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Thread: Tatsuki Machida

  1. #1381
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    I guess I can make peace with his retirement as long as he keeps skating in shows.
    Exactly! I think I can make peace with anybody's retirement as long as they keep skating in shows the way Machida did here. To be entirely honest, with all the discussions and excitement taking place now about this or that famous skater likely coming back to amateur competitions, I feel a bit selfish wishing for things like that because of the toll that staying on top in the sport of figure skating for years takes on the athletes' bodies and minds. But performances like Machida's show that a program doesn't need quads and level four elements to be as memorable as any he delivered in his competitive career. Similarly in ice dance, for me the exhibition program that Davis and White did to Rachmaninov was as spell-binding as their competitive programs, even if it didn't have twizzles and the kind of lifts it takes even skaters like them three years to learn. Moreover, there's the issue of the young up and coming skaters in many countries who also need opportunities to compete at major events in order to develop into top skaters in their turn and realize their potentials. After all, life in sports is short - sometimes very short. And if some retired skaters long for the competitions because they are athletes first, there used to be a very prestigious pro world competition in the US; perhaps, Japan or Russia where figure skating seems to be most popular right now could recreate something like that.

  2. #1382
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    To be honest, in my ideal world I'd like to see him competing. He still has more to give to the sport and his LP issues were 90% due to the layout (which I've analyzed to death, so I won't go over that again). However, I understand retirement/non-retirement is every skater's personal decision. I don't judge, say, Jeremy Abbott for continuing to compete, so I shouldn't judge Tatsuki for not competing.

    If galas are what we get, I'll take them.

  3. #1383
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    I'm also convinced that Machida had more to give to the sport talentwise, but I don't know if his body was up to it (I've come across some snippets that he had some leg problems, but nothing specific). In any case, I fully agree that it's his life and his decision, and I'm happy for him that he's found himself in academia where one can have a lifelong career. I'm glad for him that he wouldn't have to have forty operations on his knees like Kurt Browning (although I love Browning's skating, of course) or end up in such a condition that he'd have to give up skating altogether like Michelle Kwan.

    And if he goes on skating like this in galas, it's as good as competitions to me. In shows he can choreograph based only on the music - he doesn't have to think of specific length or specific elements that need to be in a competitive program. There'll always be good skaters competing - young skaters hungry for recognition, but it's good that there'll also be somebody as brilliant as Machida who can fully give himself to creation.

  4. #1384
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    ^He had some injury issues prior to GPF, which--coupled with his studies--probably didn't give him adequate preparation time. However, as far as I know, the injuries were not career-ending in any way. Perhaps they contributed to his GPF LP meltdown, but even with the injuries, there were reports that he was brilliant in practice and spectators couldn't believe their eyes when he skated that poorly in the LP. I think GPF just isn't his competition. He made the final three times and finished last, fourth, and last.

    It's not so much his retirement, so much as when he did it--in the middle of the season, after being named to the Worlds team. I hoped he could've gone to Worlds and finished the season, at least. (Plus, he's the 2014 World Champion in my heart, so I selfishly wished he could've tried one more time for the title.)

    On a slightly different note: I saw Kurt Browning at Stars on Ice Canada earlier this month. Not only was he by far the most charismatic performer of the cast, he also still had two triples (toe and salchow), plus the biggest, most steady 2As among all the skaters--even compared to still-eligible skaters like Patrick Chan and Ashley Wagner. Also, I don't think Michelle gave up skating because of injuries--she participated in Yuna's shows in 2010 and still gained back 3T and 2A after many years. I think she's simply moved on with her life, and the main draw for her was always competition.

    I don't mean to trivialize their injuries. But injury doesn't automatically equal retirement or inability to skate (and in Tatsuki's case, I don't think they even played a major role in his decision).

  5. #1385
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    just watched Machida's ex, wow and wow, ballet!!! Phillip Mills must be very very proud of his student Machida. I am going to watch it over and over, and learn from it, too much for me to digest.
    I will never imagine man of Machida's physique to dance ballet like this awesome on ice, but he proved himself over and over again, how can you not like a sincere man, inspirational, everything is possible as long as you put your honest heart into it.
    Machida seems to be a real, serious artist by all means, from this ex, I think this is the best form for his talent to shine to its full. Also, perhaps in Machida's mind, he does not care about models, but he sure loves figure skating. I feel he is absolutely at peace with his decision and very content and enjoy what he has right now in life.
    Last edited by yyyskate; 05-19-2015 at 03:08 PM.

  6. #1386
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    I saw Kurt Browning at Stars on Ice Canada earlier this month. Not only was he by far the most charismatic performer of the cast, he also still had two triples (toe and salchow), plus the biggest, most steady 2As among all the skaters--even compared to still-eligible skaters like Patrick Chan and Ashley Wagner.
    I know that Browning's technique is still very impressive, and he's always been one of the most artistically gifted skaters, but I've read his interviews where he mentioned how many knee operations he'd had to do over the years, so, while it's obviously his choice, I can't help feeling sorry for the high price he has to pay to continue skating the way he does. So I must confess I tend to feel glad for skaters who find themselves in something else rather than go this route, no matter how much I might miss seeing them skate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    I don't think Michelle gave up skating because of injuries--she participated in Yuna's shows in 2010 and still gained back 3T and 2A after many years. I think she's simply moved on with her life, and the main draw for her was always competition.
    That's so great to know! I remember reading an interview with Arutyunyan that by the time he began training hee there wasn't that much she could do physically, and that there were days when she couldn't do anything at all, and then when she withdrew from the Olympics which had been her goal all these years, I assumed this was the end, that if when it was just a matter of days, she couldn't pull herself together on all the high emotion for two performances, and since obviously her problems were clearly long-term ones and couldn't have been solved prior to the season, then that was it for her, and to be honest, this made me far sadder than her having to withdraw from the Olympics per se. (After all, what difference did it make to Browning's career that he hadn't won the Olympics?) So I'm happy to learn that with time she did recover and could skate if she wished to, and that, based on that, she's most likely feeling fine in everyday life (unlike Rachel Flatt, for example).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    I don't mean to trivialize their injuries. But injury doesn't automatically equal retirement or inability to skate (and in Tatsuki's case, I don't think they even played a major role in his decision).
    Of course, it depends on the type of injury. I've come across suppositions that injury played an important part in Machida's decision to leave the sport, and so abruptly at that, but I'm very glad to learn that it was by choice. I also wished for him to make another try for the WC title, but upon further reflection I came to think that it probably wouldn't make a difference to his subsequent career if he's ever won the Worlds or not, and, perhaps, it's wise of him to see it and measure achievement in other ways. (I'm not trying to undervalue athletic achievements, but there are different kinds of success where skaters are concerned, and I think even if he'd won the Worlds, eventually that's not what he'd be remembered for.) So I can't say that I'm really upset now that apparently he couldn't postpone taking that grad school position.

    Quote Originally Posted by yyyskate
    Machida seems to be a real, serious artist by all means, from this ex, I think this is the best form for his talent to shine to its full. I feel he is absolutely at peace with his decision and very content and enjoy what he has right now in life.
    Yes, it seems so to me too, and so I'm happy for him. Now he can have his academic career and his creative skating, so it looks like a happy situation for him.
    Last edited by Spiral; 05-20-2015 at 02:56 AM.

  7. #1387
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    Tatsuki's new EX program is now on YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1AGU202VYk

    Check that user's YouTube channel for no commentary videos of Tatsuki's Skate America and Japanese Nationals programs this season.

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