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Cup Of Russia: Russian Fans' expectations and impressions


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What Russian fans think about Yuzuru Hanyu


Yuzuru Hanyu is finally coming to Moscow after a long gap - he last was in the Cup of Russia in 2011, he won and that was his first gold medal in the senior circuit.  A Russian fan collected many gushy thoughts, ideas and opinions about our favourite skater to give the world the idea Russian fans can compete with the rest of the world in their love for Yuzu. The post is long, rambly, sometimes not very comprehensible, but I hope you enjoy it! The original can be found here.



Today we’ll speak about the Japanese skater Yuzuru Hanyu. AKA the genius, king, shaman, extraterrestrial… and all other descriptions which are applied to this personality. The athlete is hugely popular not only with the Japanese but also with fans from other countries. In this blog, I collected scores of opinions about him which Russian fans left in different social media platforms. 

This year Yuzuru Hanyu himself is coming to Russia to Rostelecom Cup! This news was the cause of rapturous joy among Russian fans who started discussing excitedly where to get tickets. Well, Hanyu, we’ll welcome you with joy – but let’s not scare him away with excessive love!

I haven’t learnt to be eloquent when writing so I’ll get down to business at once. Some of you may look at Yuzuru differently, some of you may discover new aspects of him, some of you will rave about him, and some will be jealous at him getting so much love (get out of here and don’t spoil it for others!) I wish all the others to have a good read. The text will be long.


“Yuzuru’s skating, his look and his manners are inimitable, his courage and will to win make you want to achieve the same and his words make you stop and ponder. He’s not just an amazing athlete, he’s also a warrior, a philosopher capable of seeing and understanding the hidden essence of things. I’m incredibly happy to love such an athlete as Yuzuru, to take every battle of his as my own, to lose and win triumphantly along with him, to feel the way his fiery heart beats with every bit of my being”

“Has there ever been a skater so adored, so deeply loved and so superb as Yuzuru? His magic is not just down to his huge talent and his masterful skating, but to some calm, deep radiance emanating from him which wraps you up softly and makes you trust him infinitely – he’s the one we’ve been looking for. A human being with a huge heart - he gives to us most generously the best he has in him. His words are wisdom, his skating is beauty and he himself is strength. He’s been the joy of the recent years and the source of inspiration for me. Seeing his skates, I feel like giving a foolish oath to him… I won’t give up, I’ll pray and root for him, and my belief in him is boundless”

“There was one young man who helped me fall in love with figure skating – Yuzuru Hanyu. I first saw him when I was 9. Since then 7 years have passed. I grew up in that time and I understood one thing: Yuzuru is an incredible human being”.

“You’ve got to emulate him, you’ve got to admire him. He’s a one off. I’m happy to be living during his era”


Photograph published on December 7th, 2015: 21 years ago, the world became a bit more perfect, it gained in beauty, warmth, love and light



The following three opinions were expressed after Boston WC 2016:

“My figure skating world is Yuzu. The most captivating, most tender and recklessly courageous skater. The fire burning in his heart has captured so many people already. His loss at the world championship has in fact been a blessing in disguise. There are wins leading to a dead end, and there are losses opening new paths. Fate is indomitable in teaching him and preparing him for the most important test of his life. Time will pass and he’ll see that the boulder which blocked his way now wasn’t an obstacle, but it was a step for him to get even higher, to the pinnacle of pinnacles”.

“There are things in this world you can’t measure in medals. They have different measurements. The love of the whole world, light and warmth emanating from this young man, the magical poignant beauty of his skating. All right, he lost this time, he got the silver medal. But can that make my heart stop beating so furiously every time you step out on the ice?”

“Yuzuru, I promised at the start of the season that you’d be No.1 for me always no matter whether you are on the top of the podium or come among the last in the list of the competitors. Well, there. I won’t go back on my promise. You’re still the best and most favourite, a ray of light and a skating genius”.

“I can’t put it in words what I feel when Hanyu’s on the ice. I don’t just get emotional, I’m so nervous as if my own fate were at stake. I tremble all over. But I never turn aside or close my eyes. Every single moment I’m mentally there, with him, I can hear the beating of his warm heart. Win, Yuzuru!”


«There are good skaters, and there are phenomenal ones, one-offs who send shivers down your spine and make you teary. Yuzuru. You can’t compare him to anyone. A slender Japanese boy with a tender smile on those baby lips… and heaps of talent. I don’t think there will be another skater like this”.

“If at the Olympic Games Yuzu was a young, not fully mature boy with a crazy potential, now he’s a young man who shows us the real flight of his full-grown talent without fear, without boundaries. It would be impossible to skate as poignantly and soulfully as he does so that your breath is taken away for joy, if he didn’t have that blinding light in his own heart. He’s just the most wonderful and beloved figure skater of our times”.

“I admire Yuzuru’s ability to pull himself together at a decisive moment, to switch on his explosive willpower and to make that spurt, that super-effort. Now he’s also got that serene strong core which shows in his calm self-control as he does what he has to do. I find his stubborn and steely resolution of character surprisingly reassuring and soothing – I no longer fear for him. If he chose a goal and started his way towards it, we understand it instinctively – he’s sure to achieve it”.


“I realised not so long ago that this sweet Japanese guy has become part of my life, and perhaps, he can’t conceive how much joy he brings to people. His joy is my joy, his wins are my wins, his pain of losses is just as painful to me. He’s the man who can evoke tenderness and admiration in my heart. Be happy, dear Yuzuru”.

“I can’t quite explain what’s so special in him, but I feel something angelic about him. He emanates such a lot of warmth and softness, but at the same time you can feel some inner toughness and a spark of playful joy in his look. Knowing that there’s such a fine young man living makes my day bright”.

“This skater is quite incredible. The embodiment of modesty, sincerity, generosity, unbelievable work ethic and huge musicality. He’s a dancer on the ice, I’ll insist on using these words, his moves and the way he feels music is beyond comprehension. When you watch his skates, you forget everything – the only things left in the world are the music and his skating”.

“When I have a streak of bad luck in my life, when I face some problems, when I get into arguments with my family, I just switch on Yuzuru’s interviews and his skates and I forget all my troubles. In comparison with what he had to deal with, my problems seem petty. Thank you, Yuzuru, for just being there”.


This opinion was expressed after 2017 World Championship

“Now I’m feeling so elated and euphoric that I can’t find words to describe my feelings. I just want to bow to Yuzuru, who’s made me so happy and who’s regained his world title. I’ve always believed in him! And there he is, once again the untouchable, ethereal and magical Japanese god”.


This confession was made at the end of the 2015-2016 season. But now Hanyu has brought the program for the Olympic season! The writer must be happy:

“I’ll miss Yuzuru’s Chopin. It was a very special program for me. Yuzu’s Chopin is unforgettable, unearthly and ethereal as a vision, as if a creature with a beautiful mind decided to show the hidden loveliness of his world. While he’s so light and ethereal, he’s also seamlessly natural and masterfully precise. That’s the way the Olympic champion skates getting stronger and stronger with every performance”. 

This confession is quite recent:

“Fantastic! I love Chopin! I started liking Hanyu with this program! He really started to skate differently. Previously he was a gentle and delicate boy, but now it’s manly, mature and profound skating! I admire his perfectionism – to skate a program of such difficulty in a show! This first struck me as special at a gala in the 2015-2016 season. He’s a one-off. I wish him health, that’s what matters most. He’s got the rest in spades!”


“Prince’s LGC turned out to be spectacular, but obstinate. It’s OK. I’ll never forgive the judges for the combination in his SP at the WC. But he introduced 4Lo and won the WC. I want to say so much, but I won’t manage it in one post only… I’ve been rooting for Yuzu since his junior years, and not since his last junior season either. He’s not perfect, but he’s all my nerves and pain, my wings, my joy and exaltation. He’s my genius and my most favourite athlete. He’s the embodiment of the figure skating, creating music with his blades. His ideas always reach out to perfection. I just want him to be happy”.

“I never thought I’d cry seeing an athlete, a musician, a dancer who just does what they love doing. But today I just happened to switch on Match TV with the broadcast of 2017 Figure Skating World Championship, and when I saw this extraterrestrial skating to a gorgeous tune in his FP, I just sat still and I cried. Never before had anything evoked such emotions in me. I hadn’t known anything, anything at all about figure skating then, but I sat there and I understood that this was beautiful, this was just unbeatable, it was beyond comprehension. Thank you, Yuzuru, for making me fall in love with figure skating, for this most beautiful and stunning sport. I learnt so many new and exciting things, I watched so many performances and I don’t understand how I could have lived without that beauty, power and will before that”.

“Yuzuru, if you only knew how happy you make me when I see your beautiful skates and your heartfelt smile. You’re like a bright ray of sunshine shining through all the shadows to brighten our souls with its warmth and kindness”.


At the end of the 2014-2015 season

“You all were witness to how hard the season was for him. There were many falls, many failures. But he was still strong enough to fight and to how he’s ready to fight to the end. He’s got a true warrior’s spirit inside him, he always strives for big wins. I believe in him, I believe he’ll show us many stunning skates. He’ll show us his inner spirit is stronger and it’ll allow him to overcome his shortcomings. Yuzuru is a wind which can be weak, but it can also get so strong as to blow away all the obstacles on his way.”


And now for the dessert! This fan’s enthusiastic (and indignant - Fay) emotions after the free skate at the 2017 WC:

“Where did they overscore Yuzuru in that free skate, which was skated according to the plan for the first time, without any changes in the layout, without recalculating on the fly? Not a single +3GOE for all the pristinely clean jumps with no mistakes, with all the transitions intact. How to jump high and fly to the sky after he failed his combination in the SP and he was 11 points behind the leader and after he’d been consistently underscored throughout the season? Who could have imagined when they were predicting him to come first that he’d do it this way? That he’d wrench it out of his competitors’ hands – desperately, stubbornly, putting there all he had?

This guy who’s too sensitive, too emotional, too easily upset by his failures, too hard-working and still doubting his own abilities to do what he can do. That’s the panther who never had your bloody ballet classes. He’s no longer that delicate and frail, he’s a mature young man. Why do you dislike him so much? Why? Where’s that bias line which makes you think it should be Javier or at least Shoma winning? That’s what you read between the lines – ‘was it him who won once again’? You mean he shouldn’t have? He should have just given up? You’ve picked the wrong man. Are you tired of him? You’re tired of the fact he was capable of pushing aside all his doubts and fears while skating first in his final flight – and he was able to land clean jumps. And set a world record despite the smallish GOE. They were small because he’d never been clean during this season, and now he was the first to skate in this sharks’ tank. He was the first, so he couldn’t count on +3GOE which he would have received if he had skated among the last three or last two. <…>

Shoma got +16GOE for his FP. That’s no joke – both Yuzuru and Javier could only dream about such GOE once. Boyang got +15 and he deserved them. Yuzuru got more – for his clean skate with high-quality jumps and high-quality everything. But he could have received more if he had skated among the last three, but he had to be kept down for the five coming competitors.

I can’t convey how angry it makes me. Thank this man for showing you what excellence is and for leading the other men there too. No one would have tried all those quads if they didn’t want to overtake him”



Some first emotional outbursts at learning the results of GP placements:

Yuzu at CoR!!!! My jaw has fallen down onto the floor (literally, I’ve fallen down and never got up)!!! Both him and Zhenya!!!! I’m screaming at the top of my voice in my flat!!!! I’ve scared the cat!!!! I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it!!!!

Yuzu at CoR!!!!!




Yuzu at CoR! This is what happiness look like!!!!

I can’t believe it! Yuzuru’s coming to Moscow!!!! I’m happy!!


Thank you for reading all this to the end, if any of you survived that long J I love this genius, I love him – and that’s that. And I’m not alone. Let’s wish him luck in the next season!

Thanks for the materials:









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Guest turquoiseblue

It made me cry... :smiley-sad021: So many beautiful words and heartfelt messages from Russian fans  :star-plucker-smiley:

Thank you so much for taking the time to translate it for us, @Fay :thankyou:

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Thank you @Fay for this beautiful post!

It never ceases to amaze me and move me to see how Yuzu is able to inspire such deep, heartfelt emotions in so many people. We may be different for background, nationality, age and so on, but he touched us all the same.:crybaby::grouphug:

Yuzuru really is something special :star-plucker-smiley:

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It's so nice of you to share the translations with us~:smiley-love017:

I'm so thrilled to know that so many others in this world share the same feelings and love as me for yuzu, despite very different countries and cultures among us.

It's only the indeed great athelete that could make this happen, that the same admire and prayers from all over the world gathering for one person. It's like a miracle for me, YZR miracle.❤

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Thanks Fay, wonderful translation.

I couldn't pick a favourite quote - each one of them seems to reflect some of my own feelings about, and experience of, watching Yuzuru perform.  Commentators recognise how special he is, and commentaries on Yuzu's performances are peppered with many gushing comments on his wonderfulness, but it does not take a figure skating expert to see this; it was so very obvious the first time I saw him skate that he had a magic about him that was unique.  Our Russian friends show us we have more in common than that which divides us!  Yuzuru works his magic on us all :winky: :smiley-love017:    :grouphug:

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  • 5 weeks later...

These words warmed my heart. For some reason, sometimes people say non-Russian skaters do not like competing at Rostelecom. But I can't wait to see the amazing response I'm sure Yuzu will get once he is there (and not just from Japanese fans, looking at you commentators all over the world who assume that).

Thank you Fay for these wonderful translations, and congratulations to the Russian fans for getting a chance to see Yuzu compete! :clap:

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  • 4 months later...

This is an article in a local newspaper in the great Northern city of Arkhangelsk on the shores of the Arctic Sea - and it was written by one of the fans who came expressly to see Yuzu at the Rostelecom Cup. 



The Moscow trip for the Arkhangelsk fans. The Poohs are flying

By Natalya Vereshchagina (her own photographs as well!) 



Yuzuru’s fans have a tradition to avalanche the ice after his skates with Winnie the Pooh toys of every possible shape and size.



We decided we’d go to the Rostelecom Cup once we learnt that the Olympic champion and two time World champion Yuzuru Hanyu was assigned to it.

He’s a biggest phenomenon in figure skating now, and it would be a crime to miss this opportunity to see him live


The fight for room  


This competition used to be known as the Cup of Russia, so many fans still call it just Kapa. The Kapa has been taking place in the Megasport Arena for quite a while, but I don’t think it’s ever seen such a fierce fight ever since it was built. It was fans who were fighting – for space for their banners. Megasport railings can provide space for around 130 banners – and over 100 of them were won over by Yuzuru fans.


On the first day of the competition the fans who wanted to hang banners for their favourites were there at 6 in the morning and entertained themselves by talking to each other, taking selfies and exchanging souvenirs. We found ourselves among them by chance – we had nothing to hang, but our train arrived early. But we learnt that these fans had sent pictures of their banners well in advance by email, and if they were in English, they had had to translate them into Russian, and when they were entering, the banners were checked against the approved list of banners.


A girl holding Mikhail Kolyada banner told us she’d phoned Megasport and asked whether she could hang in on Friday, and she’d got an answer that she could try, but she was highly unlikely to find any room for it as there were far too many other banners.


And we found out it was true when we arrived for the first practice at half past nine – every single space had already been taken. Most of the banners were for Yuzuru. By the way, people who think this Japanese skater gets banners only from Japanese fans are wrong. The crowd at the entrance of the arena was multicultural: besides the Japanese, there were Chinese and Russian fans, a nice Hungarian girl gave us a magnet with Yuzuru on it, and we had Yuzuru’s Finnish fan just before us in the queue. Then our new friend told us the battles for space were much more fierce in Japan – there’s even less room for banners, so people start queuing at four in the morning, and banners end up being hung in layers, one over another, and get opened up during the day each by turn. So the Kapa was a walk in the park for the Japanese fans.


The peculiarities of national rooting.




We had separate tickets for each day, so while the Kapa was going on, we managed to be seated in four different sectors and meet a lot of people. On the SP day we were seated among  an international crowd – the Japanese ladies on the right, the Chinese girls on the left, our compatriots behind.


The Japanese fans earn respect by their devotion to figure skating. They came to Moscow to root for their beloved Yuzuru, but they gave their support to every single skater. Some had a veritable collection of national flags including pretty exotic ones like Latvia and Armenia, and they waved them so enthusiastically that you could help being infected by their love – our palms ended up pretty sore and blistery for all the cheering we did that day.


The Chinese fans next to us gave us a few cards and generally were very friendly to us once they spotted Winnie the Poohs in our plastic bag – it meant we came here to root for Yuzuru.


Winnie the Pooh Love on the ice.




Yuzuru Hanyu has had a Winnie the Pooh tissue box  for many years – he’s been carrying it around for his practices and competitions. When asked why, he once answered: countries, skating rinks and environments change, but Pooh’s face stays the same and it comforts him.


The tissue box has become the favourite object for television broadcasts and Yuzuru’s fans developed a tradition to organise avalanches of Poohs of every possible shape and size after his skates. We’d seen it on TV, but it turned out that the screen never ever reproduces the magnificence of that moment. Big and small yellow Pooh bears started getting thrown on to the ice once the last chords of the Hanyu’s short program were over. This Poohvalanche lasted for quite a while since many had to come down the isles from the back seats closer to the rink board.


We threw our own Poohs and applauded and shouted something, Poohs were still flying over our heads, and the ice was transforming into a plush blanket. The Poohvalanche might look like a universal madness, but it also made everyone deeply emotional. It was both crazy and mad. We felt slightly sorry the flower boys and girls were so deft about collecting the toys as we wanted to see all of them on the ice at once – I’m sure there would have been several layers of them.


We aren’t Yuzuru’s fierce fans, just fond supporters, so we were planning to take part in this hot figure skating flash mob just once and throw our Poohs only on one day. But we didn’t hesitate to get another pair of Poohs next day and we relived this wonderful moment on the day of free skates.


Just four days.




Do you think Yuzuru won? No, he lost. But that’s the effect of being at a live competition – it upset us far less than it would have if we had seen it on the screen.


By the way, the girl wearing a ‘Yuzuru costume’ who our commentators thought was Japanese and was crying because he’d lost – in fact, she was Chinese. And she was crying because it was the first time she’d seen her favourite program live and it moved her to tears.


We never lost a sense of celebration during those days of the Kapa and we took it along with us back on the train – we looked through photographs and videos and we couldn’t stop talking, because during the Kapa itself we’d had no time to share impressions relishing every single detail.


The practices started early in the morning – 7.30 in the morning on Saturday! After that we had the competition itself which finished at around nine p.m. So we had around 20 minute breaks while the ice was being resurfaced to talk to each other and to other fans.


The memories of that celebration are still with us – whether we talk over the social networks to the people we met during the competition, or see a picture of our own toy on the ice  - and it wasn’t only Yuzuru we threw toys to.


And it’s so great to find out ourselves in fancams – as we can see how happy we are even from far away.


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  • Fay changed the title to Cup Of Russia: Russian Fans' expectations and impressions

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