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1 hour ago, TallyT said:

(to be fair, I have suspicions that the Japanese Olympic team can be blamed, some of the stuff they put poor Shoma in....)

 

True, but we got some golden moments out of it :tumblr_inline_mqt4grU8ua1qz4rgp:

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Veveco said:

 

True, but we got some golden moments out of it :tumblr_inline_mqt4grU8ua1qz4rgp:

 

 

At least we all knew Shoma's hands stayed warm! Those sleeve lengths....:snmouchotto:

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2 hours ago, kaeryth said:

Jack Gallagher had an interview with Tsuzuki-sensei.

 

Some quick summaries:

 

Thank you, Tsuzuki-sensei, for all years of work and dedication. Thank you for doing your best for this kids. And thank you for dealing with this little monster who wanted all this gold in the world.:tumblr_inline_mjgka6fYNw1qz4rgp:

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Transcript of Jack Gallagher's interview with Tsuzuki-sensei starting at 10:30.

Everything typed out in verbatim as I heard it. Feel free to correct any mistakes.

 

Spoiler

Jack: Tsuzuki-san, you coached Yuzu in his formative years. And how many years were you coaching Yuzu up in Sendai?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano (translator): From 2nd in elementary school to 1st in high school. Over around 10 years.

 

Jack: 10 years. Okay, and what are your memories of coaching him as a young boy?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: There are of course so many memories with Yuzuru. I taught him and at the same time somehow I was taught by him. I think what I taught to him made his foundation and the way to grow in an efficient, effective manner contributed his growth today.

 

Jack: So having coached Sano-san[1], did you see the potential in Yuzu to be the Olympic or World champion right away or how long was it after that he felt Yuzu had such big potential?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: The watch-word with Hanyu was 'to be a top in the world'. It was actually same with Sano - to be a top skater in the world. With that watch word we trained together.

 

Jack: Tsuzuki-san is the one who stressed the importance of the Axel to Yuzu and was that always his favourite jump or was that because of Tsuzuki-san's instructions?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: Because I taught the foundation with thinking triple Axel and even quads in the future; that was my hope since I met Hanyu and the way to train with him. My thoughts was proven by Sano making bronze in the World Championship. So, I thought the next step should have been quads.

 

Jack: Tsuzuki-san has talked about Yuzu's artistic impression and I just want to read this quote from an interview he gave a few years ago. It says "His posture was beautiful. Like a painting when he stood on the ice. When presented with a piece of music he could understand it in his own way and express it in his skating. He had abundant ability to express music through his movements. The way a skater skates to a piece of music given to him demonstrates his sensibility. From a young age Yuzuru's musical sensibility was wonderful."

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: In order to go into the world, skaters must have techniques. I went to competition in Russia and was then amased with the differences in Russia and Japan. Differences in environment and many points. This was why I made the connection to Russian coach, invited them to Japan and created couples with Japanese girls and Russian skaters in ice dance like Yukiko Kawasaki[2] and also in pairs such as Yuko Kawaguchi[3] and Rena Inoue[4] was with American from a team.

 

Jack: Tsuzuki-san you're known as being a very strict coach who believes in disciple. I just wanna read again another quote here, and it's just a fantastic quote from an interview you did a few years ago and this is about Yuzu. "I thought his parents chose figure skating as a means for growth and development. But no matter how strictly I scolded Yuzuru, they were understanding. As parents they had other options. Children also had their likes and dislikes. There are few cases among students I have taught in which things have progressed smoothly. But in this case Yuzuru also trusted his parents and I think the family environment that was able to bring him up so properly was a big contributer. Yuzuru could challenge me without holding back  and I was able to teach him my technique correctly."

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: Yes, it is that way. With Sano too. He had a very supportive parents as well. Since we do really hard training and requires high level in both physically and mentally, skater's affliction must be so hard in both ways. But to be top skaters, that environment is demanded. I always taught people about improvement of environment. That good environment raises kids. I'm always coaching with thinking it.

 

Jack: Along the lines with the same question does Tsuzuki-san worry, like when I think of him as a leader; as a Japanese man I think of somebody like Hoshino-kantoku[5] somebody who was very tough with a strong discipline. Does he worry that this kind of leadership is dying out in this era?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: The reason Sano being such close up was because of the training way. In Japan there were spartan education since long time ago. I myself, raised in Japan and experienced this spartan education. I felt the necessity of it. Therefore, I train with him in spartan way and it brought the result to him. I felt it difficult to raise physical and mental in parallel. It is same in today as well. Today, students have so much information and everything has become rational so it raises their knowledge. But it's only in their heads. The environment to raise the mental and physical become even weaker than old time.

 

Jack: He mentioned that Yuzu would challenge him sometimes on his methods. Can he just elaborate a bit about that?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: I always taught him to challenge to unknown world. I always use the words and it led him challenge to quads and quint jumps. He was very intelligence-rich person since he was a child. He had well educated way of thinking because his parents were educators so he listened to me and understood me in his way to integrate it.

 

Jack: Last year, Yuzu wins the gold for the second time in Pyeongchang after winning the gold in Sochi four years before. What were your emotions watching that? I presume... where you in Pyeongchang or were you in Japan?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: I was in Japan. From his performance and his words to media, I saw him realise my dream to him. It is what I felt in the Olympic game.

 

Jack: Just a few more questions. I just wanna read something else here that was a previous comment that Tsuzuki-san gave in an interview a few years ago. "Technically, physically, and also artistically, he level and unless he constantly pushes himself until he is on the verge of breaking, he cannot advance forward. Without my noticing, Yuzuru has become a person who is at such level. He regularly looks directly at and examines his skating and his life sincerely. Those emotions are not superficial. I would like Yuzuru to someday, as a skater, send a message that can change Japan's education. If that happens, children in the future will steadily be able to go out in the world." So, is this... um... he thinks of Yuzu as a role model who can really change education in this country?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: It is my hope him to be that person in his culmination. In the future, after he retired, I want him to bring figure skating to culture which is just for leisure now. I, as a coach, hope him making the framework of Japan's future.

 

Jack: Tsuzuki-san mentioned the Russian skaters he invited over here. Who are some other skaters that have kinda molded his teaching or his philosophy? Who are some other foreign skaters that impacted his teaching?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: I really am attracted by Russia skating and it's cultivated culture. So, many of my students went there or learned from Russian techniques to bring it to Japan and then they coached to young skaters now. So, although some coaches going to USA or Canada, Russia is everything for me.

 

Jack: Interesting. Last question about Yuzu. He's had some injuries the past couple years and does Tsuzuki-san just thinks it's unavoidable because Yuzu is trying to raise the bar so much with skating and you know, jumps.

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: Of course that performance in the such high level causes load to his body. I think he included those jumps to the program because he land it in trainings. But the injury should not be expected. Even with those problem, I bet he keeps his strong mind to control himself. It is what his parents said to him since he was little.

 

Jack: From when Tsuzuki-san started coaching until now, did he ever foresee the day that Japan would become such a powerhouse in figure skating? When he first took over 60 years ago could he foresee this day?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: Well, from my point of view, there are no environment to train, as I said. I had (?) since 60 years ago. But Chukyo University and Kansai University built their own skating facilities about 10 years ago. This environment makes Japan skating scene today. Like many juniors one after the other. So maybe skate association should take it seriously. And other coaches. I taught for example Hiroshi Nagakubo[6], Takashi Mura[7], Takeshi Honda[8], and Shizuka Arakawa[9]. And those coaching tree makes Japanese Skating history.

 

Jack: Tsuzuki-san, you are now the coach of one of Japan's top Junior skaters - Kawabata Tomoe[10]. I would just like to know... she's had a very fast.. In 2016, in juniors she was 27th. In 2017 she was about 5th or 6th. And then this year, 3rd. And so her progress is really increasing exponentially. What do you think about Tomoe's potential.

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: It is not fast. I coached her with my daughter, Nakako. There other kid's name Aoki (Yuna) [11] who went to senior nationals prior to Kawabata. Kawabata is 3 years behind to my fold. I have trained her in the same way of Hanyu. Simply because of her potential.

 

Jack: Last question for Tsuzuki-san. You're 81 years old now. Do you ever plan to retire from coaching?

 

Tsuzuki-sensei / Ayano: Well, for me, retirement means my physical limit. Being a coach requires high level in physical and mental so I'm always asking myself to until when can I keep doing it. but I love figure skating and since I want to give my methods built in my whole 60 years to children now I teaching. I will keep coaching for a while. Fortunately my daughter support me with coaching together so it helps me a lot.

 

-----

[1] Minoru Sano - first Japanese in any discipline to win a medal (bronze) in the Figure Skating World Championship.
[2] Yukiko Kawasaki - competed in both singles and pair skating. As a pair skater, she competed with Alexei Tikhonov for Japan. They are two-time Japanese national champions and won the bronze medal at the 1993 NHK Trophy.
[3] Yuko Kawaguchi - a pair skater who has represented Japan and Russia in international competition. In 2006, she began competing with Alexander Smirnov for Russia. In 2015, they became the first pair in history to complete two quadruple throw jumps in one program and the first to land a quadruple throw loop.
[4] Rena Inoue - Japanese-born American pair skater with partner John Baldwin. Inoue and Baldwin are the first skaters to perform a throw triple axel in competition.
[5] Hoshino-kantoku (aka Senichi Hoshino) - Nippon Professional Baseball player and manager.
[6] Hiroshi Nagakubo - former figure skating coach and pair skater with his skating partner, Kotoe Nagasawa. Famously coached Akiko Suzuki, Takeshi Honda, and Shizuka Arakawa.
[7] Takashi Mura - figure skating coach and former competitor. He is the 1976 World Junior silver medalist, winning a medal at the inaugural event. Father of Takahito Mura.
[8] Takeshi Honda - former competitive figure skater. He is a two-time World bronze medalist (2002, 2003), two-time Four Continents champion (1999, 2003), and six-time Japanese national champion.
[9] Shizuka Arakawa - the 2006 Olympic Champion and the 2004 World Champion. The first Japanese skater to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating and the second Japanese skater to win any Olympic medal in figure skating, after Midori Ito, who won silver in 1992.
[10] Kawabata Tomoe - 2018 Japan Junior Nationals Championship bronze medalist.
[11] Yuna Aoki - two-time (2014, 2015) Japanese novice champion.

 

You can tell how much of Tsuzuki-sensei's philosophy and vision has shaped and molded Yuzu's own vision of figure skating.... Also, his love of Russia :10814716:.

From Russia with Love being his 1st program as a competitor and choreographed by Tsuzuki-sensei makes a lot of sense now. :tumblr_inline_mqt4grU8ua1qz4rgp:

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I'm curious what Yuzu thinks about the Laureus award. Ofc he'll be honoured since it's a big award, and the feeling of being The first to abc xyz will always intrigue him, but I don't think he'll be too ambitious for it? When you think abt it Yuzu is a pretty particular guy, he's extremely competitive but only in the areas of his interest. The only reason I can think of that makes him keep a close eye on the winner is that it's a great way to spread the sport's name and also to represent his country.

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A bit late to the tux discussion but of course Yuzu would have it bespoke for him! He definitely has the means :coolio:, it's only a matter of willingness on his part. While I'd be equally delighted if he choose to wear hakama to the ceremony, it would be especially delightful to see him in a well-tailored tux... :devilYuzu:

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22 minutes ago, kaeryth said:

 

Omg! :201111231756430f6:I love them both! Yuzu is so sweet! :tumblr_inline_n18qr5lPWB1qid2nw:I guess it was an emotional couple of weeks at TCC for everybody  with Javi spending his last training days there. Wonderful gesture from Yuzu ! Special as always! 

 His english is the cutest thing in the world! :tumblr_inline_mg16f1RxCn1qdlkyg:

 

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I'm speechless... Only for Javi would he do something like this... Actually film himself - it definitely looks like he filmed it himself, by webcam or phone on a desk or so - reading a message he obviously spent time putting together, in English, and then have it broadcasted on SNS by Olympic Channel, as he doesn't have his own SNS...

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2 hours ago, kaeryth said:

Transcript of Jack Gallagher's interview with Tsuzuki-sensei starting at 10:30.

Everything typed out in verbatim as I heard it. Feel free to correct any mistakes.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

You can tell how much of Tsuzuki-sensei's philosophy and vision has shaped and molded Yuzu's own vision of figure skating.... Also, his love of Russia :10814716:.

From Russia with Love being his 1st program as a competitor and choreographed by Tsuzuki-sensei makes a lot of sense now. :tumblr_inline_mqt4grU8ua1qz4rgp:

 

Thank you for the transcript, @kaeryth, it's a good read. It's always nice Tsuzuki-sensei talking about Yuzu, how he coached him and what he thinks of him and his skating now. And yes, you can really tell how Yuzu's way of thinking and his own vision of skating was influenced by Tsuzuki-sensei.  He always had a strong vision about the development of the sport and he also teached very good technique to Yuzu who was able to challenge him all the time <3 It's nice to know that he'd like to keep coaching as long as his health allows him to do. 

 

10 minutes ago, kaeryth said:

 

 

Aahhh what a beautiful message from Yuzu :cri::tumblr_inline_n18qr5lPWB1qid2nw::tumblr_inline_n18qr5lPWB1qid2nw::tumblr_inline_n18qr5lPWB1qid2nw: It melts my heart <3 

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