Akiko: The season of DOI this year has come, it's fainally about to begin, how do you feel?
Kanako: How do you feel? (laughs)
Yuzuru: How do you feel? (laughs) Well, I have a feeling like "The season has begun at last". I think the season of the Olympics is very important, but every year I participate in this show, I feel that new season has been started.
Akiko: I am nervous when this show starts.
Kanako: Yes, I am, too.
Akiko: Have you already finished your choreography of your new programs?
Yuzuru: There has been little progress in SP so it's not very easy, but...has everyone already finished?
Kanako: Yes, I have.
Yuzuru: You have? All of it? (Kanako: Yes) How fast! How fast!
Akiko: Kana and I went to the same place at the same time (for the choreography of FP), so we had a barbecue together, it was fun!
Kanako: Yes, that was fun!
Akiko: What kind of season do you wish to have?
Kanako: This is my first Olympic season, so I have no idea what it would be...
Yuzuru: You have experienced the Olympics and I think it meant a lot to you, but how was it? (question for Akiko)
Akiko: Every skater has been going for the same goal, so I think it is important to keep "being myself". You might be said various things by people around you before the Olympics, but you have to stick to one thing for sure you believe in the most, and I am saying it to myself now, too.
"I am very excited and I have to go for it (the Olympics) step by step, but at the same time, another part of me think not to become overeager."
"The stage of the Olympics may be the special indeed, but what I do (daily practices, etc) is always the same, isn't it? Therefore, I want to check one by one carefully having admiration (for the Olympics) and mindset to control myself."
(About the performance in DOI)"I want to enjoy with the audience as EX, it is a program set a WR which brought me a good year (something like that ).
Yuzuru and Javier
Q: Both of you are training under Mr.Orser, what kind of impression do you have each other?
Yuzuru: We are very good friends, we both participate in the same show together, we always get along.
Q: How about being on the podium at Sochi Olympics together?
Yuzuru: Of course, I want to be on the podium with Javier. And after that, we'll see the standings in my opinion. Also being the rival in the practice, we will work hard together to become strong competitors.
yude, thx very much for the translation.
FaOI Story KBC HD Ver, from local Fukuoka TV, big thx to the uploader eisblau22, very glad as we have so many generous Yuzu fan companions.
Breathtaking, beautiful, very talented figure skater . He will be the next big skater.
Thank you yude for helping me out with the translation of some confusing phrases.
Web Canon Interview – Yuzuru Hanyu (November 25, 2012, Post-NHK Trophy, Miyagi)
It has been a breakthrough season for Yuzuru Hanyu, who not only improved his own world record in the short program at NHK Trophy but also won the event for the first time. We [approached him to] ask about his life at his new training base in Canada, his thoughts on Sochi Olympics and more.
The Change in Mental Outlook following the Short Program
-Congratulations on your win at NHK Trophy. Having set the world record score for the short program at Skate America in October, you improved it again at this event. How do you feel?
It’s really great to have been able to show my progress at this competition here in my home town, [Sendai,] Miyagi. I’m really happy to have delivered a good performance in the short program, like how I did it in Skate America and proven that it was not a fluke. I somehow managed to put two quads together in the free as well, so it’s a step forward.
-At Skate America, you missed your free skate jumps one after another and finished second overall. What is the reason you were you able to put them together this time?
At the time of Skate America, I was still very much worried about my free program and everything was incredibly demanding. Even though I was successful with a partial run-through during practice, I was not able to produce a clean performance once I ran through the entire program. I’ve practiced a lot after Skate America, I know it’s still not perfect, but it helped to ease me up a bit.
-Having produced a world record score, how did you control yourself mentally?
At Skate America, I didn’t know how to deal with the world record score, so I ended up over-suppressing my emotions, thinking “I must not get excited, there’s still tomorrow, so keep calm”. As the result, prior to the free-skate 6-min warm-up, the cap over my bottled-up emotions suddenly popped open, my mind blanked out and I wound up not knowing what to do. I went into the competition in that kind of state and came out in tatters. So, this time, I just went ahead and reveled in it. I even pumped up my fist.
-So you reveled in it temporarily at first, in order to forget about the short program.
Yes, I accepted everything and sought to properly switch gears to the free. Last time, I suppressed the feeling of happiness while I was still clinging to it and it came weighing me down. My way of going about it this time was a success. I stayed calm and made it through the free. Landing the opening quad was also huge for me. I think I was able to keep it together despite not being in an entirely good shape.
On Including Two Types of Quads in the Free
-In the free, you successfully landed the quad toe but stepped out of the quad salchow. Is it fairly difficult to execute two types of quads?
Doing quad sal is really difficult. There’s still an extremely huge gap of quality [between my quad sal and quad toe]. But if I don’t challenge it now, when will I? So, that’s why I’m challenging two types of quads. Quad sal is not something that I can easily do, so it’s good enough that I was able to land on my feet this time. As things stand now, I’ve grasped the image of the whole trajectory right from the approach until the timing of the jump for quad toe; it’s at the stage where it’s already become part of my routine. But quad sal is a different case. Even though I mean to stick to the same image, Brian tells me that every time, I jump with a different form and at a different timing. I think that if I can get a more consistent visualization, the success rate will gradually improve.
-Mr. Hanyu, you’re the type who jumps by visualizing them, aren’t you? Do you film and watch videos of [quad] salchows?
Yes, directly before a take-off, the image of the trajectory for a successful jump instantly springs up in my head. I hitch-ride on that image and jump. That’s why orally guiding me [through the jumps] is no good. Visual aids are good. By repeatedly watching videos, I etch the image in my memory. But the only videos that I have of my successful quad sal attempts are from ice show rehearsals. Now, I’m using Javier as a reference.
From Jump-focused Training to Strengthening the Basics
-You’re quite confident in your jumping ability, aren’t you?
The origin of my jumps is Axel. In the past, I used to over-rotate single Axels, and even turned them into double Axels when I was in good shape. Axel, unlike other jumps, has a forward take-off, so I think it’s cool to be able to do the jump. Now that I’m able to steadily bring off triple Axels, my scores are improving and they (Axels) are becoming my underlying support.
-Where do you think you currently belong to on the international scene?
Now, I’m more of a technical skater, aren’t I? It was because of the jumps that I was able to acquire the bronze medal at World Championships this year. It’s also thanks to my technical score that my short became a world record program this season. But I’ve been bringing in better program components scores than I originally expected this season, so I think this goes on to show that the programs are really good and the flow out of my jumps has gotten better.
-But it appears to me that you’ve suddenly amassed other attractive points than jumps. Is moving your training base to Canada during the off-season a huge factor?
Finishing third at Worlds really made me think that I have to improve my skating, to be more refined, so I made the resolve to move to Canada. Now, I’ve only been doing basic skating practices. Up until last season, my skating was still junior-ish, I skated while relying on my youth and sheer drive. But in order to compete with the world’s top skaters, I feel that it’s necessary for me to skate maturely.
-So, going by Mr. Orser’s training philosophy, you’re starting over from the basics.
I still haven’t been able to follow it all through. But unlike before, I’ve come to think that I want to practice skating every day of my own accord. The feeling of pushing against the ice and the sensation that I get from doing even simple things like turns and strokes is really pleasant. There were also instants when I made markedly broader strides. I’ve been able to do jumps with ease due to these basic skills as well. Besides, by properly maintaining my body's center of gravity, it leads to the stability of the approach runs and thus, the stability of my jumps. That, to me, is of a huge merit. So, I want to keep practicing and come to grips with it.
-You didn’t have much time to practice your basics [back when you’re in Sendai]?
I think I lacked [basics training] back then. I used to practice jumps from beginning to end so that’s why I made noticeable improvement with jumps and arrived to where I am now in rapid strides. But now at this stage, in order to expand the upper threshold [of my ability], I’m forging my basics all over again. Brian tells me “Strengthen your foundation, your foundation” every day. But to me, I’m still at the ‘moisturizing toner’ stage. There’s the ‘toner’ stage, then the ‘cream emulsion’ stage before I can finally arrive at the ‘foundation’.
-It’s as if you’re still far behind the ‘basics’ stage.
Yes. Speaking of volcano, for example, it has a core which accumulates magma. Precisely because the core exists, magma can be expelled. Up until now, I’ve been glossing over my performances. I was hit with the sudden realization this year. After having personally gone through a wobbly performance in the Free at Skate America, if I hadn’t realized that, I’d be a total hopeless case.
-I suppose, it was due to the stamina issue that you failed in the free?
I came out in tatters at both Skate America and NHK Trophy because of stamina, mental, and concentration issues, I didn’t have problems with the technical side of things. It’s really exhausting to include two quadruple jumps. Putting five jumping passes together in the second half is also a hard task. Considering that I’m still young, what am I gonna do? But I just have to practice a lot until I become used to it. Even though I feel that I’ve done a lot of practice, looking at the results, it’s still not enough.
Exploring New Realms of Performance with New Choreographers
-You’re working hard on practicing your basics, but I see that you’ve considerably polished up your expression for each program. Using a blues number for your short program brings you into a new territory, doesn’t it?
Jeffrey Buttle has been helping me in bringing out my new charm. I’ve been skating it in and out and made it my own, so now it’s about 80% completed. This program [introduces me to] a new style, doesn’t it? Even if it’s only a little, I’ll be happy if I can give off a mature kind of aura from within myself.
-Your free skate is choreographed by David Wilson. This program might look interesting once it’s completed, don’t you think?
At NHK Trophy, it still stood at 40% completion. But to have reached the 40% mark at this point is good enough I think. At Skate America back in October, it was at about 10% mark and I was [struggling,] trying to put the performance together. I couldn’t portray the worldview* [of Notre Dame de Paris].
(*that he couldn’t portray the essence of the program, his own perspective on the program)
-It’s an incredibly difficult program packed with transitions in between the jumps, isn’t it?
After Skate America, as expected, we reduced the transitions to put me a bit more at ease and because of that, I have finally begun to be able to put out a performance true to David style, well, just a small part of it. But this program uses a modern ballet kind of dancing, so if I don’t broaden my range of expression, I feel that I won’t be able to express it to the fullest. Meryl Davis and Charlie White are also skating to ‘Notre Dame de Paris’ and whenever I watch their performance, it makes me wonder why I’m skating to the same song as theirs. It’s just incredibly amazing. I also want to portray that kind of worldview. But since it’s their program, I can only use it as reference. It’s really tough.
-How does training with Mr. Orser feel like?
Brian fixes up my schedule, so it’s easy to work with him. He’ll say something like “We’ll be doing a run-through of the free and parts of the short program tomorrow”. Now, I’m told to skate half of the short program directly after a full run-through of the free during practices. It’s exhausting and it’s a training method I had been avoiding. But since I’ve been doing run-throughs, it has obviously built up my stamina for the short and I’ve also begun to be doing considerably well with my free program. I can’t fix up a training plan myself, so Orser also sets up a plan for when I practice independently.
As an Athlete, As an Artist
-This year, you’ve been basking in media attention, so the opportunity for photoshoot has also increased, hasn’t it?
I like to get photographed. I went into a studio for a magazine front cover photoshoot and it was interesting. It’s embarrassing to strike various poses but at the same time, it’s fun.
-You already have an air of a top skater *laughs*. Your goal is to win an Olympic Gold Medal, isn’t it?
It was, until last year. But I changed my mind as I was being supported by various people after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Winning an Olympic Gold Medal has been my dream since I was a child, but that is a strictly concrete objective. So, winning an Olympic Gold Medal will mark a new beginning, the beginning which opens up various [possibilities] like [working] as a pro skater to convey figure skating’s appeal, [participating in] support activities (for earthquake recovery efforts, etc) and more. I have to repay their kindness.
-So that means rather than the desire to win, you’ve come to feel stronger about repaying their kindness?
Of course as an athlete, I want to win. It’s just that I’ve started to think of concealing [the intent to] show how far my competitive spirit can go, more so than before. But I’m able to think in this way because I’m talking about it after competition. As you would expect, my desire to win is stronger before competition. A figure skater is not only an artist but also an athlete. I feel that we must not abandon either soul.
IMO “True Love”and “Story” EX both represent the natural evolution of the 2011-2012 season, enhancing Yuzu's inherent and peculiar strenght and attitude without changing him forcedly.
they're like a new golden ring added to his magic chain of skating programs...
So glad he has just fixed his spins in less than three months, they're truly mesmerizing!
Sorry, I am not conversant in Hanyu news, so don't know if the following little detail already is widely known.
It's from Johnny Weir's July 15 blog (which I just now was reading for the first time):
Fresh news that I can impart is that I was asked by Yuzuru Hanyu to design his Olympic costume and I couldn’t be more honored. I am already sketching and coming up with ideas to make him stand out more than he already does and I can’t wait to actually see my design prospering in major competition!
Just finished a design marathon for Yuzuru Hanyu and Elena Glebova. They WILL be best dressed for their competitions!