segunda-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2016

Exclusive Interview: Yuzuru Hanyu x Tomoko Nagano

(from the 1.09 minute mark of the video)

Nagano: Thank you for your hard work.

Yuzuru: Thank you.* (sees bouquet) I’m surprised!

Nagano: Congratulations on winning an unprecedented four consecutive GPFs. (presents him with huge purple bouquet)

Yuzuru: Thank you very much.

Nagano: Thank you for being with us today. I am Tomoko Nagano. Nice to meet you.

Yuzuru: Nice to meet you.

Nagano: Actually, we have prepared a few photos here of your GPF victories leading to your four-peat. I think that there must be different thoughts and memories for each respective year, but for this particular victory, do you have any different thoughts compared to your prior victories?

Yuzuru: Indeed. Comparatively, this time I finished the competition without thinking about winning consecutively.

Nagano: Ah, is that so.

Yuzuru: Somehow, I think this is probably partly because what I was challenging myself to do was tremendous. Furthermore, probably because last season’s three-peat was a historic first for Men’s singles skating, I was more nervous then. As that was over, I think my thoughts were if I can continue this streak from that point onward, what will it become. (laughs) 

Nagano: I see. Your short programme this season is Let’s Go Crazy.

Yuzuru: Yes. My face is crazy.

Nagano: This pose is totally different from what you have done to date, feels a little naughty.

Yuzuru: Feels very naughty.

Nagano: Did you consciously create such an atmosphere with the atmosphere of the song in mind?

Yuzuru: Yes. It was a bit quieter, a bit more cool when it was being choreographed, but somehow once I started performing it it was totally not cool at all. It was too wild and I was thinking, is this all right? (laughs)

Nagano: Really? Like rock?

Yuzuru: Yes, very rock and very enjoyable.

(Clips from GPF 2016)

Narration: Yuzuru Hanyu-senshu, who has achieved four consecutive GPF victories for the first time in history, continues to grow every season. This young man who just turned 22-years old this month, has said many things that left deep impressions.

Yuzuru: I think the power of words really exist.

Narration: We explore Yuzuru Hanyu’s strengths, weaknesses and the thoughts in his heart through his sayings to date.

Nagano: First of all let’s start with this phrase “take one step forward and another step forward( 一進一進 )”. Honestly, when I saw in a TV programme that you had written this, I thought  “Ah, these words are really characteristic of Hanyu-san”.

Yuzuru: After all, I have feelings of not wanting to retreat even a single step. Of course there are many times that I fail, even in practice there are times when it becomes like I’m escaping, and there are many times when things are painful, but single-mindedly, this time, this season, I only feel like advancing forward.

Nagano: Even for Hanyu-san, there are definitely moments when you feel like you will lose heart?

Yuzuru: There are. There are times when I cannot land my jumps and I start feeling like I want to give up.

Nagano: During those times, what kinds of feelings give you a rough time?

Yuzuru: Haha… what kinds of feelings give me a rough time? Hmm, I would feel very much that I don’t want to do it anymore.

Nagano: In those times, did you give up?

Yuzuru: I don’t give up. As I think that the point and time when I feel like I want to give up is a start.

Nagano: I see.

Yuzuru: When I think I want to give up, that this is impossible, at that moment I do it with a feeling of if I can do this without mistakes from this point onwards, won’t it be cool.

Nagano: Listening to your words, indeed that is a type of strength. When you feel like giving up, when things go wrong, to say no, this is a new start– such a change in mindset is rarely achievable.

Yuzuru: For me it is also rarely achieved (laughs). But fundamentally I do not want to lose in competitions. Because I strongly want to give good performances in competitions. This is my starting point. How should I put it…I think without my competitive streak of hating to lose I would not be able to come so far.

Narration: “Take one step forward and another step forward” means, precisely when things don’t go well, that is the time to mount a challenge. It is a phrase that arises from a strong positive spirit. It is that positive spirit that led him to say the following words in an interview at a training camp when he was in junior high school:

Yuzuru: My target is to win the gold medal at the Olympic Games.

Yuzuru (present day): I said the same thing to the people around me. Because since I was a child I thought that I could win the Olympic Gold medal. Since I started skating (laughs).

Nagano: That is amazing!

Narration: On the other hand, he has also said the following words:

Nagano: “My greatest fear is what should I do when I stop growing and developing (いちばん怖いのは成長が止まったときにどうすべきか)”.  You think about such things? Though this did not really happen?

Yuzuru: When I was a fourth grade student in elementary school, the rink closed down due to financial difficulties. I lost my home rink and it was a time when I was completely unable to do triple jumps. To me that was the most painful. I really felt that I had stopped growing and developing. Only it was not that I had stopped growing and developing in the sense of having reached my limits, but I did not know how I could continue growing and developing. There were such times when I did not know what how I could do to make it possible to grow and develop.

Nagano: At that time, did you seek advice from others? Or did you think through it on your own?

Yuzuru: Ultimately I think I broke through the situation myself. Using that opportunity, though for me they were high targets, I set my sights towards a very high target. Really, I wonder how to say it.. to the extent that I was clinging on precariously by my fingertips.  To the extent that I wasn’t sure if I could hang out with my fingertips or not if I jumped, such was the target I worked very hard to close onto.

Narration: When growth and development stops, setting a target that is situated precariously at the limits of one’s reach.

Yuzuru: I’m not sure if it should be said as having confidence, or excessive self consciousness. (laughs)

Nagano: Now, I think that is different. At that time when you had stopped growing and developing and you didn’t know how to continue doing so, you push yourself to a great extent.

Yuzuru: Yes.

Nagano: This reminds me of your interview with Shuzo Matsuoka-san.

Yuzuru: (laughs). The edge of a cliff (崖っぷち).

Nagano: Shouting “Yahoo!” at the edge of a cliff.

Yuzuru: Yes.

(Clip of Yuzuru’s post-NHK Trophy interview with Matsuoka-san.)

Narration: This is from the interview conducted with Shuzo Matsuoka-san after NHK Trophy last month.

Matsuoka: There is this impression that Hanyu-san is someone who does not make mistakes.

Yuzuru: Yes, there is. There is such pressure, it is expectation. Pressure is expectation. I love pressure, I love being at the edge of the cliff and going “yahoo~” (laughs) Something like that.

Narrator: “Love being at the edge of a cliff” was originally Matsuoka-san’s words.

Yuzuru: Really, (my career) has been full of being at the edge of the cliff. There was the time when the rink closed down due to financial difficulties, and then it re-opened and I returned there and then the earthquake happened and it was lost again. First of all there was being at the cliff edge of being unable to make use of the training environment.

Nagano: Among other skaters there is hardly anyone else who has such experiences.

Yuzuru: I think there is hardly anyone else. Just being able to scramble up from there to this point, as I think it is probably something very rare, in that sense I think it is ok even if I am cornered.

Nagano: Plus, you love being at the cliff’s edge?

Yuzuru: Yes, I love it.

(Clips from Yuzuru’s FS at GPF 2016)

Narration: Hanyu-senshu who can even enjoy being at the edge of a cliff, and even adversity can be turned into nourishment. But he says sometimes weakness shows on his face. In those moments, the magic words he uses are:

Nagano: While watching Hanyu-san’s strength, there is definitely this (holds card with “I can do it, I can do it, I can do it”) Is this some kind of routine?

Yuzuru: There are many.

Nagano: There are many routines. I am not an expert but even I can somehow understand when I watch what you are doing. This time what you did was this (holds up card with “I can do it, I can do it, I can do it (できる できる できる) ”

(Clips from right before Yuzuru’s FS at GPF 2016 when he repeats to himself “I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.)

Narrator: I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. These are his words immediately before his performance.

Yuzuru: I did it this time too. At this GPF I relied very much on these words. Even though I said I had confidence, still, when it is time for the competition, somehow there will be loss of confidence, anxiety, things like that. There are also occasions when negative images suddenly well up in the mind. If I speak it out loud and hear it with my ears, I think perhaps the mind will take on that illusion, and this is why I did it.

Nagano: I see. It’s like the power of words.

Yuzuru: Yes. I think the power of words really exist.

Narrator: The method to overcome weaknesses is autosuggestion. One more pre-competition routine is…

Nagano: The music you always listen to immediately before your competition. Is that the music for your competitive programmes?

Yuzuru: No, they are not. Most of the time I’m singing along. While its only lip-synching, I sing along to various songs.

Nagano: Right before your performances, do you listen to your music for image training?

Yuzuru: Not really, when I listen to it too much and get too used to it, during competition when it starts playing in the arena, there are times when it feels the same as when I listen to it on my earphones. It depends on the situation, but there are also times when I stay away from the music and only listen to it when I perform in competition.

Narration: Looking towards the new season, the new words are…

Nagano: Lastly, what is Hanyu-san looking forward to right now? Could you express them in words?

Yuzuru: My honest feelings right now? My honest feelings right now…(places marker pen beside his cheek while he thinks, pen touches his cheek for a moment and leaves a mark. Rubbing the mark) Did it leave a mark here just now? It’s ok? I stained it. I often do this. Never mind. Let me think about it a little.. what is good? Ok.

Yuzuru: Done. (holds up card) “To link/bind/join/secure ( 結ぶ)”.

Nagano: Oh! What do you mean by this?

Yuzuru: It includes the meaning of my name. There is definitely also the meaning that the growth and development and practice from now, from the GPF towards the Japanese National Championships, are linked to results. To put it another way, the four-peat could not have been accomplished without various linkages. From now on, I want to treasure every moment. In addition, I hope to secure good results, and to connect.

End of interview

Nagano in studio with two other hosts: Actually, after the interview, he said “Excuse me, can I have pen and paper?” Hanyu-senshu thought of another phrase and wrote it for us. It is here (opens notepad) “From now on, be godly! (これから, 神る!)” **

Co-host: Isn’t he already godly?

Nagano: Indeed! I said to him the same words, aren’t you already godly? He said, no, totally not at all.  Actually, right now, Hanyu-senshu said he is trying to eliminate his routines. For example, things like with which leg he enters the rink and so on, when they cannot be done are likely to cause him to feel troubled. That’s why he is working hard to eliminate all of them.

*T/N: Yuzuru said “Otsukare” when he first entered the room. In certain contexts otsukare/otsukaresama deshita can also be used to mean “hi” or “thank you”, I have chosen to translate it as thank you here.

**T/N: 神る/神ってる is a term recently coined by Japanese baseball team Hiroshima Carp’s manager Koichi Ogata to describe the miraculous performance of Seiya Suzuki at crucial moments such as when he hit two home runs to help the Carp win the Central League title this year after a 25-year gap since their last title. The term has achieved widespread popularity. Incidentally, the Hiroshima Carp is Yuzuru’s favourite baseball team since childhood; see how happy he was to receive an autographed team uniform last year^ ^:

161218  独占インタ 羽生×長野 世界制した‘’自己暗示力... por yuzu2016

Source photos and gif:  nanoka12.tumblr. hanyuzu94.tumblr.

Source video: pino2016

Translated by  nanoka12.tumblr.

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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 .