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11 hours ago, Geo1 said:

In this dry season, I was randomly going through my 2 TB of Yuzuru Hanyu material when I came upon a translation of an interview published on May 10, 2012 where Yuzu talked about his sprained ankle at Worlds 2012, the earthquake in 2011 and how it changed him, and briefly on the change of coach from Nanami Abe to Brian Orser.

 

I know that this properly belongs in the Translations thread and that it may have already been posted, but I thought that it might be of interest to newer fans or fans who were not aware of this interesting interview before. I will leave it for the administrators to transfer this to the appropriate thread later.

 

The title of the Japanese article is "Journey of Giving Back Continues" and is written by Takaomi Matsubara. The translation is by a fan with the tag "yoko71". I do not have the link to the original article.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Journey of Giving Back Continues 

He gave everything he got to that performance - it still glows in my mind even though several weeks have passed.

 

Yuzuru Hanyu won the Bronze Medal at his very first Worlds back in March in Nice, France. At 17, he was the youngest Japanese man to do so. After having been regarded as the next figure skating star after his accomplishments in the Junior circuit including the gold medal at Junior Worlds, he made quite a stride in two senior seasons. At Worlds, he showed us everything - his reliable quad, great flexibility, and the charisma.

 

It has been almost a month since Worlds. Yuzuru showed up at our interview in Sendai, and opened his mouth with a bit of a shy smile: “I may be overpraising myself, but I really do think I did pretty well in my first Worlds.”

 

It isn’t an overpraise, however, considering he even thought about withdrawing on the night before SP.

 

Thought of withdrawing due to injury

 

On March 29, Hanyu was practicing for next day’s SP. Throughout the season, he struggled with the 4TLo in SP. So he chose to keep trying it 5-6 times instead of quitting after 2-3 tries. That is when he landed an under-rotated 4tlo and felt a pain in his right ankle. He sprained it.

 

He could not walk at all that night. It was swollen the next morning.

 

“I thought about withdrawing when I could not walk that night.”

 

In the end, he decided against withdrawing.

 

"I thought about all the people who support me, the team doctor, trainer, my mother who came with me, and felt that I owed them to do it."

 

He ended at the 7th place after SP in which he singled the triple lutz.

 

“I didn’t expect to double the second part of my quad combo, and then I didn’t land a very clean 3A. After that, I think my injured ankle affected my performance. I did try to protect my ankle while performing. With all that, and my lutz taking off on the right foot, I must have hesitated.”

 

He was disappointed that he could not end SP within the top 6. But more than anything, he was mad at himself for getting injured.

 

“I was most mad at me for getting injured. The sprained ankle resulted in the poor performance. I was mad at me for the practice.”

 

How did Yuzuru regroup for the FS that was coming up the next day?

 

“I thought about all the people around me. My mom told me I did well considering the situation. She and I talked about that I did okay because of the immediate support from the team doctor and trainer as well as the moral support from the audience and fans back home. When I realized that I am supported by so many people, I decided that I will give everything I have the next day."

 

He began his FS. He nailed the quad at the beginning, followed by a flawless performance. The audience’s cheer started to become louder and louder. Then he fell.

 

“I fell while I was on my left leg. I think my left leg was exhausted because I was trying to protect my right foot. Yeah, I was mad. Excuse me for my word choice, but I yelled ’$#@%^&’ during the following jump.”

 

How did he regroup so quickly from the fall?

 

“I heard the audience’s encouraging cheers when I fell. That made me want to do the best I could. Sure, I felt the pressure - Worlds is a huge competition. But the audience cheered louder because it was Worlds, and I think I was able to use all that, the pressure, the significance of the competition, the audience’s cheer, to my advantage.

 

After the fall, he finished the rest of the program flawlessly. The audience applauded even more emphatically. Hanyu did a small fist pump, then he bent over as if to bow.

 

“I rubbed my right foot and thanked it for holding up. I was just so thankful for my right foot!”

 

His FS earned 173.99, and the total was 251.06. Both the FS and total scores were well above his season’s best. In the end, his FS TES topped that of Chan’s. Despite the little fall, it was a great performance.

 

“It must have been hurting when taking off and landing jumps. But I didn’t feel any pain because I was so focused.”

 

The pain returned when he was being interviewed in the mixed zone. I started to feel the pain while I was standing and getting interviewed. But I didn’t want to make an excuse because talking to the media is how I can thank all the people who have been supporting me. After the mixed zone, though, I rushed to take off the boots and had my ankle iced. (laughs)“

 

In the end, he never even talked about the sprained ankle during Nice 2012.

 

"I didn’t want to let people know about it. Some workers and media people saw me with the ice, but the team doctor and trainer covered up for me by telling them that the ice was for a preventive purpose.”

 

This episode - that he didn’t let anyone know about his injury - reflects his personality. He didn’t want to reveal his weakness.

 

Hanyu watched his own performances on video afterwards.

 

“I saw me protecting my ankle every now and then. But maybe I skated with more care because of the injury. Also, it was important that my mind remained cool. The audience totally helped me with my last step sequence, the one that begins with my yell, with the loud cheers and vigorous clapping. During the step sequence, I was thinking - I’m going to let the audience help me with this so I can conserve the last bit of my strength for the jump that’s coming up. I am so thankful that the audience gave me the strength. I owe the bronze medal to so many people.”

 

Before the season began, Hanyu said his goal for the season was to finish the season strong. He truly kept his words by skating an extremely strong FS at Worlds.

 

Pain and suffering of disaster changed his thoughts towards skating

 

While discussing Nice 2012, he repeatedly mentioned that the fans and supporters gave him strength. He said he changed a lot during the past year.

 

“The earthquake and tsunami changed me. The experience defined who I am.”

 

He was at his home rink in Sendai practicing when the earthquake struck on March 11. The ground swayed so greatly that it was not possible to stand or walk. He crawled out of the rink.

 

He and his family spent several days at an evacuation shelter.

 

“It was hard, and I was sad. It was very hard to think about me and my family’s life and future. I was very sad about my hometown Sendai."

 

There was no electricity and no TV. There was little information about what was happening in the entire region. Finally a, newspaper was delivered that showed the awful disaster.

 

"I saw pictures of the tsunami and all the damages. I was overwhelmed by sadness. I couldn’t think about skating. Even if I did think about it, I wouldn’t have talked about it.”

 

Despite the circumstances, he was able to start skating again within 10 days of the disaster.

 

“Several skating coaches invited me to their home rinks. It was starting to look like my family was able to settle down to a semi-permanent living arrangement, so I decided to go stay with a coach in Yokohama who used to look after me.”

 

Going back on ice would have been a welcome step forward at this point. However, he could not get his mind focused on skating. He kept feeling guilty: Why am I even skating? Why am I jumping, spinning and skating while so many people are suffering?

 

“I should have been ecstatic about going back to skating, but in reality, I felt burdened. I didn’t know what to do. It was the most difficult time.”

 

The difficult times ended in early April, when he participated in the charity ice show in Kobe hosted by Daisuke Takahashi and Kenji Miyamoto. He skated in front of an audience for the first time after the quake. The audience cheered him on as he spoke in front of them as well as skated an encore.

 

This show got him to start looking forward to skating again. He then skated in many subsequent ice shows.

 

One of those shows was an invitation-only show in late July in which those who were still living in evacuation shelters were invited.

 

After its finale, all the skaters left the rink and the show was over. Hanyu returned to the rink alone, and jumped a quad. He then waved at the audience and left the rink.

 

“I wanted to land a good quad during the program but couldn’t. I was unhappy with myself that I couldn’t do a perfect performance for those who are still living in shelters. To me, quads are the most difficult thing I can do, so I wanted to convey to them that their difficult situations will change as they remain positive and move forward.”

 

In the end, he skated in 60 ice shows.

 

“I wanted as many people as possible to see me skate. Also, by participating in shows, I was able to use the rinks for training, since my home rink wasn’t going to be repaired until summer.”

 

Before each show, He would come to the rink early so he could train. Traveling wasn’t easy, but this way he was at least able to prepare for the new season.

 

At every show, he was made to feel like he was representing Tohoku. He didn’t particularly like it.

 

“Towards the end of the summer when the season was approaching, I was definitely getting tired of being looked upon as a skater representing Tohoku. I wanted to be a skater, not "a skater from Tohoku.” I hated every time the media talked about me and mentioned that I was from Tohoku.“

 

In the end, though, he was able to come to terms with it.

 

"I think my attitude changed around the end of 2011. Now I feel honoured to be representing Tohoku. If people associate my name with the disaster, and I remain as a top skater, then the disaster will not fade in people’s memories. This gives some meaning to me being here.”

 

He used to say he was skating for Tohoku. But at some point, he started saying that Tohoku was giving him strength.

 

“After Japanese Nationals, I had some free time so was able to read the fan mails. Then I realized that there are people who are helping me help people. Because of those who are supporting me, I am able to help. I realized that it is me who is being helped instead of the other way around.”

 

He wrote a reply to every single one of approximately 500 fan-mails.

 

“Lots of things happened and I had to deal with so many feelings and thoughts during the past year. Up until 3.11, I was like an innocent child, just chasing after my own dreams. But now I know that I am here because of all the people who support me. Now I know that I want to do well for those who support me.”

 

He continues that his performance has become more expressive because of all the things that happened since 3.11.

 

“There were incredibly difficult times, and there were great joys. I think I became able to handle a wider range of emotion because of these experiences. The joy I felt back in April when I skated for the first time in front of an audience was greater than any joy I felt before. Because of the disaster, I experienced stronger emotions than I ever felt before. I feel like I need to express these emotions, and also I feel like I am more capable of expressing them now."

 

The disaster that struck Hanyu also made him experience strong emotions. It made him more mature as a skater and as a human being.

 

By the end of the season, he had become one of the top international skaters. He talks about what is next for him:

 

"I want to become a great all-around skater. I want to be known as a skater who is good at everything. That would be the way to become an unbeatable skater. For now, my weakness is the skating, so I want to focus on skating. I hadn’t done much formal training on dance and expressions, so I think I want to take dance or ballet lessons.”

 

In order to further grow into the skater that he want to be, he made one important decision.

 

He decided to part with Nanami Abe who was his coach for many years. He chose Brian Orser as his new coach.

 

He first thought about Orser when he read an article in a skating magazine. The article talked about Orser’s Cricket Club in Toronto, and discussed how it boasts a number of coaches who take charge of different aspects of skating techniques.

 

“I’d never been in an environment where I would train alongside other top class skaters. That’s what made me want to move to Cricket Club. I want to be ready for Sochi. I will miss Nanami-sensei. I discussed this with her, and she gave me her wholehearted blessing. So, I really want to work hard, to give back to all the people who support me, and to Nanami-sensei.”

 

Yuzuru Hanyu is determined to keep reaching for the top. He has big plans for Sochi.

 

Thank you for sharing the translation! This is one of the very first Yuzu interviews done by non-figure-skating magazines. At that time, we knew that he was going to TCC but did not have much chance to hear about how he made the decision and how he felt about leaving Sendai and Nanami sensei, so this article and his smile attached to it lightened our anxiety a bit.

 

The original article is titled "恩返しの旅は続く", published in Sports Graphic Number Vol. 803 on May 10th, 2012.
https://number.bunshun.jp/articles/-/223662
You can find the first half of it here.

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10 minutes ago, sweetwater said:

Thank you for sharing the translation! This is one of the very first Yuzu interviews done by non-figure-skating magazines. At that time, we knew that he was going to TCC but did not have much chance to hear about how he made the decision and how he felt about leaving Sendai and Nanami sensei, so this article and his smile attached to it lightened our anxiety a bit.

 

The original article is titled "恩返しの旅は続く", published in Sports Graphic Number Vol. 803 on May 10th, 2012.
https://number.bunshun.jp/articles/-/223662
You can find the first half of it here.

 

Thank you for the link to the original article and your information about the circumstances surrounding it. It puts everything into perspective.

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16 hours ago, makebelieveup said:

 

I really miss this twizzle 3a. the quality can rival the back counter 3a at olympic. it hits every note in and out of the jump. i hope he will bring it back at least in exhibition

 

Ahhhh, this made me think if I might have recorded some of Yuzu's practice sessions in Helsinki, and whaddyaknow, I found this!!

He only skipped one spin, right before the step sequence, but all 3 jumps are purrrrrrfect, including a very nice twizzle 3A that I think is different from the JWB post. It's rare for him to do THIS much of a performance in practice, and I was pretty close to the rink!! It was very glorious in person :cri:

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6 minutes ago, BrightonDogwoods said:

Ahhhh, this made me think if I might have recorded some of Yuzu's practice sessions in Helsinki, and whaddyaknow, I found this!!

He only skipped one spin, right before the step sequence, but all 3 jumps are purrrrrrfect, including a very nice twizzle 3A that I think is different from the JWB post. It's rare for him to do THIS much of a performance in practice, and I was pretty close to the rink!! It was very glorious in person :cri:

Thank you for sharing!!! 

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2 hours ago, cvdnce said:

I have made the decision to go to ACI.  Although, I would love to see him skate in Japan, I don't think that is going to happen anytime soon.   I would love to meet some Yuzu fans there.  We are going to have a Pooh on the stage with us during the Ballet Tribute at the Kauffman performance.  I plan to throw that same Pooh on the ice for him at ACI.   I am VERY excited to see him skate.   

Oh gosh, I have to tell you my husband's idea, you should sew some ballet slippers on Pooh before you give it to him! Include a little note and your Pooh could end up being one of the (mythical) chosen keepsakes! Now, we're not actually supposed to throw gifts on the ice at ACI (they dont usually have sweeper kids there) buuuuuut it's been happening more and more, last year there were so many he picked some up himself on his way off the ice. It was adorable! They do have boxes for collecting gifts for the skaters so either way you can definitely get it to him

:dancingpooh:

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26 minutes ago, BrightonDogwoods said:

Oh gosh, I have to tell you my husband's idea, you should sew some ballet slippers on Pooh before you give it to him! Include a little note and your Pooh could end up being one of the (mythical) chosen keepsakes! Now, we're not actually supposed to throw gifts on the ice at ACI (they dont usually have sweeper kids there) buuuuuut it's been happening more and more, last year there were so many he picked some up himself on his way off the ice. It was adorable! They do have boxes for collecting gifts for the skaters so either way you can definitely get it to him

:dancingpooh:

Make it a swanyu Pooh :snonegai:

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2 hours ago, BrightonDogwoods said:

Oh gosh, I have to tell you my husband's idea, you should sew some ballet slippers on Pooh before you give it to him! Include a little note and your Pooh could end up being one of the (mythical) chosen keepsakes! Now, we're not actually supposed to throw gifts on the ice at ACI (they dont usually have sweeper kids there) buuuuuut it's been happening more and more, last year there were so many he picked some up himself on his way off the ice. It was adorable! They do have boxes for collecting gifts for the skaters so either way you can definitely get it to him

:dancingpooh:

They have the skaters gift box at the front desk too, that’s probably the official way to give your gifts at ACI vs tossing onto the ice. The Oakville rink had the plexiglass there too which makes things a little harder to toss onto the ice. 

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4 minutes ago, kiches said:

They have the skaters gift box at the front desk too, that’s probably the official way to give your gifts at ACI vs tossing onto the ice. The Oakville rink had the plexiglass there too which makes things a little harder to toss onto the ice. 

I kind of felt bad for Yuzu at ACI.  They didn’t seem to plan for young skaters to pick up the poohs so he had to do it-because that’s just the kind of person he is.  I hope people follow the rules or have kiddie skaters so Yuzu can bow and enjoy. 

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20 minutes ago, SuperMin said:

I kind of felt bad for Yuzu at ACI.  They didn’t seem to plan for young skaters to pick up the poohs so he had to do it-because that’s just the kind of person he is.  I hope people follow the rules or have kiddie skaters so Yuzu can bow and enjoy. 

Yeah I was actually a bit surprised fans threw stuff on ice (not just Yuzu’s fans) since I thought it said no gifts on ice online. I know there was a local girl who tossed something for every skater, I do wonder if people saw others tossing things and mistakenly thought it was allowed so they followed suit but organizers sort of went with it and organized some young skaters to sweep for the free skate. 

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4 minutes ago, kiches said:

Yeah I was actually a bit surprised fans threw stuff on ice (not just Yuzu’s fans) since I thought it said no gifts on ice online. I know there was a local girl who tossed something for every skater, I do wonder if people saw others tossing things and mistakenly thought it was allowed so they followed suit but organizers sort of went with it and organized some young skaters to sweep for the free skate. 

Yes, don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the fans. Maybe they thought , I’ll throw my gift, no biggie, but when a lot of people make the same assumption, it is a LOT of Poohs.  Lol.  It’s Yuzu after all.  Hopefully this year, the organizers just get some young volunteers.  I would assume, they would love to be around these elite athletes. 

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9 hours ago, Veveco said:

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas of the Planet! :10742289: And a special mention to Mama Hanyu :tumblr_inline_n18qrbDQJn1qid2nw: I hope you all have a great day.

 

Today is also the last day of the data collection for our fan project. If you haven't voted/shared a message yet, you can find the links here. For those who are late, I'll close the Google polls tomorrow but you can still send an email to [email protected] in the next few days if you want to participate. Can we maybe tweet about it as a "final call"? (we are so, so close to reaching 200 responses for the book :snmouchotto:)

 

Meanwhile, here is a final sneak peek into our early results. (I promise I'll stop harassing you with my graphs after). When asking fans to choose their top 3 favorite programs and costumes, we found a pretty strong correlation between the two. In general, the most favored programs also tend to have the most beloved costumes. Do you think there is a direct link between the two? And more importantly...

  • Who sits at the top of both rankings?
  • Which program defies expectations to reach the 2 second most favored costume?
  • How well do your favorite programs do overall? :swordfight:

Find out all the answers in a few weeks !! [insert evil laugh]

 

wrxrps.png

I'm betting on the outlier being Dory. Just because. :LOL:

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4 hours ago, BrightonDogwoods said:

Oh gosh, I have to tell you my husband's idea, you should sew some ballet slippers on Pooh before you give it to him! Include a little note and your Pooh could end up being one of the (mythical) chosen keepsakes! Now, we're not actually supposed to throw gifts on the ice at ACI (they dont usually have sweeper kids there) buuuuuut it's been happening more and more, last year there were so many he picked some up himself on his way off the ice. It was adorable! They do have boxes for collecting gifts for the skaters so either way you can definitely get it to him

:dancingpooh:

That is a great idea! I will definitely will do that. 

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12 minutes ago, rockstaryuzu said:

I'm betting on the outlier being Dory. Just because. :LOL:

Haha, nice try! :smiley-laughing021: But I should have mentioned - only competitive programs for this graph. 

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1 hour ago, kiches said:

They have the skaters gift box at the front desk too, that’s probably the official way to give your gifts at ACI vs tossing onto the ice. The Oakville rink had the plexiglass there too which makes things a little harder to toss onto the ice. 

Okay, thanks for the advice!

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