quarta-feira, 31 de agosto de 2016

Bits from Aoi Hono II (Yuzuru’s 2nd autobiography)

Scene 3 (2012 nationals 1st victory)
‘Parisienne Walkways’ was a programme that kept making new world records   [my note: 1st time was at Skate America, Oct 2012, SP score of 95.07. Then it broke records 3 more times, the last one being 101.45 at Sochi Olympics in 2014.]   It was choreographed by Jeffrey Buttle in Canada. ‘When we hear this music, we think of Yuzuru Hanyu’, ‘when you say Yuzuru Hanyu, it’s this music’, this was said among the Japanese people later on.

Hanyu said this about his first impressions of it.
“At first, I felt it was a ‘Jeff-like’ programme; I thought it would be better that Jeff himself did it. (laughs)  But as I skated it more, a lot of my own choreography also came out.”

{my thought:  I’m so glad he did not seriously ask Jeff to skate it himself!}

Scene 4  -A painful battle-
(late 2012-2013 season)

[some parts are summarised]
Dec 2012 Grand Prix Final was in Sochi, Russia.  Final results, Hanyu was 2nd. (my note: 1st Daisuke Takahashi, 3rd Patrick Chan).
After GPF, he was hit by bouts of ill health.

Soon after GPF free programme, he had fever and vomiting. He could not attend the interviews the next day nor perform at the exhibition.
13 days later, it was Japan Championships in Sapporo, Hokkaido. He had not yet returned to top form but he managed to give a steady performance. He was 1st in SP, 2nd in FP, and overall, he was 1st. This was his 1st win at the nationals in senior level.
(my note: 2nd was Daisuke Takahashi. 3rd Takahito Mura. 4th Nobunari Oda.)

2013 Feb 8-11 was Four Continents Championships in Osaka. He was in 2nd place. (1st Kevin Reynolds. 3rd Yan Han.)  After this, he intended to prepare for World Championships which would be in a month’s time (March 10-17).

However, upon returning to Toronto, he became ill with influenza. He had high fever and could not practise at all for 10 days. When he could finally get on the ice again, it was end February. Trying to make up for his lack of practice, and in the absence of Coach Orser who was at Junior Worlds, Hanyu practised desperately and this resulted in him injuring his left knee. He had to rest it for 7 days. When he could return to the rink, it was March 6, only one more week to Worlds.

March 13, short programme at World Championships in Canada, London. He fell on the 4T and made another mistake in the combination jump. His 'Parisienne Walkways’ which had broken world records twice this season (95.07 at Skate America and 95.32 at NHK Trophy) was given only 75.94 points and he was in 9th place. The gap in score from 1st place Patrick Chan was 22.43 points.

After the SP, Coach Orser revealed that Hanyu had a left knee injury. When reporters asked Hanyu about it, he did not want to elaborate. “Can we talk about that after the free skate?” he said.

After SP, there was a free day before the FP. During official practice in the morning, the old injury in his right ankle which was sprained during Worlds one year ago flared up. Most likely it was because he was trying to protect the left knee and put more burden on the right leg.

So now both legs had problems. Without painkillers, he could not perform. But using painkillers, some of the delicate feelings in the steps and jumps would be lost too. Hanyu decided to take just enough painkillers for the feeling to remain in his legs. He endured the pain and faced the rink.

“With my left leg injury, I was feeling hopeless. 'Why did it turn out like that?’ I really cried after my short programme. But I don’t think it was shown on TV. (laughs) But, because it was I myself who had decided to compete, and also for Japan, I wanted to give it my best efforts, and I psyched myself up for the free programme.”

FP, he was number 13 to skate, in the 3rd group, 1st to go. He landed the 4T and also the 4S although it was under-rotated. He continued to land the rest of the jumps. When he finished, he let out a loud yell and crumpled to the ice on his knees. His FP was 169.05, 3rd place. Overall, he rose up to be 4th (from 9th place after the short).

Daisuke Takahashi was 6th, Takahito Mura was 8th. For the Japanese skaters in this competition, they carried on their shoulders the quota of '3’ for Sochi Olympics men’s singles and they achieved it.

“There was quite a lot of pain but thanks to the painkillers, I could do it. […]
About the injury, Brian and Tracy spoke about it, but I really wanted to keep it hidden until the end. […]
I could not help feeling anxious. Brian was giving me various advice but I was so nervous, I didn’t hear much of his words. […]
As the Japanese national champion, I had a responsibility (to secure spots for the Olympics), but what I had done to reach here became like nothing, so it was a very tough situation. [….]
I thought, if I don’t do it now, I will regret forever, and so 'no matter what it takes, I will do my jumps’, 'I will give all I have to challenge it’. Withdrawing from the competition or avoiding quads were not in my vision field at all. 'I will definitely make it’, that was all I was thinking.”

Before the competition, Coach Orser suggested to Hanyu to do 2 quad toeloops instead of one quad toe and one salchow. Because his 4T was much more stable than his 4S, it would lessen the burden on his (injured) body and on his mind. But Hanyu refused. Because his aim this season was to skate with 2 types of quads. Once he has skated to a programme, he does not want to skate to a layout that is lower than that.

“Without lowering the layout, I tried my best and skated right to the end, and so I am satisfied. Practice is really important. What I have done for one year does not disappear after I rest for one month. (Because of ill health and injury) I could only practise properly in the 4 days before coming here (to Worlds).  2 days I was just skating for one hour, then the remaining 2 days I was skating and going through the programmes with no jumps and then doing light jumps. I did not do quads. […] Just as Brian said, what I have accumulated over one year, it will all come together right at the very end.”

Hanyu had to decline participation in the gala exhibition. He flew back to Japan for a thorough medical examination. He also had to miss World Team Trophy in April.
[next chapter: 2013 summer]

-my sharing; NOT a proper translation, many parts are left out.  Pics from internet (thanks to original owners).
A fanmade video that I really like, showing Yuzu at Worlds 2013:  Here’s to Your Amazing Season

translated by Angelic Yuzuru


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This blog is a summary of some facts of life and skater Yuzuru Hanyu career. The idea came from not find almost anything here in Brazil about Yuzuru and / or skating , but when searching the world discovered so things became difficult absorb and organize all ; hence this blog was born .