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Thread: Interview with Narumi Takahashi/Ryuichi Kihara

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Interview with Narumi Takahashi/Ryuichi Kihara

    The day after Lombardia Trophy I had the chance to interview the new Japanese pair of Takahashi/Kihara: http://www.artonice.it/?q=en/node/13975

    They looked very determined to me, and I wish them all the best for this season

    Comments/critics/suggestions are very appreciated, thanks!

    Laura

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    How did you happen to skate together, who decided to make Ryuichi try out with you, Narumi?

    Narumi: So many things happened in a short amount of time, that I don't clearly remember every single detail of those days. I got injured, my previous partner and I stopped skating together, then I just started to skate together with Ryuichi because we wanted to see whether we would be a good match. At the beginning we just practised stroking, basic skating, to see if we could really be a good pair.
    Did they answer in Japanese and then someone translated?
    Am I more upset about their split than Narumi is to hers? It was like, err, I got injured and I found a new partner. Whatef. Really, Narumi? So nonchalant so cold about the whole thing.

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    I don't think Narumi is necessarily being nonchalant or cold. She might just be enumerating all the eventful things that happened so close together—the injury, the change in partners, and the new partner—to show why she can't give a clear account of everything that happened. Also, because this was a politically awkward situation, she may be trying to speak as neutrally as possible and not reveal any feelings or details, for fear of offending her coach, the Japanese federation, or someone else. There are all sorts of reasons for the tone of her answer, including as you mentioned that this might be a translation of her original wording.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I don't think Narumi is necessarily being nonchalant or cold. She might just be enumerating all the eventful things that happened so close together—the injury, the change in partners, and the new partner—to show why she can't give a clear account of everything that happened. Also, because this was a politically awkward situation, she may be trying to speak as neutrally as possible and not reveal any feelings or details, for fear of offending her coach, the Japanese federation, or someone else. There are all sorts of reasons for the tone of her answer, including as you mentioned that this might be a translation of her original wording.
    She was speaking in English, and translating to Ryuichi from English to Japanese. I agree about what you said, she was just making a list of all the things that happened in a short amount of time, that's it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    She was speaking in English, and translating to Ryuichi from English to Japanese. I agree about what you said, she was just making a list of all the things that happened in a short amount of time, that's it.
    Thanks for the clarification, Pingu, and thanks for the interview!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Did they answer in Japanese and then someone translated?
    Am I more upset about their split than Narumi is to hers? It was like, err, I got injured and I found a new partner. Whatef. Really, Narumi? So nonchalant so cold about the whole thing.
    I think there might be a reason why Narumi tries to blank out the whole thing. Recently I read an interview with Richard Gauthier, who coached Takahashi/Tran until their sudden split. Before reading the interview I'd been curious about his feelings regarding the break up - after all, one moment he was coaching a pair who won a historical firct World medal for Japan and seemed to have a great future ahead of them, the next moment they were history.
    Here's the interview: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...u-control-love
    And the relevant part:
    RG: Figure skating is acting as well. A theatre. When the skaters skate to a `Love Story' but can't show it on the ice they shoudlnt' even attempt it.
    When the coach wants to show the real emotions on the ice you have to pay attention to the smallest details: how do they hold their hands, where do they look. With Sale/Peletier it was easier - they were a pair off the ice as well. Takahashi/Tran weren't, but they had the same `chemistry'
    (...)
    EV: Was it possible to prevent the break up of your Japanese pair?
    RG: I know Japan were trying to find a solution so that Takahashi/Tran could skate in Sochi Olympics. The only solution for Mervin to gain a Japanese citizenship was to marry Narumi. I was strongly against it. I said starting a family just for the games is nonsense. There is a life after the sport and you shouldn't ruin it in advance.
    The interview made me feel simultaneously shocked and relieved. Shocked, because I didn't think JSF and/or T/T would go as far as to consider marriage to get to the Olympics (especially considering the fact that, IIRC, Mervin was dating a different girl at the time). And relieved, because it sounds like Gauthier still holds T/T in high regard and not only doesn't have hard feelings towards them, but also advised against the marriage as the means to keep the pair together at any cost.

    I think T/T made a smart decision in the end.

    Anyway, both Narumi and Mervin seem to be over it now (according to reports, they were acting friendly and cheering each other on @Nebelhorn Trophy). I think it's time for the fans to move on as well and cheer for P/T and T/K instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by inskate View Post
    The interview made me feel simultaneously shocked and relieved. Shocked, because I didn't think JSF and/or T/T would go as far as to consider marriage to get to the Olympics (especially considering the fact that, IIRC, Mervin was dating a different girl at the time). And relieved, because it sounds like Gauthier still holds T/T in high regard and not only doesn't have hard feelings towards them, but also advised against the marriage as the means to keep the pair together at any cost.

    I think T/T made a smart decision in the end.

    Anyway, both Narumi and Mervin seem to be over it now (according to reports, they were acting friendly and cheering each other on @Nebelhorn Trophy). I think it's time for the fans to move on as well and cheer for P/T and T/K instead.


    RG: I know Japan were trying to find a solution so that Takahashi/Tran could skate in Sochi Olympics. The only solution for Mervin to gain a Japanese citizenship was to marry Narumi. I was strongly against it. I said starting a family just for the games is nonsense. There is a life after the sport and you shouldn't ruin it in advance.
    I do admire and respect Monsieur Gauthier as a person! One thing is for sure: Narumi and Mervin are so lucky to have been able to skate together under him and his team over these years and to learn many things not only about pair skating, but also many more precious things about life probably.

    Thank you so much, pingu and inskate for letting us know about these very nice interviews!

    Let me allow to post an additional interview, sort of, with Yuka Sato, the current coach of Narumi/Ryuichi, though all in Japanese:
    http://sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp/sports...0160010-spnavi
    I love the way how Yuka views/values their recent result at Nebelhorn.

    Best of luck to both of these young promising pair teams: Naru/Ryu and Natasha/Mervin!

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    Yuka is so articulate about skating. The interview on TSL, Dave and Jenny's series, was an eye-opener in terms of Yuka's capabilities and deep understanding of the sport.

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    ETA:
    Priceless moment at 8:10! Who can't but smile to look at the moment like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61OOffoS0ZY
    And from Nebelhorn:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ8Y6KmxB68
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67ECwyxEAfk

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