for Yuzuru?

 

This is a bit embarrassing... :8788161:

 

I don’t know about Ice Rink Sendai, but fans used to send letters, etc., to the TCC and they would end up on Brian Orser’s desk in the tiny skating office that he shares with Tracy. That does not appear to be an option at this time since Yuzu has not returned to the TCC. If he does return, I would suggest that it be sent to him c/o Erin d’Eon, Skating Coordinator, The Toronto Cricket, Curling and Skating Club. Alternatively, you could send it as an attachment to an email to Erin d’Eon: [email protected]

 

I don’t see any harm in sending a letter to Yuzu c/o Ice Rink Sendai.

 

I thought that there was an address with the JSF for fan mail. Does anybody know anything about this?

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2 hours ago, Geo1 said:

 

I don’t know about Ice Rink Sendai, but fans used to send letters, etc., to the TCC and they would end up on Brian Orser’s desk in the tiny skating office that he shares with Tracy. That does not appear to be an option at this time since Yuzu has not returned to the TCC. If he does return, I would suggest that it be sent to him c/o Erin d’Eon, Skating Coordinator, The Toronto Cricket, Curling and Skating Club. Alternatively, you could send it as an attachment to an email to Erin d’Eon: [email protected]

 

I don’t see any harm in sending a letter to Yuzu c/o Ice Rink Sendai.

 

I thought that there was an address with the JSF for fan mail. Does anybody know anything about this?

I see, thank you very much! I might try in the future. 

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