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News Shoma Uno grapples with goals



Final Flight
Aug 16, 2018
I really find Shoma fascinating. His unusual thoughts about skating don't surprise me at all. It makes sense that someone who has his competition records and accolades will have this kind of temperament, because it's very hard otherwise to explain his longevity and resilience when constantly faced with skaters who on paper have significantly superior athletic, technical and/or artistic prowess than he is. But he remains singularly himself and never tried to be anyone else. I think his ability to be honest with himself has been key in finding what works for him as an athlete, regardless of what fans or observers feel about the correctness of it.

His relationship with Lambiel reminds me of his relationship with Mihoko Higuchi, his previous coach (currently Rena Uezono's and Mana Kawabe's coach). The difference is mostly in we have coverage of Lambiel's openness about what he thinks and feels about Shoma's career, while I had the sense that Higuchi was less covered about due to language barrier and her relatively lower profile. The loyalty and devotion Shoma has for them is pretty much identical. At the same time that loyalty does not equal his obedience as he goes against their opinions often and clashes with them. But it's a fascinating pattern in his career.

At the end of the day, Shoma can't compete forever. And while I think he's aware enough of his physical limitations and he's gracious enough to fairly appreciate his younger competitors, I hope when the day comes... Shoma will be able to step down from competitions with grace with two skates he can be proud of himself of, since that's a privilege that's not granted to every top skater, not even his predecessors. In a way I am enjoying the journey a lot as Shoma "winds down" as usually a top skater retires abruptly or never announce anything but just doesn't come back. But he seems to be doing it in a way that is realistic about the end, but is unsure about how his path will take him there.
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Lamente Ariane

Skating Skills -5, Fashion +3, Camp +4
Record Breaker
Apr 5, 2017
I like that Shoma was open and honest. It's much more enlightening than the typical "butterflies and rainbows" responses we get from many skaters.

I think it's worthwhile to put these comments in the context of a career. Shoma has been skating at a very high level for a very long time. Even if one is still in love with the sport, there must be a feeling of general fatigue. Who wouldn't be tired of the endless practice sessions, the endless drills, the grind of it all? Knowing that tomorrow will be the same as yesterday, the same as it was last year, and five years ago?

As far as the thing with Ilia (and honestly, Yuma, too)... every great champion is dethroned one day. It's the natural order of things. I think Shoma realizes his time is near. As he said, maybe not this year, but soon.
Agreed. How many times have we heard of skaters who retire, take time away from the ice, and only later are able to rediscover their love for skating on their own terms? (Ashley Wagner being one recent example) It’s a pattern for a reason. I think it’s very hard to keep up your passion when it is also your job, and has been since childhood.