Javier Fernandez

eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
Ah well, that was a well deserved 2,5 days in full sunshine. I was half planning to take summer clothes with me, but eneded up with what I would mostöy wear in the fall or spring in Finland!

I went to Madrid with my friend known as tureis on this forum and the second part of the trip to Spain was already spent together. We met up in Amsterdam and managed to get seats next to each other at the back of the plane. Right before liftoff we watched Dmitri Aliev in the Russian Nats and right after the landing, Alena Kostornaia's SP. The trip started well!

My holidays were of course just work-work-work for Javi. When I got up very early in the morning, he was already posting stuff on IG and he was on TeleMadrid slightly later, on the radio a little later (Hoy per Hoy, around 10 min and SER Deportivos around 28 min).

In the afternoon, part of the cast of ROI was at the rink at Plaza de Colon to do a event of inclusive skating. Some pics here of Javi skating with Celia and other events here and here and here and here.

Then to Palacio Vistalegre for the Friday rehearsals during which there was the usual press conference. AS published a clip on YT and TimeJust another one. EFE reported in writing. La Razon did a proper interview. Plus a video of the rehearsals via Periscope.

So, while he was busy doing all that, we settled down at our flat close to the Palacio Vistalegre (walking home after the show instead of public transportation etc. is a blessing), got some food and had some wine and went to bed early because the alarm had sounded around 3:30 am.

We had thought of going to Toledo on Saturday, but the trains were all full in the morning, so we ended up walking a lot in Madrid, just enjoying the sun. We went to check the ice rink at Plaza de Colon and as Uniqlo shop is basically next to it, did a bit of shopping (we were not the only figure skating tourists doing that!), got some food, walked more.

Then it was the first show. We had seats in the middle of the short end which gave a good view to a lot of the choreography. I think I liked last year a bit better, there were more longer sequences that tied into each other instead of single numbers like this year. The storyline of the little girl's dream of skating was ok, but not exploited to its full potential, I feel. Not to mention that last year there were more skaters that I liked! It was interesting to see Ashley Wagner live – had not done that before. The Claire du Lune by Capellini and Lanotte was absolute magic. Javi was brilliant in whatever he did. Twizzles and rotational lifts with Celia! The collaboration with Taburete was good for something that probably gets skated only those two times. But the rest a bit meh.

We also had a short chat with the lady who runs the Equipo Japon Javier which was fun!

On Sunday we did get to go to Toledo which is lovely but also a total tourist trap. And in the evening the second show and then meet and greet… We sat in one of the corners, right above Javi’s family. It was ok except that there seemed to be a door open to the North Pole below us and it is a while since I have been that cold! The 3A at the end of the second finale from Javi was just beautiful!

We had learned from meet and greet last year as had the organizers. This time the huge line to greet Javi was along the wall, the stage was so high that you could see what was going on without being next to it. They also had someone to take photographs, someone to take people’s things from one side of the stage to another and a table to sign etc. And tureis managed to get us to the queue at only 10 m from the stage! (She hopped over those rows of seats with no problem at all…)

And when we reached the stage, Javi greeted us with a smile that lit his whole face and open arms for hugs… Still cannot believe that he actually remembers who we are! :laugh: The lady from Japan had returned the WeMissYouJavi banner from its long (since Minsk!) journey to Japan (I had thought that it was going to settle and get citizenship…) and we got to take photos with the banner and Javi all together. He seemed to be happy to see it and when we asked for a signature, he knew exactly where he wanted to put it – basically over his heart in the Olympic medal picture on the left. Pictures here and the signing was videoed. I thought my knees might betray me going down those few steps, but I managed to stay upright…

We went to meet some of the other skaters (Capellini & Lanotte and Ashley particularly) and then also managed to have a longish chat with David Wilson. I had for a long time wanted to ask Brian and/or David how did find Javi’s lyrical side – was it sth they did deliberately? He was so strongly doing all those funny and lighthearted routines and then suddenly comes out with Danny Boy. Apparently, it was David’s principle that trying different kinds of things is good and exploring different emotions in programs also. He mentioned that Javi had had problems with Black Betty, especially turning from a “cute skater” (David’s expression) into something rawer – but he managed it pretty well in the end. Having mulled over that for a couple of days, I think now that it might have been one of the reasons why Javi really caught my attention in fall 2014.

He can’t have partied too hard after that (we left around midnight and he was still on stage and there was still quite a lot of queue left) because the next day he went to the Japanese embassy to meet the ambassador.

There was also a radio interview on that came out on January 1 on Cope (think it might have been recorded on Monday??)

The official audience figures “more than 55 000” are slightly lower than what I expected because most of the venues were quite large (A Coruna maybe the smallest) and the ticket sales did look good. The Madrid shows were not sold out and definitely not with 16 000 people as mentioned in some sources, the 13 500 for Saturday seems more to the point. They will be going for a third year and we will have to wait and see how it will work. Nevertheless, it is quite amazing to think that one of the more successful skating shows in the world is happening in Spain!

On Tuesday morning, LaLigaSports organized an event at the rink at Plaza de Colon with people playing gigantic table football with hockey skates.

In the afternoon, off to Italy for the Bolzano Passion Gala tomorrow evening. Today they had a press conference and Javi looked ever so slightly not present. I hope we get some pics or clips from tomorrow!

On January 9 and 16, there will be broadcast at Japanese NHK TV on the project he did after the Japan Open, Wonder Lessons. Teaser trailer here and interview of the producer/director here. The idea was to invite top skaters to give lessons to Japanese kids and and Javi starts the series. Funnily enough, they seem to be somehow unaware that he has been doing this kind of stuff for a long time now and knows what needs to be done etc. The kids were a varied group in skills and level of skating, but if I got it right from the awful google translation, then they decided to concentrate on performance and expression more than anything else. I hope we get to see that show!

And then the last bit, one of the interviews published on Saturday (Dec 28) revealed that he has a new girlfriend… Tureis and I talked about the sudden disappearance of loved up IG posts about the previous girl and what that could mean, and we got the answer just a few hours later… No name, just that she is Japanese and not in the skating world. And considering how the Japanese are not always very keen on social media, I wonder will we see her any time soon. But this is by far the fastest turnover in recorded history.

So, after a long and hard two months with ROI, I hope Javi gets to have some well-deserved downtime soon before Art on Ice kicks off in Switzerland in February!

ADD 1: Ooops, the Japanese TV show was on today, not on the 9th... But some good soul had put it up in Google Drive: ttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1SPDFst_ZE_ZSAnHQD4oGM4-WpN8ChHgf/view No translations yet, but looking forward to watching it...

ADD 2: The Bolzano Gala uploaded to YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-uS0_5hrBY He did Black Betty and Abril by Vanesa Martin (from ROI).

E
 

Clairecz

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
Javi is enjoying his well deserved rest and apparently, he's very determined to learn how to fly on skis :biggrin: try 1, another try and one more :biggrin:

The documentary of Javi coaching in Japan is awesome. (He's literally making all women cry) Still no translation, but maybe native Spanish speakers will be able to understand something through the dubbing/voiceover in Japanese. (It was really thoughful from the organizers to get an interpreter from Spanish into Japanese and not only from English) I don't understand Spanish that well, so apart from occassional English "up", "down" or "let's go" I didn't understand anything and yet it was such an amazing program. Javi is really talented, he will be or rather he already is a great coach, he makes the kids at ease and approaches each of the kids individually (exactly as he praised Brian for doing so) and what is interesting is that he does not rely only on showing the elements but rather walks the kids trough the process with words and demonstrates some parts of it, not the whole thing at once. And Nonoka-chan, one of the kids from this group, won gold at Aomori prefecture championship!

And just out of curiosity is someone from Javi's fanfest going to Euros in Graz? ;)
 

Olibritt

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Country
Spain
ADD 1: Ooops, the Japanese TV show was on today, not on the 9th... But some good soul had put it up in Google Drive: ttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1SPDFst_ZE_ZSAnHQD4oGM4-WpN8ChHgf/view No translations yet, but looking forward to watching it...

E


Is this address supoused to take me somewhere? :confused:

Please, tell me where to find it and I'll try to take a look at the video and see if there's anything thing that can be translated from spanish…

PD. I'm glad that you enjoyed your time in Spain. Did they try to sell you a sword in Toledo? :laugh: Yeah, all those small cities around Madrid, Toledo, Avila, Segovia... that were very important until the Middle Ages, now are mostly turistic destinations, for domestic tourism too, and there are lots of turists traps, of course. Still worth the visit for me :)
 

Olibritt

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Country
Spain
I saw the video. I have to admit that when I saw that it was almost 2 hours long, I wasn´t sure I was gonna do it but I did... I may have passed over a crying mum or two, but I saw it and I enjoyed it. Clairecz made a kind of a clickbait with that “He’s literally making all women cry” but yes, It’s literally true ��

On the other hand, I won´t call it a “documentary”, I would say it falls under the “reality show” category. And that’s relevant because a documentary it’s a work of journalism, which goal it’s to inform the audience about something that really happened, and a reality it’s an entertaining product that doesn´t need to be accurate and the editing can put together conversations that never existed or, at least not in those terms, so it’s hard to know when we are watching a cause-effect relationship or a trick of the filming/editing team. That said, I have to admit that as an entertaining product it works (at least for Javi’s fans) and there’re a lot of real things in it: it portrays a real group of children training and Javi coaching them and he is a very charismatic person.

I’m sure that a translation from Japanese would help to some extent, but I don´t think it would change my understanding of what’s going on. I had no problem with the Spanish part but I realized that I didn´t need it to understand what was happening or what Javi was saying. That’s the advantage of the realities: they are easy to follow and easy to get hooked by them. So, I’m not going to do a full translation of the Spanish dialogue, just a few bits that I found interesting but, if someone is intrigued by some specific part, just tell me and I’ll translate it.

It seems that, sometimes, they are portraying Javi as a magician that can help the children resolve their skating problems, the boy that is afraid to jump, the girl that never smiles... What Javi tells them is really inspiring but the children don´t understand Javi, they only understand what the translator tells and that’s probably the same that their coaches have been telling them for years...

What did Javi said to them?
To the boy with jumping problems, Javi told him that his problem was overthinking and that he knew that problem well, it happened to him with some jumps and that he learnt more from the times that he tried and fell than from the times he managed to stay on his feet. That it’s ok to fall, you simply try again. And that there was nothing more that he could explain to him about the jumps, because he knew how to do it, he just had to go for it and whatever happens, happens...
To the girl that never smiles, after her final program, where she smiled but fell on the jumps, he told her that he liked her performance and that she had to remember that everybody has bad days, she will surely have them too, days when everything and every jump goes wrong but, even in those days, her smile will still be pretty.

The reality is a bit simplistic trying to show how “Javi’s magic” transform young skaters but, the thing is that I do think that Javi has magic, a very special talent. IMO, more than a jumper, an interpreter or a skater, his real talent is that he is a seducer, in the original sense of the latin word (se=self, ducere=drive) to drive someone towards oneself. And that’s the main lesson he tries to teach the children in the interpretation class, right after he performs his Barber of Seville’s program.

First, he tells them that they need to express emotions, not only with the movements of their bodies, but with their faces too, he asks them to express different emotions with theeir faces: surprise, upset, sadness... then he asks them to perform their own step sequence smiling, but not all the time, they have choose the moments to smile. Then they have to imagine that Javi is the camera or the judge, and they have to look at him with intention, “an intense stare and then go away, that shows character, in the sense that I look at you and, even if you are up in the stands, I bring you with me”.
The next exercise Javi asks them to do is skate their own step sequence but adapting the mood at the music and they play songs of different styles. They end the exercise with the pirates, of course...

I hope the children enjoyed it, not only the protagonists, but all the children that participated in the program. I surely enjoyed watching it!
 

eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
Deleted the post - damn phones... But I really really really missed Javi watching the men's short today.

I am actually volunteering here in Graz which has been fun so far 😀 And it also gave me an opportunity to get the We Miss You! banner as Number 1 priority with the people who hung them at the arena last night. I told the story, how it has travelled around the world (ok, in mileage definitely, but it has not crossed the Pacific) and my lovely colleagues put their hearts into the job! If you watched the broadcast, it is there at the short end right of the judges and in perfect camera view every time someone skates that way 😀 I just hope Javi there would have been an inspiration to the guys, but I guess quite a few felt intimidated...

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eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
I was supposed to be working last night during the men's free, but plans changed and was able to sit there watching the guys battling it out. The end result pleased me, Dima's performance was a worthy follow-up to The King and I was also rooting for Artur Danielian to do well in his first Europeans.

At the victory ceremony, the flags went up in the short end, in front of the Javi banner. The spotlight was on all of them (it was as if Javi was nodding approvingly...), then the flags continued their way upwards, the light following them and leaving the banner into the shadow. And that was the moment when Javi's incredible reign in the Europeans really ended for me. I cried.

To add to the emotional turmoil, the Valdemoro rink posted a little clip of Javi practicing there on his own...

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Clairecz

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
I just wanted to add a small tidbit: During the break in the gala exhibition Czech TV (because it was being broadcasted live and they had to fill the time with something) broadcasted "figure skating with subtitles", it was figure skating programs with lyrics that was very important for the program and the story with Czech subtitles. They subtitled Papadakis/Cizeron's FD (which was great, because when it comes to music /I know this is esentially spoken word, but not that clear/ I'm very bad at understanding it and always caught only a few words, yet was too lazy to google their lyrics), Michal Březina's I'm only human FP, Anissina/Peizerat's Liberta (from Olympics 2002) and Javi's Prometo (the 2019 Europeans version). This was such an amazing idea and great choices of the subtitled programs. I think it was the commentator's idea (we have only one ;)), he's secretly Javi's fan. Last year, during gala break, the TV broadcasted only Javi's old programs ;)

And I also have to say that after watching Euros, Javi's ability to tell stories on the ice seems even more unique. (But Matteo will get there! His flamenco FP is amazing!)
 

Clairecz

On the Ice
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Country
Czech-Republic
Hey, guys, what’s wrong with Jaci’s health? What treatment is he doing?

Javi injured his knee about two weeks ago in training.
The first info was that he injured his back, even on Art on Ice page but it was probably a wrong translation or wrong information, because later on Javi himself said (and showed) it was his knee. He had to cancel the whole Art on Ice tour in Switzerland... Then he posted that the treatment is going according to the plan. Yesterday he was with Sara Hurtado at Gloria Estefanell's art exhibition so hopefully it's not too bad. And today he posted that the treatment will take four more weeks.
 

eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
Somehow am so pleased I decided not to invest into going to Art on Ice in the end...

But today two years ago, after two nights watching figure skating with friends in Budapest (of all the places in the world!), bleary eyed and barely capable of any brian functions, we celebrated The Medal.

These cannot be posted and watched enough many time:

Modern Times (Am just a bit sad that one of my favorite minor details in that program, the circle he did at the beginning of the step sequence - perfectly done here from IdF - was missed here. Not sure why, but possible he drifted too close to the border.)

Man of La Mancha. I am still so proud of that second half (and think I have said it before, but will happily repeat myself here) after the mistake in the 4S. The best he had done in some time in the FS. Supersharp, all the jumps just so... He worked hard for that medal!

E
 

eppen

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Country
Spain
One or both have been there since the beginning of the camps - it is lovely they take the time for Javi! (And surely get paid, but still both are probably asked for a huge number of seminars/camps!) Good grief, is this now the 5th or 6th time?

The dates are interesting - he said somewhere that there will be sth in Japan in the spring/summer, Stars on Ice it probably won't be (they have now booked tons of men already, but not Javi), so Fantasy on Ice early part? He will probably be ok to skate by the time Art on Ice Taipei will be on in April.

Not much activity now that he is recuperating from the injury, but in addition to attending art exhibition openings, he has been lunching with the Japanese ambassador and reps from the Japanese sponsor to ROI (this was only in his IG story this week) but next week there will be two events. Tomorrow, an awards gala in Zaragoza and later in the week, a talk gig in Alicante.

This week I have been scrolling through tons of competition protocols looking at quads, and that has made me realize that Javi is probably one of the few skaters in the world who can get a 0.00 GOE for an underrotated jump - the infamous, notorious 4S in the Europeans SP last year. Only two judges gave it -1 and -2, the others went mostly for 0 but there was also one +2! I would like to think they were disageering with the evil tech panel :dev2: But who else could do that?!?

E
 

mdr19

Rinkside
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
We went to meet some of the other skaters (Capellini & Lanotte and Ashley particularly) and then also managed to have a longish chat with David Wilson. I had for a long time wanted to ask Brian and/or David how did find Javi’s lyrical side – was it sth they did deliberately? He was so strongly doing all those funny and lighthearted routines and then suddenly comes out with Danny Boy. Apparently, it was David’s principle that trying different kinds of things is good and exploring different emotions in programs also. He mentioned that Javi had had problems with Black Betty, especially turning from a “cute skater” (David’s expression) into something rawer – but he managed it pretty well in the end. Having mulled over that for a couple of days, I think now that it might have been one of the reasons why Javi really caught my attention in fall 2014.

E
I was going through old videos looking for something else and came across Javi's Black Betty from that season, and watching it brought back so many memories that I spent some time reading this thread. I really, really have to register if only to reply to this! If before Black Betty he was more like "a lovely skater with a lot of talent and charisma" to me, Black Betty was the moment when I become totally convinced of his possession of the "it" factor. It was so different from what he had done before and so different from what a lot of other skaters were doing, and it was done so well. To me it was also the epitome of Javi's "boy to man" transition on ice. He still had that boyish charm while bringing out that something "rawer." And that moment with his ending pose after this SP at Worlds in 2015? How could one not love him?
(Now when he skates it in shows you can just tell that it is now a MAN skating. Performance-wise it has become quite mature and mesmerizing, but I will forever treasure the memory of this program during the 2014-2015 season.)

Truly one of my favorite SP programs. Many thanks to David (and the coaches, too, of course) for seeing this potential in Javi and helping him explore it. And many thanks to you, too, eppen, for sharing the story!


So I ended up rewatching quite a few of Javi's programs from the past. I recall that around 2012-2013 it was his FS (his first Chaplin program) that was more talked about, and rightfully so. But this time his Zorro SP that season really got my attention, especially the version used earlier that season. First of all, it's such a thoughtfully constructed program with tons of details. For example, can you not love how he draws a Z in the air following the 4T? (And looking back now, it kind of pains me to see the judges giving such a program less than 40 points in PCS:rolleye:) Secondly, it was probably one of the earlier indications that Javi could be more than just a cute skater good at doing funny lighthearted programs. I am glad that such promise eventually came to fruition a few years later. Also, compare this program to Javi towards the end of his competitive career, I will forever be amazed by how much he improved consistently in his 20s, in almost all areas of figure skating.

Since I've mentioned the 2012-2013 season... Just compare his Chaplin FS this season and the Modern Times FS in 2017-2018, and it cannot be more obvious. He was definitely not taking the easy path or going back to old comfort zones. I think it took great growth and courage to choose a character you had done before, and show people, under all the pressure and scrutiny going on during the Olympic season, how far you have come during those 5 years. Not only did Javi become a much more polished skater, the range and depth of his interpretation also improved greatly. If his 2012-2013 FS was cute and adorable, the Modern Times SP in 2017-2018 was more sophisticated, and his performance much more nuanced without losing an ounce of the spontaneity, sincerity and authenticity that few could rival him in.

I guess some think Javi peaked around 2016, and there might be some truth to that as age and injuries eventually took a toll. But in a sense he continued to improve until the very end of his competitive career and became, without any doubt, the complete skater he always wanted to be. A lot people say that if you do not have good skating skills and posture when you were younger, it would be hard to fix those things later as an adult. How Javi transformed from the awkward looking kid (on ice, off ice he's always lovely:biggrin:) to one of the men with the most pleasant looking posture and smoothest skating is a testimony of both his immense natural talent and his dedication and perseverance, at the same time being the genuine and pure (to use Kurt Browning's word) person and performer that he always is.

I don't know why I become all sentimental... but I really believe we won't see another like him in a long, long time (though other skaters can be great in their own ways).
 

mdr19

Rinkside
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
So Hielo Español recently published on their website a gallery of photos showing skaters from when they were little kids to later in their careers/lives, and it includes photos of Sara, Celia, Javier Raya, Laura and many others. And of course Javi. I think I have seen most of the photos before, but I still have to say he's so, so cute as a kid and that he was born with perhaps one of the brightest smiles ever.
Javi can also be seen in photos with other skaters like this one with Celia and Raya, taken when they were all very young (Judging by Javi's costume I think it's likely from the 2007-2008 season), and this one with a younger skater, Pablo García. I especially like this cute photo with a baby Sofía Val. I think it's from the 2012-2013 season. Sofía is now an ice dancer and just represented Spain at this years Junior Worlds and made it to the FD. I quite enjoyed her and her partner's performances and hopefully we get to see them progress nicely in the years to come.

Meanwhile, Hielo Español also posted on their Instagram account this photo from when Javi, Raya and Sonia competed for the first time at an international competition. I am not sure whether it was the exact same competition they talked about in this video but it was probably during that time of Javi's life when he was still a bit of a rascal.
(And I just rewatched the video. It's so funny but also really touching at the same time.)

I guess I just really need to see something nice. It is a difficult time and we are all worried and stressed. I hope everyone stays safe and that things get better soon.
 

mdr19

Rinkside
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Javi: "May the surface of Ice Palace, that gave me so many good hours, help you", as the Madrid ice rink turns into a temporary morgue because of coronavirus :cry:
https://twitter.com/A3Noticias/status/1242511750550958080?s=19

He looks so sad :( It must be devastating for a skater to see a familiar rink serving this purpose :(

Yesterday I read about the ice rink in the news, and it made me really sad. I didn't realize that the Palacio de Hielo was where Javi had his retirement press conference after last years' Europeans...
 

mdr19

Rinkside
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
It was four years ago today that this happened in Boston. As far as I am considered this is still one of if not THE best FS performance this sport has ever seen.

How time flies! Now we are right in the middle of another quadrennium with 2022 only two years away. Nowadays I follow figure skating with a lot less stress as there are skaters I like but no longer a favorite. But I do miss those days of following Javi's competitive career. He had so many great programs, was (and of course still is) such a natural and genuine performer, and IMO always improved year to year as an all-around skater. I wouldn't trade those years (stress and heartbreaks and all) for anything.

Hope everyone stays safe!
 
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