SAY IT ISN’T TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Talk about spoiling my Christmas! I absolutely love Akiko. In fact, after Liza and Carolina, Akiko is my next favourite ladies skater (although, Mao is not too far behind!)
I have to be honest and say that Akiko didn’t really come up on my radar until the last couple of seasons. But, she very quickly became one of my favourite skaters.
Like, how could anybody not like Akiko?! She is a brilliant skater, she is really beautiful, and she has a really playful personality that really endears her to you. As I said in a message I wrote soon after joining this forum (but have yet to actually post!), “Still can't believe that she's older than me - she looks so young!”
I was a bit annoyed when the Kerrs had to retire. Like, they were just starting to really challenge the top ice dancers on a regular basis. But, I suppose there is not much you can do about injuries.
But, I am really upset about Akiko deciding to retire. OK, so she may be one of the older girls competing at the moment, but she is far from past it! She is one of the top competitors in ladies skating at the moment.
Look at it this way: if Yu-Na, Mao or Carolina have one bad performance at the Worlds this year (which is more than likely!), Akiko would have to be the favourite to pinch a podium position.
Now, with all the good teenage skaters coming through at the moment, it would probably be too soon to definitely say the same for next season’s Worlds, or for the Olympics. But, Akiko should still be well in the mix.
So, although we still have another season and a half to enjoy her competing, I really think Akiko is calling time on her career too soon.
Arigato Akiko-san for the joy you have given us these past few years.
...and let’s hope you decide to delay the “Sayonara” for a few more years yet!
Next season will be the last one for many skaters. Not a surprise.
...Or Jenna (we need another few years for Dempsey Andrews to get near Jenna's level); Kiira; [next on the list was going to be Laura Lepistö, but I only found out there now when I went to check the spelling of her name that she had already retired!]
…Or Yevgeny (again); Brian; Tomáš; Daisuke; Nobunari
…Or Zhang Dan (well, we’ve already lost Zhang Hao); Pang and Tong; Kavaguti and Smirnov
…Or Nathalie and Fabien; Alyona and Robin; Tatiana and Maxim...
Oh, it’s depressing me thinking about who might retire in the not too distant future!
Sad News - but somehow understandable, when looking at her age. I hope she will be able to go to Sochi, not guaranteed, especially if Miki finds a coach and returns.
I think Akiko should be very proud of her career. I have a great admiration for her, especially since she has overcome anorexia and had stayed in the sport well into her 20's (she will be 29 in March 2014). She is a wonderful role model for skaters of every nation. Hats off to you Akiko and hoping to see you in Sochi!
She's such a wonderful skater and a lovely girl, and I would selfishly like her to compete for a lot of years, but we must remember that she's 27 and her body won't be able to land triples forever so I think that, after all the great programs she gave us, retiring after a successful Olympic season would be the best thing... I wish her all the best for the rest of this season, too!
Before this announcement, I believe that the official word was that Akiko wasn't sure if she would stick around for the Olympic season. So this announcement is actually good news.
Also, there's only a few sentences from Akiko in that Kyodo news blurb, and it's probably translated from Japanese, but she sounds kind of down (this is compared to her usual writing tone on her blog and her twitter). Cheer up, Akiko!
It's too bad she has to retire but I kinda expected it to be right after Sochi given her age. I'm crossing my fingers she makes the team for Sochi.