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Thread: Kanako to retire after Sochi?

  1. #16
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    Well, I certainly understand her wish to have a life that has been impossible for her up to now. I imagine that university must look so tantalizing to a kid who's never done anything but train. Also, I don't know much about the Japanese university system, but I get the feeling that it's not as chronologically loose as American colleges are. Here, people sometimes go to college or university in their twenties or even later, for various reasons. (They served in the military; they couldn't afford it and had to work for a few years; they are changing careers; or, like Michelle and Sasha, they skated during their teens.) A college or university campus, especially a large one, might have students of many ages. Can someone from Japan enlighten me on how much there is of this kind of age spread in Japanese universities?

    I'd love to see Kanako continue, but if she wants to experience the outside world, she should be allowed the luxury of that choice.

  2. #17
    Custom Title cinnamon's Avatar
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    I graduated from a university in Japan a while ago. The age spread of students there used to be - over 95% are 18-22. I believe it's not so much difference between now and then.

    Anyway to be a competitive skater needs lots of sacrifice over so many years, and it's daily sacrifice, as getting up at 4 am take the ice, joggling between training and practice... Kanako, in the middle of training for Olympics now, can only work hard by allowing herself to dream "after this I can do whatever I want". She just started to go to the university, has changed her hair color, appeared with pierce earrings in front of the media people (those are two things that highschool girls cannot do in Japan), is exposed to a new world. It doesn't mean for sure she is going to quit after Sochi. When she was younger, at her first Nationals she said she "wanted to be Yamada (her coach), that's why she was skating". (She really loved her coach. So she said she wanted to be Yamada herself. That was her ultimate goal.) Only after seeing Mao at Olympics she got motivated to win, to catch them up. She is such a sweet girl to express her emotions like that, so this time I take her statement as her dream, not as her plan

  3. #18
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    Thank you for the information. I have never thought of this was coming...but I totally understand her statement.
    I wish her the best in both skating life and private life.(but I will miss her for sure if she retires after Sochi)

  4. #19
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    Thanks for the information about universities in Japan, Cinnamon.

    Seeing Kanako's statement as "her dream, not as her plan" seems wise at this moment. Of course, I want all the skaters to stay on past Sochi...but then, I wanted Michelle to stay on! When it comes to skating, realism isn't my strong suit. Skating is what I watch to get away from reality....

  5. #20
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    I think Murakami continues competing at least 2 years after Sochi. Probably she will win the Japanese national title and a world medal. After that, her motivation is in doubt. I don't worry about Miyahara. If she becomes the #1 Japanese lady, her scores will be boosted immediately. There are potential (domestic) rivals though.

  6. #21
    Custom Title mary01's Avatar
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    I would be soo sad to see kanako retire, she is such a talented skater and I really enjoy her programs alot, she really should be able to achieve much more in the future if she decides to continue, maybe a break from skating is all what she needs after Sochi, because somehow i just find it hard to imagine her permanently retired after Sochi.

  7. #22
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    Oh gosh! I certainly didn't see this coming. Since in my mind Kanako is always a young girl. But what am I to stop her having a normal life that she wants...
    Will it work if she has some time off from competition like a couple of years, tastes the normal life, then put her university life on hold, comes back in time for 2018 Olympics? I don't think there will be any serious Japanese ladies contenders then.

  8. #23
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    That would be really sad... especially when she's developed so much more artistically as a skater. It seems her jumps are waning from previous years and she's burning out faster than expected. I hope she stays on. Like Kostner, I think if she hangs around for a bit, she will eventually be a solid medal contender... not that she hasn't having placed in the top 3 in a few of the Worlds SPs.

  9. #24
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    We're pretty sure Akiko will leave after Sochi...if Miki comes back I think Sochi would be her last hurrah...and Mao has been going nonstop since her junior days so I think Sochi might be it for her too...

    If Kanako decides to call it quits (totally understandable BTW) then that leaves Japan with a bunch of newbies and no top world level skater. It would be exactly what happened in the US around 2008 where all of the newbies (Mirai, Caroline, Rachael, Ashley) ended up jockeying for position. That would put Japan back in the building phase. If Mao, Akiko, Kanako and Miki all retire, that leaves Satoko Miyahara as the top Japanese lady (3rd at nationals). Satoko has terrible UR issues and is still very young which means she'd be a blip on the international radar. Rika Hongo (5th at nationals) has the goods but she's also very green and wouldn't be much competition internationally. Haruka Imai has the maturity and presence but she's never been a solid competitor (14th at nationals this year).

    There isn't a lot of promising talent coming up through the Japanese ranks right now. I think with Yu-Na, Mao, Carolina and Akiko gone, Kanako could be a world medalist. She was 5th last year at worlds, 4th this year...all three medalist from this year's worlds will be gone after Sochi which means the door is wide open for Kanako if she wants to step through it. BUT I totally get why she wants to leave. Life is about more than skating so if she's ready to move on I understand.

    I'll miss her though :( I've been watching her since her junior days and I've really enjoyed watching her grow, mature and improve.

  10. #25
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    I agree. Right after 2014, Kanako has the potential to become World Champion. She should skate 1 or 2 more years.

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