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Thread: Thoughts on the Japanese tragedy and the World Figure Skating Championships

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mot View Post
    Messages from Evan, Pang / Tong, Shae-Lynn and Yuka Sato, who are regular cast of Friends on Ice (the ice show organised and produced by Shizuka Arakawa) in Japan.

    http://www.friendsonice.com/
    Message from Kurt Browning is added.

    "It has been a few days trying to write something, not because it was hard to find the words but because I really felt so small in such a big tragedy but I now know that every single positive thought and act does make a big difference when added together so to skating fans in Japan... we all feel for your situation. I was there in January and in the big scheme of things that was only seconds ago. I love your culture and admire your strength, two things that will help you all in this difficult time."
    -Kurt Browning

  2. #47
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    mot, thanks so much for sharing these.

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    Doris, you're most welcome. What a little I can do...

    On a separate note, Spring National High School Baseball Tournament has began in Hyogo Prefecture in West Japan. Today, Tohoku High School played in the first round. Tohoku High School is located in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, one of the cities most badly damaged by the earthquake. Although they are the victims of the earthquake themselves, the baseball team volunteered to help out others affected by the disaster, as well as continued to practice for the national tournament. They lost 0-7 to Ogaki Nichidai High School from Gifu Prefecture.

    Tohoku High School is famous for its sporting achievements, and notable alumni of the school include Shizuka Arakawa and Takeshi Honda and Yuzuru Hanyu is currently studying there. Takeshi Honda was in Koshien Stadium to watch the match today, and here is his comment (translated by me);

    It was not about the result today. I was very moved, especially by the fact the team never let it go and fought until the end. (Understanding they were not in the tiptop condition, affected by the disaster) I was delighted that they still came and played in Koshien Stadium.
    http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/n...000521860.html

    picture of Honda, watching the match from the stand;
    http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/n...000522050.html


    ETA: I posted this in this thread, as Honda's comment somehow reflects what I feel about the Worlds being held after all and what I expect from Japanese skaters. It will not be about the result; it will be about the competition still being held, the team still going, and doing their best despite the hardship they may have had to endure.

    Not much news about Yuzuru since the JSF confirmed his safety. His home rink is badly damaged by the earthquake and it could be a year before it can be re-open, I heard. It is a worrying situation, as he's already suffered from his former home rink's closure and it affected his results when he was a novice. He's too young to move to a different city to continue practising as one of the top skaters and his schooling / education needs to be considered too.

    I also heard a few rinks are closed in Tokyo area because of the damages resulting from the earthquake. There are many skaters now practising in other rinks, which are still operating. None of these skaters, as far as I know, are so-called top-tier skaters, but include those who represented Japan in the Junior Worlds and the Universiade, etc. This also worsens the situation for already overcrowded Japanese ice rinks.
    Last edited by mot; 03-28-2011 at 09:04 PM.

  4. #49
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Kurt really does have a way with words. In a recent interview he was asked if he felt like he wasn't complete (or something like that) without an olympic medal, he brought it into focus with Japan saying not winning is so small compared to the recent tragedy in Japan. He's got a great perspective on life right now and I think that's fantastic.

  5. #50
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    Kurt really does have a way with words. In a recent interview he was asked if he felt like he wasn't complete (or something like that) without an olympic medal, he brought it into focus with Japan saying not winning is so small compared to the recent tragedy in Japan. He's got a great perspective on life right now and I think that's fantastic.
    And he has brought so much to skating since turning pro. Probably a great deal more than the majority of Olympic medalists over the last decades.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    And he has brought so much to skating since turning pro. Probably a great deal more than the majority of Olympic medalists over the last decades.
    he kinda alluded to that, too, saying that he's accomplished a heck of a lot thanks to his four world titles which he's pretty dang proud of. So I think he's figured it out. (deep down I bet he still wants one, though).

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    And he has brought so much to skating since turning pro. Probably a great deal more than the majority of Olympic medalists over the last decades.
    Kurt's been so central to skating that he's almost become an embodiment of the medal himself. He doesn't need something that goes around his neck. I love what he said about the fans here. Clearly he has a gift for reaching out personally.

    Mot, thanks so much for the reports and translations. They remind us that people in the affected areas are rising to the occasion in every possible way, in spite of terrible losses and daily challenges.

  8. #53
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    Olympia, it's nothing but my pleasure. Kind words and thoughts from fellow figure skating fans like yourself encourage me to keep posting!

    ---

    A charity ice show is to be held in Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture on April 9. Kobe and surrounding areas were struck by a huge earthquake in 1995; the death toll reached around 6500. The show is organised by Hyogo Prefecture Skating Federation, to show solidarity and provide support for the victims of the disasters 16 years later.

    The cast includes, amongst others;

    Daisuke Takahashi, Shion Kokubun (Ladies Bronze Medallist 2011 Universiade), Keiji Tanaka (2011 WJC Men's Silver Medallist), Yamato Tamura (2003 Japanese Champion, Men's), Takeshi Honda, Shizuka Arakawa, Yukina Ota (Ladies Gold Medallist, FCC 2004)

    Most of the cast are based in Kansai area (West Japan), which was to large or small extent, affected by Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995.

    After the show, there will be a charity auction.

    (in Japanese): http://www.fskating.net/event/detail.php?product_id=5

    ETA
    I omitted a very important name from the cast - Yuzuru Hanyu from Seindai! So glad to learn he's appearing in the ice show so soon after his town was badly damaged.
    Yamato, Shizuka and Takeshi are all from Tohoku region, where the earthquake struck, too.
    Last edited by mot; 03-30-2011 at 09:31 AM.

  9. #54
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    Miki's performance at the charity gala in Fukuoka on March 20, with fellow skaters joining at the end.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYYpWH3S794

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    messages from Tanith and Ben, John and Rena added to friends on ice website.

    I haven't got time now, but will translate Rena's message later!

    "I hope that all your family and loved ones are safe!! You and all the Japanese skating fans have always me feel at home in your beautiful country. I am thinking of you all every day. I know that you will push forward, as always, with strength and grace. I wish you all health and healing in the months ahead and I hope that I can see you soon and help however I can."
    Sincerely,
    -Ben Agosto

    "There is no other country I love to visit more than Japan. My immeasurable respect and appreciation for the people and your culture makes this recent tragedy all the more overwhelming. The sadness I feel is abated only by my faith that the great spirits of the Japanese people will come together and heal your incredible nation with time. My heart and prayers go out to everyone affected by this devastating situation. The thoughts of the world are with you!"
    Sending strength and love,
    -Tanith Belbin

    "I was thinking to myself what Japan meant to me and the answer was simple…..It means everything to me! This is where my career with Rena received the most support and encouragement to keep skating. It introduced me to a society that I wanted to become a part of. From the enthusiasm of it’s people to the beauty of the landscape wherever I went in Japan I felt welcome. I was always excited to get on the plane from L.A. and take the trip to Japan because I knew where I would be when I landed and could not wait to eat more of my favorite food.When I heard about the earthquake I was devastated and kept glued to the tv. It was very sad for me to see a place I adore go through something like that. I felt helpless and so sorry for the people of Japan. They always seem so happy and respectful of one another and I could not think why something like this had to happen to them. I’m looking forward to coming back as soon as I can to help out in any way to a country that has truly made me feel like one of their own!
    -John Baldwin

    “今回の未曾有の地震・津波・原発事故のニュースを見る度に、本当に悲しく、とても辛い気持ちになります。 沢山の方の命が奪われた今回の地震と津波、もうこれ以上の命が失われることがないようにという思いで一杯で す。被災地の皆さん、避難所で厳しく不便な生活をされている皆さん、どうか頑張って生き抜いて下さい。この 困難の中から小さくてもいい、あなたの一歩を踏み出して下さることを願わずにはいられません。私は日本はど の国よりも、皆がお互いを助け合い、一致団結することに大変優れている国だと思っています。だから必ず復興 できると信じています。1日でも早く皆さんの所に又沢山の笑顔と元気が戻りますように、そして皆さんの未来 が少しでも明るく、幸せなものでありますようにと祈っています。最後になりましたが、亡くなられた方のご冥 福を心よりお祈りいたします。”
    -井上怜奈

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mot View Post
    Olympia, it's nothing but my pleasure. Kind words and thoughts from fellow figure skating fans like yourself encourage me to keep posting!

    ---

    A charity ice show is to be held in Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture on April 9. Kobe and surrounding areas were struck by a huge earthquake in 1995; the death toll reached around 6500. The show is organised by Hyogo Prefecture Skating Federation, to show solidarity and provide support for the victims of the disasters 16 years later.

    The cast includes, amongst others;

    Daisuke Takahashi, Shion Kokubun (Ladies Bronze Medallist 2011 Universiade), Keiji Tanaka (2011 WJC Men's Silver Medallist), Yamato Tamura (2003 Japanese Champion, Men's), Takeshi Honda, Shizuka Arakawa, Yukina Ota (Ladies Gold Medallist, FCC 2004)

    Most of the cast are based in Kansai area (West Japan), which was to large or small extent, affected by Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995.

    After the show, there will be a charity auction.

    (in Japanese): http://www.fskating.net/event/detail.php?product_id=5

    ETA
    I omitted a very important name from the cast - Yuzuru Hanyu from Seindai! So glad to learn he's appearing in the ice show so soon after his town was badly damaged.
    Yamato, Shizuka and Takeshi are all from Tohoku region, where the earthquake struck, too.
    Seeing the list of skaters for this event emphasizes the point that even when Japanese skaters are the only ones appearing, it's a world-class cast of skaters!

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mot View Post
    “今回の未曾有の地震・津波・原発事故のニュースを見る度に、本当に悲しく、とても辛い気持ちに なります。 沢山の方の命が奪われた今回の地震と津波、もうこれ以上の命が失われることがないようにという 思いで一杯で す。被災地の皆さん、避難所で厳しく不便な生活をされている皆さん、どうか頑張って生き抜いて 下さい。この 困難の中から小さくてもいい、あなたの一歩を踏み出して下さることを願わずにはいられません。 私は日本はど の国よりも、皆がお互いを助け合い、一致団結することに大変優れている国だと思っています。だ から必ず復興 できると信じています。1日でも早く皆さんの所に又沢山の笑顔と元気が戻りますように、そして 皆さんの未来 が少しでも明るく、幸せなものでありますようにと祈っています。最後になりましたが、亡くなら れた方のご冥 福を心よりお祈りいたします。”
    -井上怜奈
    translation of Rena's message by me;

    I feel sadness and pain whenever I watch the news of this unprecedented damages caused by the earthquake, tsunami and the accident at the nuclear power plant. I hope no more lives are going to be lost as there have been too many casualties already. Those in the affected areas, those leading difficult lives in the temporary shelters, please stay strong. I hope there will soon be a step towards the better future, no matter how small it is. I believe Japan is a nation, whose people can come together and help each other better than any other nations. I therefore believe Japan will recover. I pray for smiles and strength returning to you, and brighter and happier future waiting for you. At last, but not least, for those who have lost the beloved ones, I offer you my deepest condolences.
    - Rena Inoue

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Seeing the list of skaters for this event emphasizes the point that even when Japanese skaters are the only ones appearing, it's a world-class cast of skaters!
    I wish I could go! This event means something special to me personally - although me and my family did not personally suffer from the damages caused by it, I am from Osaka, neighbouring prefecture to Hyogo, and I was there when the 1995 earthquake struck. My father's friend lost his wife, and a few of family friends lost their homes. I witnessed devastations, people's endurance and determination to keep going, and finally reconstruction of the areas ripped by the earthquake and the great fire as a result, which burned for 3 days...

    BTW, when Daisuke offered his used & signed boots for an on-line charity auction by JOC last summer, the winning bid was ¥770,000 (over $9300 in today's rate) - so I hope they will collect some considerable sum of money this time too.
    Last edited by mot; 03-31-2011 at 04:54 PM.

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    Daisuke updated his blog to say somthing about the charity ice show on April 9.

    http://www.kansai-u.ac.jp/sports/message/takahashi/

    (translation by me)

    First of all, I would like to offer my most sincere sympathy to the victims of the earthquake.

    There is a charity ice show held at Port Island Sports Centre in Kobe on April 9.

    Since March 11, led by Kenji Miyamoto and together with Yamato Tamura, Takeshi Honda and the Hyogo Prefecture Skating Federation, we have discussed what we could do for the victims of the earthquake, as those based in Kansai area and especially in Kobe, which experienced the great earthquake of 1995.

    To be honest, watching the news everyday, figure skating feels irrelevant to me - thinking of the victims, those working on the front line to help and support them, those experiencing pains and difficulties beyond my comprehension. What can I do as an athlete? - I feel I am too insignificant to ask myself such a grandeur question, but I still believe sports can help people to come together. I would like to do as much as I can, together with Takeshi and Yamato, who are from Tohoku region but now based in Kansai, and Shizuka and Yuzuru, who are from Tohoku too. All participating skaters will give our best shot, so please come to the arena. We can do something together.

    Thank you for your concerned emails about my condition as the show is so soon before the Worlds. The competition is of course important. But I still would like to believe this charity show we planned and produce can be a ray of light, no matter how weak, for the future.
    * Kenji Miyamoto, in case you do not know, is a former ice dancer and now a choreographer, who's responsible for Dai's Bachelorette, Eye, Luv Letter, and Akiko's Jealousy, etc. He's from Hyogo.
    Last edited by mot; 04-01-2011 at 07:20 AM.

  15. #60
    Custom Title demarinis5's Avatar
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    ^Thank you mot for keeping us at GS informed and connected.

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