Any comments from Yu Na?
The first question that she was asked:
Q: Your feeling on returning to Korea?
Yuna: It's been eight months, so I am little nervous. In LA, I was preparing very hard for the World Championships. It's disappointing not to have the Championship and return to Korea as I really prepared hard for it, but at this point, my bigger wish is that there is no further harm in Japan.
And the last question that she was asked:
Q: Any words to the fans?
Yuna: I am sorry not being able to compete after so much expectation. I am disappointed that I cannot show the result of my preparation. But the situation in Japan is really difficult now, and it is not right to think about the competition first. I pray and hope that people in Japan do not suffer any more harm.
thanks, jaylee. I'm glad we'll see Yu-Na perform in Moscow now - so looking forward to it!
Mot, is there a way for people outside Japan to support this event? I used Google translator but don't find a working link.
Shizuka Arakawa visited temporary shelters for those who lost homes in Sendai. (news clip)
Although she now resides in Tokyo, she grew up in Sendai from the age of 2 till 18 when she left to go to the university in Tokyo. She is a local hero and well loved there. She brought with her some food, including chocolate for children, eye masks (to make it easier to sleep in the crowded shelters), shoes, etc.
Reaction from those visited;
'She's extremely beautiful and also a gold medallist. I was star-struck, but encouraged by her message.'
'I thought, time and again, I should persevere.'
'She gave me such a warm message that I felt calmer now than before.'
She also delivered the Japanese national flag, with signatures and messages from her fellow cast of Stockholm on Ice to the mayor of Sendai.
Bank Name: Minato Bank (SWIFT code: HSINJPJK) みなと銀行
Branch: Suma New Town Branch 須磨ニュータウン支店
Account Number: 1803527 普通口座 1803527
Name of account holder: Hyogo Skate Charity ヒョウゴスケートチャリティー
I however advise you NOT to make an international bank transfer, as you'd loose so much as transaction fee. If you know someone in Japan whom you can trust, it's best to send money to them (via Paypal, let's say, as their fee is pretty reasonable) and ask to donate on your behalf. I am going to ask my mum to do it for me.
Alternatively, they say money collected will be donated to Japan Red Cross via Japan Skating Federation, so you can cut the middle men and donate directly to the Red Cross in your country. I have made a donation to British Red Cross online, and I was able to attach a small message to my donation; so you can mention the charity show there to make it explicit.
Last edited by mot; 04-07-2011 at 07:58 AM.
Mot, thank you for that info. What do you think of sending the money directly to the Japanese Red Cross? I did contribute to the US Red Cross already (for that benefit last weekend in California) but the agency does not have the greatest reputation. It would be nice to eliminate that middleman too if possible. It looks as though I can do it via Paypal. What do you think?
apparently there was another aftershock registering 7+ on the scale.
The show is not going to be televised, as far as I know, but I bet some news clips of the show will emerge. If I find any, I will post the links here.
Tonichelle, thankfully, there are so far no deaths reported and no tsunami hit the coastal regions. There are however some damages to infrastructure and power cuts across Tohoku region. Fukushima nuclear power plants are not affected by it.
Last edited by mot; 04-07-2011 at 12:39 PM.
As per my previous post, a charity gala was held in Kobe for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami on April 9. The idea for the show was first conceived by the skaters in Kansai region and the show was mainly organised by them.
All cast lined up to collect donations from the spectators after the gala. It was reported that 2700 people came to the show (sold-out) and they remained standing for a few hours until the last guest left.
photo of the cast with donation box - http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/new...95460_view.jpg
According to this article, the total sum raised was ¥12,727,838 (approx. $150,000); ¥295,4323 from the charity auction and ¥977,3515 raised as cash donation at the venue.
(ETA: the sum does not include the proceeds from the ticket sale, so the final sum to be donated to Japanese Red Cross will be far greater than the sum quoted here.)
'I felt as if being suspended in the mid air while waiting for the final decision was made, whether the World Championships was to be cancelled or not. I had some rest so I need to work further on my physical condition from now till the Worlds. I believe I've got time to do so.'
He was at his home rink in Sendai, practising, when the earthquake stuck.
'The ground was shaking so hard that I could barely remain standing. I fled with my skates on and there was flooding outside caused by the burst underground drainage.'
He stayed in the temporary shelter for 4 days and then started practising again in Kanagawa Prefecture 10 days after the initial earthquake.
'I felt powerless and mortified watching my home town getting destroyed. I felt fear, which was beyond description. Now I would like to uplift the spirits of as many of the afflicted as possible through skating.'
News clips showing some performances and interview;
(Daisuke saying, 'I understand it will take a long time for the affected areas to recover and resurrect, so I am thinking what more we could do to help.')
(Yuzuru saying; 'understanding that we are not all alone and putting our energy together, we'll see the path to recovery.')
Last edited by mot; 04-09-2011 at 11:46 AM.
Many many thank to Mot for all the translation.
Poor Yuzuru, his comment make me really feel for him. It must be horrible experience earthquake and see your own town got destroyed without knowing what will happen.
He practise at Kanagawa!!!!!! It is quite far from his home town right? I wonder what he will do when his school open? Does he has to relocate? Poor him.
I sincerely hope everything in Japan will be better! At least the new earth quake doesn't cause much damage.
p.s. The more I know about Shizuka, the more I admire her.
Last edited by treeloving; 04-09-2011 at 12:01 PM.
Here is my translation of an article published in Nihon Keizai Shinbun Newspaper; Shizuka wrote about her recent trip to Sendai. I found it very sincere, intelligent and moving, and I'd like to share it with you all.
I left Tokyo, at 3am April 6th and headed for Miyagi Prefecture, where I grew up and is now badly damaged by the East Japan Great Earthquake, together with my parents.
I lived in Aoba in Sendai City and Rifu Town in Miyagi since I was 2 year-old till I graduated from high school, and I have many fond memories of these places. I felt an urge to do something as soon as the earthquake struck, but I had to wait until Tohoku Motorway was reopened and I was sure I would not be a burden as long as I brought my own food supply and beddings in my car.
I wanted to visit the afflicted areas and understand what are needed and what I can contribute, using my own eyes and ears.
For what a little I could do, me and my parents spent several days collecting 300 pairs of socks, 10 cardboard boxes full of sweets, training wears, sweat pants and tops, Tees, sneakers, etc. We brought them with us, and some monetary donations.
The companies sponsoring me kindly donated 300 eye masks and some canned / bottled drinks, and my friend donated 12 cardboard boxes, each contain 18 boxes of chocolate.
I was planning to bring back to Tokyo whatever was not needed by the people; I was anxious that all clothing items I had were of my size.
We started OK on Tohoku Motorway, but as soon as we hit Tochigi Prefecture, the speed limit was reduced to 80km/h. There were cracks on the road surface. When reached Fukushima Prefecture, the cracks were so bad that the car started to bump up and down, and the lorries in front of me and behind were shaking so much that I was worried that goods they were carrying might start falling. I tightened my grip on the stirring wheel. Normally, it takes 4 hours to reach Sendai from Tokyo, but it took 5 hours this time.
I usually leave the motorway at Sendai-Miyagi junction, but this time, we got off at Sendai-Minami junction, one before Sendai-Miyagi and joined Sendai-Tobu Way. It was because we wanted to see one of the areas, which was most badly damaged by the tsunami, Wakabayashi and Miyagino, and check out the temporary shelters there.
I had heard that Tobu Way acted as a kind of tsunami defence when the disaster struck, and I was able to see that myself. The sceneries on the right and left of the road were completely different. On the side of the sea, there were nothing left standing, while on the side of the land many buildings survived. Arahama was famous for beautiful pine woods, but most of the trees were knocked down and there were nothing there resembling what I had remembered.
In Sendai, I visited the City Hall and the Prefectural Office. I wanted to meet and hear the stories from the officials who had organised the victory parade in Sendai when I won the gold in 2006 Torino Olympics. The head teacher of my alma mater, Tohoku High School, came to see me there too. He told me that their baseball team, who played in the Spring National High School Tournament in March, are now all volunteering in Ishimaki and Kesennuma areas.
I especially wanted to visit the shelters that are housing many children, so an official in the City Hall had researched and took me to the shelter in Wakabayashi.
The children there were much more cheerful on surface than I had anticipated. However, as soon as I asked what they’d want and what they’d want to do now, they were hesitant to reply. After some period of silence, they shyly answered, ‘I want to play baseball’, etc.
Usually, whenever I ask the similar questions to children, they eagerly respond, listing many different things. I then realised how much these children in the shelter were suffering inside.
Still, they smile and they behave cheerfully; the sight of them gives hope and energy to the grown-ups. When I talked to the skater based in Sendai, I felt the same too.
The only ice rink in Sendai was where I practiced as a child. It is now closed without any plan to reopen, due to the burst pipeworks and the half-collapsed building adjacent to it. Around 30 young skaters belonging to the club there commuted to another rink elsewhere by coach, and carried on practicing during the spring school holidays.
Some of you may wonder why bother with figure skating in the midst of all difficulties, but I believe many parents felt they could carry on fighting if their children were happy and active.
Information infrastructure started to be rebuilt in Sendai now, which allows us to know exactly the situations of many temporary shelters and what their acute needs are. But we’ve still got a long way to go.
What a little I can do is to let the rest of the country know the conditions and needs of those afflicted. Fortunately, I have a lot of opportunities to be in front of the crowd and meet many people. There is a limit to what I can do as an individual, but I can relay the messages and information to create a bigger wave of support to the stricken areas.
It is of course very important to organise big supporting activities with immediate effects, such as charity events, but small yet long-lasting acts of support can also help as much. It was a very short visit, but I will continue to think and find what more I can do, based on what I heard from the people of Miyagi.
Many areas of Japan have been badly affected by the disasters, and the amount of time and money needed to bring back those areas to the state before the disasters, is beyond comprehension of many. I believe what is important is our determination to provide long continuous support in order to restore normality.
part 1 - http://www.nikkei.com/sports/column/...E2E3E2E1EBE0E0
part 2 - http://www.nikkei.com/sports/column/...E2E3E2E1EBE0E0
part 3 - http://www.nikkei.com/sports/column/...E2E3E2E1EBE0E0