Sota Yamamoto | Page 92 | Golden Skate

Sota Yamamoto

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
Guys 🔥


Also, I came across this clip showing an interaction between Sota and Mai Mihara at Japanese Nationals, it seems he was checking on her re: her ankle injury 😭


This warms my heart in many ways, not only because I'm a fan of both but I always thought they are kinda similar? They both have enormous inner strength and passion for skating behind a sweet and shy exterior. I wonder if Sota sees a bit of himself in Mai, as a fellow skater who had to overcome a lot of serious health problems, and that's why he wanted to encourage her 🥹

Also, we don't see Sota interacting with the girls in public a lot, but from his tone and body language we can see he's a gentleman, A+ in my book.
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Also, I came across this clip showing an interaction between Sota and Mai Mihara at Japanese Nationals, it seems he was checking on her re: her ankle injury 😭


This warms my heart in many ways, not only because I'm a fan of both but I always thought they are kinda similar? They both have enormous inner strength and passion for skating behind a sweet and shy exterior. I wonder if Sota sees a bit of himself in Mai, as a fellow skater who had to overcome a lot of serious health problems, and that's why he wanted to encourage her 🥹

Thanks for sharing! Sota and Mai have known each other for long, and Mai is his peer. I recall Sota was asked about his skating peers in 2018 in Kenji's Room show, and he answered his closest peer is Mai. The elite boys are either older or younger than him - I guess that's a big deal in skating (and in Japan)?

I visited Twitter after a small break, and stumbled upon this sentimental photo in a fan's picture of an article (in Chuunichi Shinbun) about coach Yamada -


Then there was this, published today - https://www.asahi.com/articles/DA3S15845239.html - an Asahi article about Sota and the hardships he's overcome. For paying registered members only. -_-

Also, in Sota's January Unlim, he said he would skate competitively after graduation (no wonder, it's this spring already, I think! Good luck to him with the exams! 🍀 ), and in the future, he still wants to be a coach. I'm happy. He's born to be a great skater, and a great and respected coach; I feel it in my bones ☺️
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
^ If it's anything like '21 questions', that must be a fun read :biggrin:

Now, here are finally some photos from Sota's official practice:


I like the last photo especially because that's the kind of Sota I want to see in 4CC. Kuyashii, determined, and in revenge mode. Of course it's not easy to replicate Nationals, I suspect that won't be possible for a while yet as Sota still looks a bit too insecure and up-and-down (like many top boys and men). But, I'm hoping for a good fight put up by Sota for his last score of the season. If it doesn't work out, well, there's that 250+ from Skate Canada so it'll have to do, and he'll try again next time. After all adversities Sota has been through, I'm just glad he's competing among the best of the best again, and that he now knows that's where he rightfully belong thanks to his scores and performances.

He's got a very hard field to mimic the one at All Japan, with two of the best Japanese, JunHwan who will want to skate lights out, and although I really don't care for Shaidorov's skating, he's one to be reckoned with too, if he lands his jumps. And Boyang, who is good and on home soil. Let's hope the presence of these skaters plus the best US guys, motivates Sota to land him somewhere in top 6! 🤞

Hoping Sota can skate as well as his current ability allows him to (with him, we'll never know if he's hiding an injury or not, so I hope he isn't), and is ruthless on the ice 💪 Good luck and safe jumping, Sota! 🍀 As zoned out / chill as at Nationals, please, if possible. :)

Here's an article about Sota from Nikkan (mostly paid, sadly): https://www.nikkansports.com/premium/sports/figure/news/202401300000510.html
It confirms 4CC is really Sota's last competition this season ;_; No more point earning opportunities for him...
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Men SP is tomorrow - Best of luck, Sota! 🍀 Fingers crossed.
Here's a new interview with him: https://youtu.be/AoX8-PIUabM?si=OC5wqkxe2sQ97q1I
And a corresponding article from 4years Asahi: https://4years.asahi.com/article/15136103 - with some nice photos there. (y)
Sota says he still has many obstacles to overcome (to make his Olympic dream come true). 4CC is one of them. There are several top class skaters but I hope Sota can also establish himself :pray:
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Well done, Sota! Good fight. I haven't seen it so far as YT doesn't have it and I'll have to fish for it in Opera stream, but it's amazing he pulled off a solid 94.44 in these hard circumstances. Among less fierce competition, he'd have a small medal. At EC, this skate would place him first. :drama:

Sota's 4th place is as good as a small gold to me, considering the suitability of the SP for him (he tries so hard, though, it's impressive), and the big likelihood of Sota getting lower scores to make room for potential mistakes from the big guns that skated after him. He has no choice but skate as clean-ish as possible in this season, and in future competitions, to have any chance against the shiny new jumper trio. Just like Kazuki.

Sota has shown admirable resilience here, and got his revenge for the SP from GP China. I'll be happy with a 4th place if Sota clings to it after the FS. Boyang and Shaidorov will be in fighting spirits, I'm sure. If a new SB happened, I'd be even happier, but I'll just keep the 🤞 .
Rest up well, Sota!
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
I'm happy about Sota's 4th place finish! He had difficult competition. Just to put his achievement in perspective: last year, his score would have landed him in the bronze position at 4CC, and at this year's EC, he'd have been 2nd comfortably. And he's just matched Keiji Tanaka's best placement at big competitions!
He also moved up to #9 in the World Standings, and unless something unexpected happens, even after WC and JWC, he could finish among the top 11 WS skaters, who I believe are entitled to 2 GP next season?

Sota showed very good grit and restraint: he fell on the opening 4S, which probably rattled him before the following 4T-3T combo, which turned into a messed up 4T with a 1T attached. But after that, he skated solidly, and now he has the entire elite score collection: in the 250s, the 270s, one in the 280s, and now also one in the 260s. Not bad at all, considering he said he was 'stiff' and 'couldn't find his axis'. If we compare that to last year, all Nationals FS in the previous seasons, or to Finlandia 2019 where he also lost his axis, we can see Sota has made a *huge* leap forward in fixing his confidence issues, little by little. If he keeps that up, and maybe takes up meditation so he could zone out mentally just before skating (I don't know if it actually works, but worth a try), and most importantly, if JSF shows him a bit more appreciation next season, then the sky is the limit. I fully believe he's not maxed out yet, and could even tackle a 290 score - but since he won't be forgiven mistakes, unlike skaters with sky-high GOE and PCS, he can only achieve such a score if he goes clean in both programs, and doesn't attempt 4Lz and 4F.

All spins across the SP and FS were lv4, the steps were lv3 in both.
I'm looking forward to seeing Sota's Teeth gala one more time! I'm pretty happy he said he'd change his competitive programs for next season, but didn't mention his gala. Awesome, I hope he keeps it, and that I'll be able to see it somewhere.

Articles about Sota:
- https://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/202402030001596.html - he says he was frustrated and wants to remember the frustration to be his driving force next season
- https://hochi.news/articles/20240203-OHT1T51286.html - he wants to take a break now and show further growth next season
- https://www.nikkansports.com/premium/sports/figure/news/202402030001702.html (paid article)

Both Sota and a couple of articles now say 4CC is Sota's last competition for this season. This is so frustrating that unlike Europeans and a few lucky individuals from the US and Asia, he won't be allowed to fill in that last column in the world standings chart! Many Japanese skaters have this issue, and I really want ISU to do something about it.
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
@surimi I completely agree, Sota did great considering all the circumstances and showed a lot of growth :clap: Even if you think, for example, at Worlds last year his nerves affected him a lot more, but now the nerves really showed at the beginning of the free skate and then he got it together! He's really maturing a lot, isn't he 🥹

I can't help but think of the pressure he must have felt in the context of the difficult political circumstances in the Japanese Men field, in which the fed made VERY CLEAR who they want to support and the way he was scored in relation to the two other Japanese men showed 🙃

For now, I hope Sota gets a nice rest, eats a delicious meal, and enjoys his experience at the Kassoya show, in which he will be surrounded by some of his best friends and the show itself seems to be very interesting. I read that the show will allow fan pictures and videos, so we will see more of his beautiful skating very soon!
 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
@surimi I completely agree, Sota did great considering all the circumstances and showed a lot of growth :clap: Even if you think, for example, at Worlds last year his nerves affected him a lot more, but now the nerves really showed at the beginning of the free skate and then he got it together! He's really maturing a lot, isn't he 🥹

I can't help but think of the pressure he must have felt in the context of the difficult political circumstances in the Japanese Men field, in which the fed made VERY CLEAR who they want to support and the way he was scored in relation to the two other Japanese men showed 🙃

For now, I hope Sota gets a nice rest, eats a delicious meal, and enjoys his experience at the Kassoya show, in which he will be surrounded by some of his best friends and the show itself seems to be very interesting. I read that the show will allow fan pictures and videos, so we will see more of his beautiful skating very soon!

Thank you for the thoughtful post!
I take it the PCS in 7's sound familiar to you, don't they? 🤡 Only one judge got it right in the FS, pity.

Oh, so perhaps the non-assignment in CdP (pretty sure Nationals #11 and #12 are going, or maybe Shun as well) is because of Kassouya. Good for Sota to be able to interact with fans. I saw him pick up the stuffies vigorously in the ISU videos of 4CC, which illustrates how much he enjoys fans' appreciation. Being cheered for in Daisuke's show will do him good.

Sota is a late bloomer, but those aren't appreciated by JSF. Nobunari, and lately Kazuki, would know a thing or two about that. Still, I'm really pleased Sota keeps mastering his competitive nerves step by step. If he could do it for himself, I'm pretty sure he'll be a sought-out coach for young boys.

But I'm also pretty sure he's now acutely aware that all of Kazuki, Shun, Kao and Kagiyama now have 4CC medals, and he's the only one without one, although the circumstances were different. I predict we'll hear more about his frustration in upcoming interviews... This below, ladies and gents, is *not* a 'happy Sota' face; after years of fangirling, I can tell. ;)
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
I take it the PCS in 7's sound familiar to you, don't they? 🤡
Oh yes... 🫠

About the Kassouya show, what I meant is that fans will be able to take pictures and video of the show itself, which is often not allowed in Japanese shows. This suggests that perhaps there won't be an official broadcast, which is sad for Japanese fans but good for us international fans who will hopefully see those pics/videos on social media. I don't know if fans will be able to interact directly with the skaters, but I hope they do. Seems like it'll be a really nice and fun show!

I suspect Sota will be absolutely knackered after the 4CC + Kassouya combo in quick succession, so maybe it's for the best he isn't doing CdP. He's also first alternate for worlds and needs to be rested and prepared in case something happens. (I know Kazuki has done both CdP and Worlds before as an alternate, but that's insanity, also in both occasions Worlds were in Europe which makes it easier to do both).

Meanwhile, I came across this thread which says Sota is looking for an affiliation/sponsors after he graduates from university. I wish him the best of luck, I know it's not easy :pray:


 

synesthesia

Final Flight
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Country
Germany
Here's a photo of Sota taken at today's dress rehearsal of "Kassouya" - that long cape/coat looks awesome :):


I think we'll have lots of fan photos and videos incoming in a few hours.
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
I saw on Twitter that Sota will be doing an online talk with Taichiro later this month!
We will have Mr. Yamamoto look back on All Japan, the Four Continents, and Kassouya, and Mr. Yamakuma, who returned from the Caribbean, will look back on the year of the cruise show!

 

surimi

Congrats to Sota, #10 in World Standings!
Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Big thanks to @KiraraChin and @synesthesia for keeping the thread going in my absence! :thank:
I was happy to find so many different videos of Kassouya online, and Sota was visibly enjoying his Teeth. Here's one more performance of it, followed by a Sota-centric group number:

It must have been quite physically challenging, skating several show numbers in sequence!

There have also been some fan videos on YT of 4CC with Sota's programs (seen from above), and practises. I have read a tweet saying Sota had to be protected by JSF officials holding a carton board (or something akin to that) over his head, to shield him from all the plushies being thrown on the ice after Boyang had finished. :eek: And here I was thinking that plushie rains were a thing of the past, lol!

Now that Kassouya is over, Sota's doing his regular Unlim this Sunday, and in March, he should be graduating. Where on earth does he find the time to study for his finals with his busy schedule? Incredible. Anyway, good luck to him with finishing his studies! 🤞
I'm guessing school is why he isn't going to a spring competition in the end - Coupe du Printemps ends just two days prior to the graduation date.

I wonder what today's Sota-Taichiro talkshow was like. Hopefully the boys had a blast, and went together to eat and enjoy a sauna afterwards! ♨️
 

KiraraChin

Medalist
Joined
May 5, 2018
I wonder what today's Sota-Taichiro talkshow was like. Hopefully the boys had a blast, and went together to eat and enjoy a sauna afterwards! ♨️
I think the Sota-Taichiro talk is yet to happen! It will take place on 26 Feb. I'm sure it'll be super fun, and hopefully we'll get some info about it
 
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