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Thread: Yuzuru Hanyu

  1. #2191
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    Sankei Keizai Shimbun's interview with Yuzuru Hanyu, published on January 1, 2014
    Source: http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/news...2000000-n1.htm

    Translation:
    - You moved your training base to Canada last season
    To tell you the truth, I'm just not cut out for it when it comes to making a venture out to a foreign country, not to mention the stress imposed by language barriers. The resolve to go to Canada despite all that came from a single determination that I simply want to become stronger.

    - On training under the tutelage of Brian Orser, a coach renowned for having fostered Yuna Kim of Korea to become the Vancouver Olympic Gold Medalist.
    At first, I felt nothing but at a loss about the cultural differences. I didn't understand the intent of what was said to me during practices, and since words couldn't express, we couldn't get our opinions across to each other. I even thought of going back to Japan on numerous ocassions. Then I taught myself how to converse in English. One way or another, that's how I've come to be able to communicate [in English] and finally establish a trusting relationship [with my team]. Now, I can verbalize what I want to say, and I get the sense that I'm running on the same track as Brian.

    - Under his (Brian's) guidance, what do you think has changed?
    First and foremost is the way I carry myself as I go into a competition. In the past, I couldn't sit still unless I attempted several jumping passes during the 6-min warm-up. Even during the regular (daily) practice sessions, I would attempt a significant number of jumps, with little amount of practices dedicated to steps and the likes. Under Brian's guidance, I've changed my mindset [and started to think] that in continuing to polish my technical skills, I should lower my jumping ratio and take good care of my body. Last season, as I went about each and every competition, I gained a deeper understanding [on this issue] and this season, I don't feel any sense of discomfort. We've finally shortened the distance between us.

    - You've also made an improvement on what had been your main challenge, your stamina for the free.
    Since Junior High School, I had had a bad habit of not doing full run-throughs of my free skating programs. Fact is [doing full run-throughs] is a factor in building stamina for skating. To make my body [instinctively] remember the timing and rhythm of my breathing, and the proper way to make use of my legs, the most important thing is to practise. This season, I started doing full run-throughs almost on a daily basis, something that used to be a once-in-a-week routine on average every year, and that's an improvement.

    - On pursuing university education
    With regards to say, the athletic sports and baseball, there are considerably a lot of things that have been scientifically proven. In contrast, even though figure skating has become this popular, I feel that there are still a lot of aspects of the sports that remain unravelled, which is all the more reason for me to figure out the puzzles myself. On top of that, I also get enjoyment out of it. The desire to expand my horizon as a skater was what triggered my decision to continue on to university.

    - On figure skating's appeal
    To get to skate alone on spacious rinks and generate cheers made for me and myself alone. Moments like that are one of the appealing points of figure skating. Even in the instances where I fall on quads, the audience in the arena will let out audible sighs of "oohs" and "aahs", won't they? That's how earnestly the fans are watching us. If they don't pay serious attention to our performance, they won't let out those nervous gasps. At the end of our performance, they will also toss a great quantity of flowers onto the ice rink for our sake. [Such support from fans] always gives me a boost of motivation and makes me think that I need to strive harder next time.

    - The big stage that comes every four years is drawing near
    Indeed, the Olympic Games are special sporting events. Be that as it may, it doesn't change the fact that it's just a competition. For instance, we won't qualify for the Grand Prix Final unless we leave good results in the GP series. The Olympic Games are like the culmination of four years of GP series; we've come a long way before we get to participate in it. So, I'd like to give it my all and do my very best.

  2. #2192
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    Thanks very much for the new translation, zydeco88.

  3. #2193
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    Quote Originally Posted by yude View Post
    Oh, he was saying 珠玉!! I was kind of guessing that he was saying 主力 but it doesn't make sense so I was like
    Thank you for your help
    I'm glad I could be of some help.

    Tatsuki's speech is a bit different from the ones of others, with rather difficult expressions
    I heard he loves reading philosophy books.

    As giulia95 mentioned, I read in a blog that Yuzuru said he was practicing 4 Lutz and 4 Loop, and he felt like he could do 4 Axel someday, in the interview with Yukari Nakano
    I have not read this interview myself, so I don't know the details.

    This reminds me of a manga titled "Blizzard Axel" !!
    The main character Fubuki succeeds 4A .

    http://www.mangapark.com/manga/BLIZZARD-AXEL/v1/c1.1/1

    But, in reality, Alexei Yagudin gave up 4A because he felt it was threatening his life.

    So, please don't go too far, Yuzuru.
    I'm so worried about his injury.

  4. #2194
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    http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/714164


    Actually I can’t even imagine Yuzuru’s wild emotions and feelings...

    ..The kid with mushroom hair who used to watch his legendary idol on tv ....

  5. #2195
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    I don't know if this is the right place...
    yuzuru's been improving since under orser
    i'm not an expert, but his lower half seems to flow better across the ice, but his upper body posture has stayed the same/regressed.
    Before with Abe his programs seem to hide problems with posture at least, but now its more obvious.
    No idea if it was yuzuru's decision to focus on jump consistency and not worry about posture, but I feel like orser should help him work to be a well-rounded skater.
    Thoughts? Expert opinion?

  6. #2196
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    Only four and a half weeks to the Olympic men's competition! I can't imagine the Olympics will have anything like the amount of drama, anguish, sadness and joy that we saw at the Japanese Nationals... but even so - I am already getting excited!

    Really hoping to see Yuzu on the podium, and if the judging is fair, I think he has every chance of the gold medal.

    By the way, my wife has a blog where she often talks about Yuzu... it's in Japanese, but even if you can't read it - she regularly posts photos we have taken of Yuzu at competitions. And she is collecting messages of Olympic support for Yuzu there:
    http://ameblo.jp/popular2/entry-11748354651.html

    She'd love to see some messages from English speakers! (she put some helpful instructions in English, on how to post your message of support).

  7. #2197
    One does not simply skate into Pyeongchang MaiKatze's Avatar
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    I have no doubt that Yuzuru will podium. A lot has to go wrong for him to finish off podium. He also has the chance for gold, but I think a lot has to come together - especially others with less than perfect performances. But at least I think the judges are willing to give him the gold if he really hits it. He is a contender for sure.

    Maybe i underestimate the importance of a coach, but i wrote a similar entry before Yuzuru started to work with Orser. If Yuzuru wins the Olympic Gold medal it is Yuzurus gold medal. I think he still would've been in the running if he stayed with Nanami or another coach entirely. If Plushenko wants to coach Yuzuru - well, what a nice compliment. But I don't think Yuzuru needs other famous people to build him up or make him what he is. Similar to Yuna. I hate the notion that a coach just comes and takes all the credit, when it is all on the shoulders of the athlete and has been a process that went on all their lives. The coach can help, yes. But they can only do so much.

  8. #2198
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonkat View Post
    i'm not an expert, but his lower half seems to flow better across the ice, but his upper body posture has stayed the same/regressed.
    I'm no expert, either, but it could be chalked up to the emphasis his team puts on basic skating. If this video (at 3:10 mark) of his practice session at the Toronto CC can serve as any evidence at all, Brian could be teaching him school figures to improve the flow and control over his lower half, and the overall quality of his skating.

    No idea if it was yuzuru's decision to focus on jump consistency and not worry about posture
    It's not that he's not worried about it; I think he's concerned to a certain extent as he did say in an interview with Shizuka that he's had problems with having a rounded upper back, for example when his body droops beyond a certain degree of curvature, he'll start having troubles with his jumps. I don't think it's something that can be fixed in a short period of time, though one has to wonder why it hasn't gotten the least bit better.

    Quote Originally Posted by YesWay View Post
    By the way, my wife has a blog where she often talks about Yuzu... it's in Japanese, but even if you can't read it - she regularly posts photos we have taken of Yuzu at competitions. And she is collecting messages of Olympic support for Yuzu there:
    http://ameblo.jp/popular2/entry-11748354651.html

    She'd love to see some messages from English speakers! (she put some helpful instructions in English, on how to post your message of support).
    I won't call myself as an avid reader, but I do occasionally visit her blog to read some of the interesting stuffs she posted. Thanks for the heads-up! Will leave a message later and of course, spread the words to fellow fans!

  9. #2199
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    His posture has not improved, but to be honest I am not sure if it ever will, nor if it advantageous for him to put a lot of effort in improving it. Posture is something that is very difficult to correct... I'm thinking about dancers now, but I'm sure it's equally hard for skaters, especially for someone who is Yuzuru's age. If he had started working on it specifically when he was a child, maybe he'd have good posture now -- but he is too old now. That's my opinion at least.
    That's not to say that he wouldn't have any improvement if he started to work on it now. He would probably improve very slowly though, having to adjust his technique all through.
    So, is if worth the effort? In my opinion, it would be more advantageous for him to pay more attention on improving the way he holds his arms, controlling all of his movements more and more. This is something he can definitely improve a lot on, and it would help in having him look much more polished even with not so good posture. This problem is also not so noticeable with the right kind of programs (see Parisian Walkways).

    Actually, now that I think of it there is an improvement. One of the reasons he would hunch over was tiredness in the latter part of his program. That's not just bad posture -- he was really bent in half trying to get to the end. Now he has much more stamina and he doesn't do that nearly as much (and hopefully this will just get better).

  10. #2200
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    Quote Originally Posted by zydeco88 View Post
    I won't call myself as an avid reader, but I do occasionally visit her blog to read some of the interesting stuffs she posted. Thanks for the heads-up! Will leave a message later and of course, spread the words to fellow fans!
    It's a small world! :-D

  11. #2201
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaiKatze View Post
    I . If Yuzuru wins the Olympic Gold medal it is Yuzurus gold medal. .


    I think coaches may play a crucial role in the development of students trajectory of talent.

    If Yuzuru is an extraordinary crazy jumper and earnes enormous TES at a very young age , it' s because his former coach tought him a very good technique, that doesn't need to be reworked, set the bar higher and higher and never played safe.

    The 15 yr old Yuzuru won the junior WC having the 3A combo in the second half of the FS, and what an incredible 3A he did!

    No wonder Orser has recently said it was Yuzu's idea to put 3A Combos both in the second part of NddP and R&J n°2 and they are performed in about 25 second one from the other , which is totally amazing and unique in the world I suppose .

    At the same time, one year later, the 16 yr old Yuzu had insanely difficult 3A entrance in both his programs, having the counter-3A in Scriabin SP and the spread eagle-3A in R&J n°1.

    IMO this is what is actually making the difference with other skaters , expecially if you compare him to other young talents, i.e. Han Yan beautiful and enormous 3A...

    About carriage and upper body movements, Bestemianova & Bobrin did wonders in just a few weeks and in a very difficult situation because of the language barrier and of the earthquake season, so I think Yuzu has already demonstrated to be able to improve quickly if he only has the opportunity .

    I red Bobrin said in an interviw that Yuzu is a very hard worker and a very quick learner, and I hope they can help him develop his artistry in the future.

    Actually I think Yuzuru needs some help with the 4Sal , since Orser has not been able to fix it in one year and a half .

  12. #2202
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonkat View Post
    Before with Abe his programs seem to hide problems with posture at least, but now its more obvious.
    I agree (and his FS costume doesn’t cover his posture…), but I think he’s working with that (as zydeco88 mentioned). I think his posture could have looked worse if he had skated current programs a few years ago. And I think it wouldn’t be good to skate posture-covering-up programs every year in the future. I agree that his posture doesn’t seem to be improving obviously, but I think it’s improving little by little; his upper body seemed to have less swag in each movement when compared to a year ago, so I think he has gained more strength in his upper body. However, I’m not sure to what degree he can eventually improve it, I think posture is partly something habitual, but also it could partly be a congenital physical trait. And perhaps his asthma affects his posture? I’m neither a skating expert nor medical expert, but I wonder his rounded back might allow him to breath more easily when he breaths heavily after he skates FS?
    Anyway, I hope he can refine his movements (including posture) in the long run, which I think will enable him to express more to the audience.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaiKatze View Post
    Maybe i underestimate the importance of a coach, but i wrote a similar entry before Yuzuru started to work with Orser. If Yuzuru wins the Olympic Gold medal it is Yuzurus gold medal. I think he still would've been in the running if he stayed with Nanami or another coach entirely. If Plushenko wants to coach Yuzuru - well, what a nice compliment. But I don't think Yuzuru needs other famous people to build him up or make him what he is. Similar to Yuna. I hate the notion that a coach just comes and takes all the credit, when it is all on the shoulders of the athlete and has been a process that went on all their lives. The coach can help, yes. But they can only do so much.
    I think coaches are one of the large factors which affect skaters, so I think he could be better, or worse, if he had trained with other coaches. But I strongly agree with the bold part. Though I respect his coaches (both current and former), it’s skaters themselves who should be praised when they skate well, and they themselves should be criticized when they don’t. They have their own lives, which made them what they are.

  13. #2203
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    Some people might be questioning: "Doesn't he have a physiotherapist or chiropractor working with him on a regular basis, who, besides helping him maintain his overall physical fitness, can help him work on good posture alignment?" "Didn't he say that he's taking lessons from a ballet instructor?" "If so, why isn't there any noticeable improvement on his posture in the slightest bit? On the contrary, it has sort of regressed." etc

    Honestly, that's what I've been tempted to think as well. But, for all we know, his problem, as airin pointed out, could probably stem from congenital spinal defects that cause a slightly abnormal curvature of the thoracic spine, or as with many people with asthma problems, he could've developed the habit of hunching his back and rounding his shoulders to ease his breathing difficulties; it's a sort of knee-jerk reaction, I suppose, as the body instinctively tries to alleviate the tightness in the chest. Or simply a self-inflicted bad habit due to ergonomic or postural strains. Really, there are just many variables that might have come into play, that we have no way of knowing. Even if it's caused by a correctable factor like the self-inflicted long-term habit, the degree of postural improvement one can achieve within a certain time frame will also heavily depend on how long they've gone on their "slouching" ways. The way we walk, sit and stand is just one of the hardest habits to let go, let alone correct, and it may very well be as difficult as giving up alcoholism or smoking. It's a no mean feat trying not to revert back to old ways and to maintain consciousness and control over those reflexes the minute you drop your guard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalina View Post
    So, is if worth the effort? In my opinion, it would be more advantageous for him to pay more attention on improving the way he holds his arms, controlling all of his movements more and more. This is something he can definitely improve a lot on, and it would help in having him look much more polished even with not so good posture. This problem is also not so noticeable with the right kind of programs (see Parisian Walkways).

    Actually, now that I think of it there is an improvement. One of the reasons he would hunch over was tiredness in the latter part of his program. That's not just bad posture -- he was really bent in half trying to get to the end. Now he has much more stamina and he doesn't do that nearly as much (and hopefully this will just get better).
    ITA. I would rather him work on improving his overall carriage and clarity of movement, refining his lines than singularly focus on correcting his posture. He comes across as a bit erratic at times, especially wrt his arm movements (sometimes I wish he would straighten his arms more).

  14. #2204
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    Quote Originally Posted by zydeco88 View Post
    Some people might be questioning: "Doesn't he have a physiotherapist or chiropractor working with him on a regular basis, who, besides helping him maintain his overall physical fitness, can help him work on good posture alignment?" "Didn't he say that he's taking lessons from a ballet instructor?" "If so, why isn't there any noticeable improvement on his posture in the slightest bit? On the contrary, it has sort of regressed." etc

    Honestly, that's what I've been tempted to think as well. But, for all we know, his problem, as airin pointed out, could probably stem from congenital spinal defects that cause a slightly abnormal curvature of the thoracic spine, or as with many people with asthma problems, he could've developed the habit of hunching his back and rounding his shoulders to ease his breathing difficulties; it's a sort of knee-jerk reaction, I suppose, as the body instinctively tries to alleviate the tightness in the chest. Or simply a self-inflicted bad habit due to ergonomic or postural strains. Really, there are just many variables that might have come into play, that we have no way of knowing. Even if it's caused by a correctable factor like the self-inflicted long-term habit, the degree of postural improvement one can achieve within a certain time frame will also heavily depend on how long they've gone on their "slouching" ways. The way we walk, sit and stand is just one of the hardest habits to let go, let alone correct, and it may very well be as difficult as giving up alcoholism or smoking. It's a no mean feat trying not to revert back to old ways and to maintain consciousness and control over those reflexes the minute you drop your guard.


    ITA. I would rather him work on improving his overall carriage and clarity of movement, refining his lines than singularly focus on correcting his posture. He comes across as a bit erratic at times, especially wrt his arm movements (sometimes I wish he would straighten his arms more).
    Haha I was sort of going for overall carriage and clarity of movement. That would definitely make his posture look better. I know he can never be Patrick Chan in that aspect. Anyways, in White Legend Ex and 2012 romeo and juliet lp his arms were steadier and movements clearer. And now, it seems sloppier even in the first half of his lp...

    Still he's very fun to watch. I'd gotten used to watching his programs and sometimes wonder "where's the jumps?" or "why isn't he skating faster?" watching other skaters.

  15. #2205
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    I get the feeling that each new program pushes his technical abilities ever higher... making it a struggle to put his passion and emotion into his performances, and to polish his movements.

    I think it was very smart to keep last year's short program. He polished that even further... there are a lot more subtleties and nuances in it now, and his movements are spot on to the timing of the music... it's no surprise to me, that he took back the world record.

    And re-using Parisienne Walkways gives him more time to get comfortable with the demanding technical elements his "new" Romeo and Juliet free skate... and hopefully have it perfected by the Olympics.

    Up to the GPF, he looked to me like he was having to concentrate just on making it to the end of R&J without too many mistakes, and without physically collapsing. Then at the GPF, he was finally able to perform his FS with the passion and emotion that sets him apart from other skaters... a great improvement! But at Nationals soon after, he seemed to be holding back a little compared to GPF. Perhaps he was playing it safe?

    I predict he will BRING IT at the Olympics...! :-D

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