Yes. Really looks.
Yes. Really looks.
I don't have enough time to polish the whole handout and it's just translated Japanese to English sentence by sentence, sorry for any lack of smoothness.
4 years ago, Olympics is still only a dreamland referring to Yuzuru Hanyu, whom made a clean sweep of winning every junior title while he was a grade three junior high student.It's been 3 years passed since the senior debut, Yuzuru Hanyu(18,ANA) is already World Championships (March 2012) bronze medalist and Japanese champions (December 2012).Now he trains in Toronto,Canada towards to the Olympics which wasn't expected by Hanyu to face to in rush.
E-Learning and 3 stage practice in the afternoon.
In 30 minutes of taking bus and subway from the central Toronto City, there's Toronto Cricket Skating & Curling Club where Hanyu trains since last season, a private club covered in green plants and attached to different facilities, such as tennis court, gym and alfresco cafe.
Hanyu was accepted by Waseda University in spring. Now he wakes up at 8:00am to start his E-learning produced by university, returns home after 3 stages of skating training in the afternoon,specifically finishing on-ice practice twice a day, 90 minutes respectively, and goes to bed around 12pm.
To Hanyu, a daily routine before sleep is to draw on last year GPF experience that taking in the same stadium where Sochi Olympics will be held next year for his image training of imagining himself standing in a real Olympic competition. Moreover, Hanyu is satisfied with his enriching life from home to ice rink every day, he even felt 'eating out is waste of time.'
The program music selection with priority of skater's intention
Hanyu was focus on basic skating practice until August and getting used to the program by music run through excluded complicated steps and jumps. Jump practice's only trained under routine times, particularly 4 rotations.
Brian Orser, whom is coaching Hanyu now, said 'Frankly I tell him every technique he needs to pay attention to. Enhancing his motivation is a principal factor during this period because of the huge amount of work that Olympics requires, I hope he can enjoy the whole process as it would be more fun if he could be keen to it (Olympic).'
Because of this, coaches seek advises from skater while some decisions need to be made,in particular, giving priority to skater of program music selection. Skaters will enjoy daily practice if they are able to skater the music they love. Following discussion, Hanyu will stick to the short program he skated last season to Parisienne Walkways. Orser explained, 'Yuzuru wanted something new as sharing similar atmosphere to last season short program music but it always went back to Parisienne Walkways. Then we decided to keep the short program since it's been succeed in gaining huge score last season. I used to adopt same program during two consecutive seasons and Patrick Chan (Canada) is doing the same thing now.'
Orser explained the music choice of free program, 'Romeo and Juliet composed by Nino Rota is a classical choice in figure skating world. There were also other various plans but I respect his strong emotional attachment to the story of Romeo and Juliet which he used to skate a different version at previous season during Tohoku Earthquake times.'
Three coaches in one voice 'stamina challenging'
One year passed since Hanyu's been training under the three-coaches system, Brian Orser, Tracy Wilson and the choreographer David Wilson, all three coaches pointed out in one voice the main challenging Hanyu facing to is his stamina. In spite of 18 years old Hanyu just growing up to the body shape in adult he's aware of that mistakes occurred when appearance of fatigue and mental tiredness shows up by the time about to end the program.
Hanyu has been regarded as 'most hardworking skater on ice'. Hence, it's not a quite honorable title as you may think it was. He was burned out in the middle of last season and raising a risk of suffering injury by forcing himself too hard, in fact, Hanyu was injured left knee during his training in March.
Tracy explained, 'The formation of a skater is as same as horse racing, injury caused by too much forcing. It's necessary for Hanyu to build up the enough foundation of stamina.'. Tributing to stamina enhancement, Hanyu's requested by coach Tracy to take advantages of dumbbell and balance ball during on-ice training, which would remind Hanyu to skate efficiently with a clear notice of more weight on his skating blade.
Coach Tracy, a bronze medalist in ice dancing at the Calgary Olympics in 1988, whom seems a nice, easy-going lady but Hanyu shared his opinion 'she always asks me with a smile to do most difficult training that designed to increase my stamina, understandable.'
At the end of practice of the day that interviewing was taken, Tracy advised to Hanyu 'Cool down' while adopting a special training of using left and right foot alternately moving forward as two foot bending at same time, which made Hanyu was sighing 'it's as hard as physical(muscle) training!'.
4 Toe loops, almost without failure now
The accuracy of jumps that Hanyu naturally attaches importance to is profit from the improvement of skating techniques. He addressed, '4T almost won't fail under Brain's advices but 4S is still difficult for me because of the different jumping methodology fundamentally.' Hanyu can't execute 4s successfully at all when not in his form, but two types of quads are absolutely planned into the program this season.
Brain Orser speaks frankly, burning with an ambition, 'It's all because of targeting a higher score. Despite including two quads in the program, two different types of quads will be given score by judges in consideration of the higher techniques and risk. Finally it will be reflected in the score.'
Three coach works perfectly and efficiently as a whole team, even they don't allocate time categorically. Javier Fernandez(Spain), bronze medalist in Men's single of Worlds Championships 2013 last season, is also another main skater they've been working with. The coaches can show up in front of different skaters subsequently afterwards, giving one-on-one guidance with efficiency.
Receiving guidance one coach after another
After giving Hanyu some jumping advises in the centre of ice rink, Orser got back to the rink side. Following by several times of jumping practice by Hanyu, three coaches applauded with a shout loud 'Bravo!', that atmosphere feels like where's taking some fun college student activities. Soon afterwards, it's time for Tracy to make guidance for Hanyu.
Tracy explained, 'I take responsibility of transitions and steps, those difficult transitions before entering into jumps that wouldn't make any difference in score previously but nowadays payback is arrived, finally. In order to adapting to this change, the skaters, a generation since last four years were keeping occupied much more, no time to rest and hard to save mistakes perhaps irretrievably lost.'
How to present difficult transitions beautifully? While the music's on, David Wilson went up instead of Tracy, 'See, Juliet is on the balcony! You can't reach to her if don't look up!.'
Sometimes Hanyu's confused about different words coming from each coach one followed by another, but he said positively, 'They are specialists in the respective fields. I feel great satisfaction if I could completely understand what they were explaining and accomplish what they require me to do. '
A cohesive long-term relationship between three coaches
As far as Brian Orser concerned, three coaches seems to talk to skaters randomly, but in fact, Orser said, 'We do mind the timing, that is very crucial, but an incredible tacit understanding growing on us leads to that we could feel the moment of 'you're up' without saying a word.' Orser and Tracy, whom leading up whole Canadian Figure Skating world back to 80s that they were not retired yet at that times, have known each other for almost 40 years since their teen ages. Contemporary with Orser and Tracy, David Wilson contributed in program choreography for both of Orser and Tracy. It feels like developing coaching career as a team lining up with three of them is the way of sustaining their green days.
They started to work with Yuna Kim 7 years ago and helped her to gain gold medal at Vancouver Olympics in 2010. Back to that times, Yuna Kim was under huge expectation by the whole South Korea's attention and the tension of media attention worldwide reached to the level of even making Mao Asada, whom's under similar media situation in the shade comparing with Yuna's case.
Protecting Yuna Kim from crazy media attention
Orser, silver medalist of Men's single at the Sarajevo Olympics in 1984, was flag bearer of Canadian National Olympic team in 1988 Calgary Olympic Games which was held in Canada, his home country. He received crazy support from exciting Canadians which brought huge pressure on his shoulder. At final a minor gap dropped him into 2rd place. Orser recalled of his memories with a regret, 'Much effort was expended to deal with huge pressure. I think what I achieved (at Olympics) was good specially under massive pressures. But it would be great if I could concentrate more on challenging and improving the level of my skating at that time.'
Orser became Yuna Kim's 'PR Manger' in order to avoid media overheated. Orser stated 'It's also one of our jobs to protect Yuzuru (from crazy media) and let him live his normal life continually.' Another thing is they don't meddle too much in what happens on ice because while music begun, skater is the only one whom needs to take full responsibility while standing on the ice alone.
Yuzuru commented on his coach Orser, 'Brian didn't ask too much things of me, he just adjust himself to follow my pace. It's easy for me to concentrate but hard to control emotions which he could help me to relax by making me laugh.'
Magic Moment at Olympics
Sochi Olympics, which will be held in February 2014 is gradually coming on its way. It will be a severe challenging in Men's single figure skating competition. Coach Orser, whom never make a prediction of competition, wishes his young skaters could enjoy full joys of Olympics first, 'Because it's a big fascinating competition, the excitement driven from expectation probably will be the key of bringing out magic moment.'
Top skaters, however excellent they are, cannot delivery good performance every time, not to mention the magic moment that greatly engaged and excited audiences and judges to completely change the atmosphere in stadium, such great moment only comes once a year at most. Orser explained, 'In order to make this special moment alive at Olympics, I'll pack him with tools and show him the right direction. Moving forward step by step in setting and accomplishing a small goal every week. Next big challenge is Japanese Figure Skating Championships, must be a tough fight.'
One way of Hanyu increasing his attentions and ambitions is to watch his rivals' performances online with a thought of 'I cannot be sloppy anymore'. Coach Orser laughed and said, 'Better staying away from social media. If you fall into something except your own, it brings a mess to your mind.'
wxunxx , I'm very grateful for your effort. It's really interesting article. Glad to know that all three coaches want to improve Yuzuru's stamina and keep him away from overworking himself.
ser22, that music is just perfect! Can't wait to see Yuzuru's new LP!
He is a good place in Toronto. The result of the hard work will be reflected in the next season. I'm looking forward!
Thank you very much for your great work, wxunxx!!
I sincerely hope that we fans will see "the magic moment" in Sochi!! (...and the Japanese Nationals)
wxunxx, thank you so much for your hard work and beautiful translation!
Finlandia Trophy is almost 20 days away. His season will be starting soon! I wish him all the best for the Olympic season and hopefully 4S will go successful at FT. I think that's what he wants most at the moment.
I tried to translate Sportiva article on 31 August 2013. (Sorry for my poor English)
Yuzuru Hanyu aims for the stage of dream, what is his strategy for the Olympic season?
Yuzuru Hanyu, who aims at the medal at Sochi Olympics in 2014, held a public practice at the ice rink in Sendai, which was his home rink up to two years ago, on August 30.
Seeing almost 100 crew members of media, he showed a bitter smile. "I’m surprised since I didn’t expect it becomes large-scaled like this, so I wasn’t concentrated at first," But, he showed practice on the music of this season’s free programs (FP) “Romeo and Juliet” and the short program (SP) “Parisian walkways”, also practiced quad toeloop(4T) and quad salcow (4S).
"I came back temporally from Canada, but the camp will be starting in Canada soon, there are only these days (to hold a public practice) as timing. I’ll Return to Canada on September 3, after that, I participate Finlandia Trophy, Skate Canada, and Cup of France(Trophy Eric Bompard), it will be Grand Prix Final (Fukuoka, early December) when I come back to Japan next (if participating in GPF)." He says.
But he had some fatigue remained, since it was a temporary homecoming while practice in Canada was shifting into high gear. His movement itself slightly lacks sharpness, seemed struggling with some falls in 4S.
Still, he landed beautiful 4T. "The probability of 4T is improving year by year, now I’m coming to be able to land it without worming-up. But salcow is a jump with completely different edgework, it was quite tough today. I worked hard (on 4S) just like when I was struggling with 4T at this rink years ago, so I felt some nostalgic feeling. In past days, I used to work only on 4T for more than an hour, I enjoyed working recalling those days."
Hanyu talks Sochi Olympics as "one of the culmination from his childhood when he dreamed of the Olympics". Although it‘s the first challenge to Olympics for him, it has been his dream to get the gold medal in the Olympics since he was little.
Hanyu moved to senior level in the following season of Vancouver Olympics ( 2010-2011 season) and challenged Grand Prix Series competitions(for the first time). He won the silver medal at the Four Continents Championship in 2011. After that, he won the bronze medal in the World Championship in March 2012, and winning the National Championship for the first time December 2012, he has built up results steadily.
For this important season, he chose “Romeo and Juliet", the same themed music as the free program two seasons ago, for the music of FS. The music he performed previously was composed by Craig Armstrong, but the music he uses this season is by Nino Rota.
"Romeo and Juliet is the music that I wanted to try since I was little, and also it’s the music which I performed in the season after the earthquake, moving about all over the country in many ice shows, so the program two years ago is something special for me. The melody is different this time, so the program will have different atmosphere. Throughout the season, I want to perform the best “Romeo and Juliet” which cannot be done other than now."
Hanyu transposed the last season’s order of 4T and 4S, made the layout putting 4S first and 4T second. He thought "The easiest layout for me is 4S, 4T", because last season he landed 4T well but hardly landed 4S, and he had decided to change it. He had made the decision after the Four Continents Championship in February, but because of knee injury and flu, he couldn’t execute that decision in the World Championship in March.
"I come to have more elbowroom from 4T, I can put more focus on Salcow in practice …So I didn’t think of twice 4T and putting the salcow out. Also as for the score, if I execute 4S, it will be possible to put 3T in the second half, putting 3T in the combination jump from 3A, and I can also put 3S (in the layout). There are many skaters who execute 2 quads (in FS) but few skaters have 4S, and I have 4S, so I’ll make use of that competitive advantage."
"In my case, I don’t think I can get the better of Patrick (Chan) and Daisuke Takahashi in PCS…so, I’m going to calculate the expected score methodically, and I think I need to execute the jumps with good quality. I’m willing to polish my expression, but I think landing the jumps solidly is (what is important about) my skating."
This year, he trained to build up the trunk of the upper body, and his body is getting slightly bigger. His training seems to be well-working, but he knows the severity to win the spot for the Olympics.
"If I acquire the ability to win the Japan Nationals, I think I naturally get a good result at Olympics. To that end, I want to make good results in GPS, which is one of the criteria of the selection(to Olympics), and I want to bring myself in the Japanese National Championship with some leeway in my mind. I think it is important to perform with my all might throughout every competition. Watching the video of Takahashi’s public practice and Kozuka’s performance in ice shows, I have an impression that they are getting ready for the competition earlier (than usual). As I’ve not made myself in the top shape yet, so I need to work more and more. What I think are necessary in the competitions are fighting spirit and timing, luck will be also involved. To heighten the luck more, and to make it even a part of my own ability, I’ll practice as best I can."
On the other hand as for the SP, he was going to change the music at first, but as a result of pondering over decision considering a lot of things, after all he decided to use "Parisian walkways" the same music as last season. This is the program which he has succeeded in setting 95-points of world records twice. There is also an aim to enhance the level of the program from last year in order to aim even higher score, but also at the same time, "There is a large advantage of being able to focus more on completeness of the FS by having leeway in the SP" he said.
As for the SP, despite performing with high completeness in the first half in the last season, "It was very frustrating to have fallen into a slump in the World Championship because of injury" Hanyu says. That's why he skated in this year's ice shows thinking "that program is not really finished yet".
"I didn’t attempt quads at that time (in the DOI shows), but I was really conscious of being watched by the audience in that program. In practice, it helps me to be able to soften the expression while focusing on the jumps at the same time"
This season, he seems to be able to show the fruitage of polishing his SP by not changing the music, it would be one of the important points that how he can archive high completeness in the "Romeo and Juliet" FS. We’ve come to look forward to see the evolution of Yuzuru Hanyu in the Olympic season.
Yes indeed. Yuzu is so lucky to have such great fans who do hard work for him. I wonder if he is aware of that. I got IFS magazine and read Orser advises Yuzu not to read what is written about him on the Internet. So, maybe he isn't?
Javi is sweet.
My heart is already pounding fast. When will he enter Barona?
Finlandia Trophy's practice and competition schedule.
Result page is up!
Good luck to Yuzuru!