Gold for the Winter Prince!
- Jan 23, 2004
Akiko's skating is so beautiful. Looking forward to seeing the video of her new program.
Today's show was the first time I've seen her skate (I am new to skating, and I mostly watch Medvedeva), and I really liked her performance! She is light and graceful, and I thought her dress was by far the best one at the show (although Medvedeva's grey/lavender dress, from her other EX that wasn't shown in today's stream, is also pretty), and I thought the headband was a nice touch. She's a pretty girl whose skating is engaging and entertaining, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of her in the future.
Unfortunately Akiko is retired so it might make more sense as a new fan to search for her competitive programs from when she was still competing, especially the quad 2010-2014. She always has interesting exhibitions too and her very own style.
Yes! I loved the bird choreography at the beginning; she really sold that, and the music was wonderful! The step sequence was my favorite part; I really liked how well it was set to the music, and the look of joy on her face as she was bringing the routine home at the end as well as her beaming smile as she finished really polished it off for me. She really felt that, she loved it, and she conveyed that and let me share it with her. That was indeed a wonderful program!
One of my favourite exhibitions ever. Akiko and Cirque du Soleil was always great, look at Love Dance, I still get goosebumps:
Akiko is unique in that she only got succesful when she was a bit older than the norm. Unfortunately I don't think a career like hers is still possible in this day and age. She is truly artistic!
Yes, very mesmerizing! She moves well to the music in her programs, and not everyone does that. I don't know if that's an issue with choreography, or if some people just can't make the movements look like a response to the music, or what, but she is definitely among those who can do it. I love the colors of the dress, too. Blue, green, and purple are my favorite colors, and that dress essentially covered all the bases.
One of the reasons she can move to music so well is that she has very good skating skills. She would have gotten good scores if we still had compulsory figures.
She has always had some of the best costumes, and many of hers (probably since 2011-2012 season) were made by Shizuko Orihara of Studio Mu. This Clair du Lune costume was much more beautiful live than on screen. She looked like wearing stars, breathtakingly beautiful.
She had a quite successful career as a junior and was aiming at Turin WOG, but it was disrupted by anorexia when she was eighteen (2003-2004). Her breakthrough season was 2008-2009, in which she placed 4th at Nats, only 0.11 points behind Miki Ando. She was already 23 then, and few thought she would make it to the Olympic teams not just once but twice.
She landed a clean 3-3 combo for the first time in a competition when she was 26.
So is anorexia a common problem in figure skating, then? I thought that Lipnitskaya was an outlier. There certainly seem to be two different body types in skating, a thin, bird-like figure like Suzuki and Medvedeva, and a thicker, muscular one (especially at the legs) like Wakaba Higuchi and Katarina Witt. Some skaters look to be a bit in the middle between the two, like Kostner and Tuktamysheva, but to my novice eye, most are split into either skinny or stout. Do the skinny ones tend towards eating disorders?
I'm sorry, though; the first thing I thought of when I saw that costume was: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sundaes-Neopolitan-Coconut-Candies.jpg It is a wonderful cut, but I couldn't help seeing candy skate across the ice.
It seems eating disorders are more common among the athletes in sports like figure skating and gymnastics than we think. I don't think body types are a major factor because they are mental disorders, and not all skaters who have suffered have bird-like figures, like Gracie Gold for example. Puberty, pressure by the coaches and federations, and other factors may contribute to the illness.
Jenny Kirk is another former competitive skaters who has been publicly talking about her eating disorders. What I see in common in both Akiko and Jenifer is perfectionism planted by very strict mothers. Akiko's mother used to be very strict and demanding, and she tried to be a perfect child for her. After graduating high school, she left home in Toyohashi and relocated to Sendai (750 km away according to Google) to train with Mr. Nagakubo. She tried to control her weight very strictly, may be too strict, and the self-control got out of control. When her weight dropped to 32 kg, Mr. Nagakubo sent her home.
First, her mother couldn't accept the fact that her daughter was having an eating disorder. She started recovering when her mother accepted her as she was, even if she wasn't a perfect person. It seems rebuilding her relationship with her mother was her key to recovery. While Akiko has been open about her eating disorder, she hasn't told details of the conversations with her mother at that time, and some may be still painful to remember for both of them.
Unfortunately Jenifer's case, her mother died of breast cancer while she was still competing.
They look yummy!