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

  1. #76
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the translation! I hope the children will be able to play baseball soon!

  2. #77
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    Mot, thanks so much for your hard work of researching and translating these pieces! Shizuka's statements made me tear up. I completely agree with you and Treeloving when you say that the more you hear about her, the more you admire her. She's really pulling her weight in this catastrophe. And her foresight is impressive--bringing bedding and food so she wouldn't be "a burden" on the area, and thinking of bringing sensible supplies such as socks. This woman has real leadership skills.

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    Thanks for reading! It was worthwhile an effort then!

    It was allegedly reported in a personal blog (I could not find the primary source but found it quoted in one of Shizuka fan's tweet), she was actually quite upset that media had found out about her visit and came to the shelter with cameras to film it. So she went back there after the media had left and apologised to the evacuees that she had caused a havoc. I think I am in love!

    So ... she skated in Stockholm in the show on April 2, came back to Japan, organised the trip, drove to and back from Sendai by herself (usually her agent goes anywhere with her if it's a professional commitment) on April 6, and today on April 9 she skated in the charity gala in Kobe, west Japan. It was reported that she skated 2 programmes back to back (Ave Maria and Nessun Dorma - vocalised & shorter version of her Olympic FS) without a single mistake. What amazing energy and true professionalism!

    I am also terribly impressed by Yuzuru Hanyu; he escaped from the danger, and spent 4 days in the shelter, lost his home rink, now he's practising in the rink hundreds of miles away from home (if it's still there), most likely without knowing exactly what is going to happen next - he's only 16... And I read in the reports that he skated a clean & emotional SP of the season today, and was greeted by full standing ovation from the audience. His interview is impressive too, full of determination and all.

  4. #79
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    ^^^
    When I read his interview on the distaster epacially when he mention that he was fear beyond description, I almost get into tear. If I'm 16 year old, this situation would be too much for me.

    I just found his full interview in English, he has very strong mentality. While he and his region got terrible effects from the quake, he look to the future, hope for better and thinking what he can do to other. Yuzuru is so strong!

    Link to his interview!
    http://dethspiralz.tumblr.com/post/4...ake-and-sendai

  5. #80
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I still think the Worlds should have been cancelled in deference to the tragedy but the screams from those who wanted a Worlds instantly with just a tear drop for Japan had to wait a whole month. How could they bear it? The tears were shoved over to Le Cafe where the parlour games are playing.

  6. #81
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Why stop there, Joe? We might as well say that it's frivolous and heartless to be posting on a figure skating board at a time of such tragedy in a major figure skating country. That would include your own recent posts on skating as art, skating as sport, etc. (Mine too, of course.)

    But the reality is, life goes on and that's a good thing, not a bad thing. And I'm pretty sure Japan will benefit more from its magnificent skaters performing at Worlds than it would by there being no Worlds. Japan's welfare is our main concern, right? Or are we more concerned about our own "noble" gestures as we sacrifice other people's careers?

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    Support from the world

    I have been posting what figure skaters' thoughts are on the disasters in Japan, but I hope you allow me to be OTT and post a list of the countries, which have so far offered help to the government of Japan. I found the list here; the information has been collated from the press releases of Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and thus the list includes only help & support offered through diplomatic channels, not those through NGOs, etc. The list was last updated on April 8.

    What I found amazing and terribly moving is that the list includes some of the poorest nations of the world, with their own tragedies - poverties, civil wars, social divides, natural disasters - some greater and longer-lasting than what Japan is facing now.

    Some support is practical, especially the items from other earthquake-prone countries speak of their own experiences; some are monetary and an astonishing amount has been offered by the countries suffering from national debts; countries with advanced nuclear technology sent in some experts and specialist equipments; pot noodles coming from other Asian countries made me think of our shared culture (and dried Nori seaweed from Korea!). And, Blimey, so many blankets!!!!

    This is my way of saying thank you to all those countries and their kindest hearts.

    ----

    Algeria - $10,000,000
    Sudan - $100,000
    Rwanda - $100,000
    Tanzania – 2,600,000TZS (approx. ¥1,400,000 or $16,500)
    Equatorial Guinea - $500,000
    Gabon - $1,000,000
    Namibia - $1,000,000
    Botswana – 1,000,000BWP (approx. ¥12,000,000 or $141, 456)
    South Africa – rescue team consisting 49 members
    Iran – 18t of food supply
    Israel – winter coats (qty. 10,000), blankets (qty. 6000), portable toilet (qty. 150), etc, 53 medical staff
    Oman - $10,000,000
    Czech Republic – 5,000,000CZK (approx. ¥23,000,000 or $271,124)
    Slovakia - €100,000 (approx. $144,340)
    Croatia – 3,500,000HRK (approx. ¥23,000,000 or $271,124)
    Slovenia - €10,000 (approx. $14,434)
    Serbia – 50,000,000CSD (approx. ¥45,250,000 or $533,407)
    Russia – a rescue team consisting 75 members on March 14, and further 80 members on March 16, blankets (qty. 17,200), 3.6t of water, and blankets, beddings, some drawings by children to show support from schools in Moscow
    Estonia - €200,000 (approx. $288,680)
    Latvia - €200,000 (approx. $288,680)
    Ukraine – blankets (qty. 2000)
    Georgia - $1,000,000
    Azerbaijan - $1,000,000
    South Korea – a rescue team consisting 5 members and 2 rescue dogs on March 12, further team of 102 on March 14, blankets (qty, 6000), 580t of water, wellington boots (qty. 4000), rubber gloves (qty. 12,000 pairs), portable generator (qty.4), ready-made meals (qty. 132,800), 225kg of dried Nori seaweed, masks (qty. 20,000), 20,000 bars of soap
    China – a rescue team consisting 15 members, tents (qty. 900), blankets (qty. 2,000), battery-operated torches or lamps (qty. 200), bottled water (qty. 60,000), rubber gloves (total qty. 3,260,000 pairs), portable toilets (qty. 60), shoes (qty. 25,000 pairs), 10,000t of petrol, 10,000t of diesel oil
    Hong Kong – 20,000 cans of food
    Mongolia – rescue team consisting of 12 members, $1,000,000, blankets (qty. 2,500)
    Thailand – 5,000,000THB (approx. ¥13,400,000 or $157,959), blankets (qty. 21,000)
    Vietnam - $200,000
    Cambodia - $100,000 from the government, $20,000 from Cambodian Red Cross
    Laos - $90,000
    Philippines – food (qty. 1,500), pot noodles (qty. 12,000), towels (qty. 1000)
    Indonesia – a rescue team consisting 15, $2,000,000, blankets (qty. 10,000), bottled water (qty. 35,000)
    Brunei - $1,000,000
    Malaysia – a rescue team consisting 15 members, tinned food and pot noodles (qty. 2000)
    Myanmar - $100,000
    Singapore – a rescue team consisting 5 members and 5 rescue dogs, blankets (qty. 4,350), bottled water (qty. 20,000), emergency food supply (qty. 4,400)
    Nepal – blankets (qty. 5,000)
    Bhutan - $1,000,000
    India – blankets (qty. 25,000), bottled water (qty. 13,000), a rescue team consisting 46 members, 10t of biscuits
    Pakistan – 13.5 t of biscuits, 9t of milk, 0.75t of water
    Bangladesh – blankets (qty. 2,000), wellington boots (qty. 500 pairs), rubber gloves (qty. 1,000 pairs)
    Sri Lanka - $1,000,000
    Kyrgyzstan – 2.5t of water
    Uzbekistan – wellington boots (qty. 2,000 pairs), tents (qty. 200), blankets (qty. 2,000)
    Afghanistan - $1,250,000
    Australia – a rescue team consisting of 75 members and 2 dogs
    New Zealand – a rescue team consisting of 52 members
    East Timor - $500,000
    Samoa - $100,000
    Tonga – 200,000TOP (approx. ¥9,000,000 or $106 092)
    USA – a rescue team consisting 144 and rescue dogs, 8 members of Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    Canada – blankets (qty. 25,000), radiation measuring machines
    Mexico – a rescue team consisting of 12 members and 6 dogs, 8.4t of food supply, 3.4t of sanitary goods, 6.8t of water
    Brazil - $500,000
    Venezuela – blankets (qty. 167), 2.8t of water, 10t of tinned food
    EU – blankets (qty. 25,000), mattress (qty. 2,000), sleeping bags (qty. 300) from Denmark / Lithuania / Holland; €10,000,000 (approx. ¥1,150,000,000 or $14.4million) from EU; 16.7t of food supply, clothing (qty. 4,000), shoes (qty. 1,000 pairs) from Hungary / Slovakia / Sweden
    UK – a rescue team consisting of 63 members and 2 dogs, 100t of water, items used in Fukushima Nuclear Plant site (e.g., radiation meters, protective masks, etc)
    France – a rescue team consisting more than 100 members, 150t of emergency provisions such as 8,000 blankets
    Germany – a rescue team consisting 43 members and 3 rescue dogs
    Switzerland - a rescue team consisting 27 members and 9 rescue dogs
    Holland - €1,000,000 (approx. $1.44million)
    Austria - €1,000,000 (approx. $1.44million)
    Finland - €500,000 (approx. $0.7million)
    Ireland - €1,000,000 (approx. $1.44million)
    Iceland – 10,000,000ISK (approx. ¥7,100,000 or $83,694)
    Greece - €100,000 (approx. $0.14million)
    Turkey – a rescue team consisting of 33 members, 18.5t of water, tinned food (qty. 68,800), blankets (qty. 5,000)

    ETA; I should not have forgot to mention Chinese Taipei!!!! They have managed to have raised over $12.8million for Japan, and 90% of which comes from private donations. I am speechless...
    Last edited by mot; 04-10-2011 at 02:11 PM.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I still think the Worlds should have been cancelled in deference to the tragedy but the screams from those who wanted a Worlds instantly with just a tear drop for Japan had to wait a whole month. How could they bear it? The tears were shoved over to Le Cafe where the parlour games are playing.
    Would you be saying that if the earthquake was elsewhere?

  9. #84
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    Mot, what an astounding list. Algeria? RWANDA??!! This is the sort of thing that reminds us of what humanity can achieve.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I still think the Worlds should have been cancelled in deference to the tragedy but the screams from those who wanted a Worlds instantly with just a tear drop for Japan had to wait a whole month. How could they bear it? The tears were shoved over to Le Cafe where the parlour games are playing.
    Joe, I am sure you are not alone in feeling like that. Even Daisuke, who has always maintained throughout the season that his aim is to win the World title back to back, now admits his ambivalence and wrote in his blog that he sometimes feels that figure skating is irrelevant in the midst of all tragedies in Japan. When he was mildly criticised for being so heavily involved in organisation of the charity gala in Kobe (he was one of the guys who first came up with the idea of the show and central to it), as it was scheduled only a few weeks before the Worlds, he replied 'the World Championships comes round every year, but this is something we have to do right now.'

    Even as a self-proclaimed Daisuke-uber, I am now not sure what to expect from him in Moscow, but if he falters because of how he feels about figure skating right now, I won't be disappointed. I know he is a very emotional and sensitive person and that is what makes him such an enchanting performer and I love him for it. I am also a little worried about Miki, who is the first Japanese skater to appear in a charity gala after the quake, and another skater known for being almost painfully sensitive and emotional. (Oh, my beloved headcases...)

    Perhaps Japanese should expect more from Nobunari Oda instead, at least he has set his mind for the Worlds - he declined an invitation to appear in the charity gala and left for training in Canada instead.

    And we don't know who can help more - the World Champion from Japan who gives delight and hope to the afflicted, or someone who raises tons of money for the good cause and show his sincere sympathies, but fails to deliver the medal expected of him.

    We'll just never know what is the right thing to do in the given circumstances, or even whether such thing as the right answer ever exists.


    PS. Of course, Daisuke may still be able to deliver, even if his heart is not 100% in it. Last year, he was so burnt out after the Olys, he didn't even want to go to the Worlds. He said he could not concentrate on practice and training, but once showed up, he gave the best performance of the season in Turin with all level 4s in spins and step sequences. (Mind you, although it was the best performance technically, I still prefer his Olympic performance - you can feel how emotionally involved he was at the Olys, which for me is the key ingredient of a good performance!)
    Last edited by mot; 04-10-2011 at 04:33 PM.

  11. #86
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Would you be saying that if the earthquake was elsewhere?
    I agreed with the crash of the Sabena Flight to cancel the competition.

    With regard to the Japan Worlds, Although it did not affect the skaters directly, I can believe that their expectations were broken. There is a next year.

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by mot View Post
    USA – a rescue team consisting 144 and rescue dogs, 8 members of Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    USA gets dissed again? This list, wherever it came from, is impressive but rather lacking. The USA contribution has been huge, with large numbers of personnel and/or equipment from Yokota AFB, Yokosuka, Okinawa being brought to bear on the affected area. (Including getting Sendai Airport back on its feet at least for relief/cargo/rescue flights.)

    And I agree with those who say life must go on, and cancelling the World Championships outright was not a proper way to "pay homage" to the Japanese tragedy. I suspect very few non-Japanese who take the cancellation-out-of-respect position have emotions that run that deep, to me, it comes across as non-involved bystanders posturing for effect.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsisjiejie View Post
    USA gets dissed again? This list, wherever it came from, is impressive but rather lacking. The USA contribution has been huge, with large numbers of personnel and/or equipment from Yokota AFB, Yokosuka, Okinawa being brought to bear on the affected area. (Including getting Sendai Airport back on its feet at least for relief/cargo/rescue flights.)

    And I agree with those who say life must go on, and cancelling the World Championships outright was not a proper way to "pay homage" to the Japanese tragedy. I suspect very few non-Japanese who take the cancellation-out-of-respect position have emotions that run that deep, to me, it comes across as non-involved bystanders posturing for effect.
    A more charitable interpretation of mot's post would say that he/she didn't intend the list to be exhaustive. From the looks of it, the list includes only government-funded donations/contribution. He/she omitted the millions of dollars raised by non-government institutions, private charities and private individuals in the US, and the millions more spend by the US military in assisting the relief operations around the affected areas. But I don't think it's meant to "diss" anyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsisjiejie View Post
    USA gets dissed again? This list, wherever it came from, is impressive but rather lacking. The USA contribution has been huge, with large numbers of personnel and/or equipment from Yokota AFB, Yokosuka, Okinawa being brought to bear on the affected area. (Including getting Sendai Airport back on its feet at least for relief/cargo/rescue flights.)
    I am terribly sorry to have upset you and possibly others, albeit involuntarily. The US force's generous and valuable contributions at all fronts of rescue and support operations have been widely reported in Japan via both mass and social media. I have a number of times come across with gratitude expressed via twitter too.

    I myself was wondering why this did not appear in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' press release regarding the offers received from the foreign countries. The only explanation I can come up with is that it was Japanese government who requested the help of the US force on March 12. The press releases include those help and support voluntarily offered.

    Also as I clarified at the beginning of the above post, the list includes only help and support offered through diplomatic channels, and excludes numerous others done through charities, NGOs (Red Cross, MSF, Salvation Army, etc), international organisations (NATO, World Bank, IAEA, UNICEF, WHO, etc), and of course private contributions.

    Please understand the list cannot be exhaustive for above reasons as well as human error by the source (secondary) I relied on; by going to the primary source (Ministry of Foreign Affairs' press releases), I have found out that Uruguay - 4,600 cans of cone beef - was missed out too.

    The reason why I posted the list is simply to show the width of the support and not to praise or 'diss' certain countries in the list or excluded from it. And I deeply regret if it did something else other than what I had originally intended.

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    That's how I took the list. Everyone knows that there's an American ship sitting off the coast of Japan doing what it can. The function this list serves is as you say, showing the breadth of support. I'm still having gooseflesh over Rwanda. Gabon. Cambodia. And the Cambodian Red Cross....

    I read a report about the Western expatriates living in Japan, from the U.S., Australia, and so forth, who have formed an ad-hoc rescue group and are ferrying supplies to the area. One guy in that group actually bought a geiger counter, so he can test not only the rescuers but the victims as he passes through with bedding, food, and supplies. Can you imagine the peace of mind it gives for parents to know that their children are not making the machine tick?

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