Hey sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a self admitted “rink rat” so a lot of this blog will be about figure skating and hockey, however as an ex-figure skater, ex-varsity athlete and a sports fan in general, I usually have thoughts and opinions about alot of different sports I follow, so visit often!
I said before that I consider the figure skating season over after Worlds. Watching videos of the World Team Trophy (WTT) this weekend strengthened that belief. WTT is more of a fun and relaxed event. I don’t view this competition as a serious competition at all. This year, with the absence of uncle Daisuke, and aunties Akiko and Mao, the crazy, fun Team Japan had a very different feel to it. They still showed us many cute and adorable moments but it is definitely a “changing of the guard” so to speak.
In an recent interview before WTT, Yuzu said he was not tired or burned out. While watching what was possibly the last performance of Yuzu’s Chopin short program, I got the sense that the season was already done for him too. While Yuzu also said that he wanted redemption and to address his feeling of regret from Worlds, I found that during his Chopin performance, he didnt seem like he was really into it. The natural bounce in his cross overs wasn’t there. Don’t get me wrong, he still skated beautifully but it didn’t have the spark that it usually does. I think he is more tired and worn out than he knows.
Have we seen the last of Chopin?? Personally I hope so. The program is nice and Yuzu skates it with great artistic expression, but it has never been an amazing program for me with a “wow” factor, like Parisian Walkways. Had Yuzu been able to skate the original layout as his competition layout, maybe it would be different, but I don’t even think a spread eagle, triple axel, spread eagle would have changed my opinion of it. It did prove that Yuzu is now mature enough to skate this type of program, that he has grown into a mature young man, but still, I would prefer a short program with a little spunk!!! ** Are you reading this Jeffrey Buttle? : ) I’m sure if this duo get together again, they will create more magic!!
It’s nice to see that Pooh also got invited to the party in the Kiss and Cry too!!
I think Yuzu should save his serious and dramatic choreography for his long programs! However, Phantom of the Opera, NO MORE please!!! I did love the program and the choreography. I wish that this season hadn’t been so riddled with injury and full of drama, because I’m sure that with some more work with Shaelynn Bourne to refine the program, that she and Yuzu could have given it those extra special touches to make it even more special. However, I’ve grown tired of Phantom and I think Yuzu needs a break from it as well. Yuzu said “bye bye” to Christine here at WTT, during what we believe was the last performance of Phantom. Very fitting ending for such a difficult season.
These two programs (Chopin and Phantom) are forever tied in my mind as post Olympic programs that never reached their true potential. The two programs seemed fitting for this year of growth. While I do prefer Phantom over Chopin, I will be super happy to see both of them put in the history books, and hope for 2 new programs next season. Yuzu needs to move forward and not dwell on these programs. Since there are still a couple of years before the next Olympic season, I’m hoping Yuzu tries new things each season so he can find the “perfect” fit for him again (like PW and R&J). While many fans love Chopin and Phantom, and they are beautiful programs, they simply aren’t magical for me.
Here’s something to think about: Yuzu said that we would see Phantom again.
I guess Yuzu will keep us guessing and surprise us in the future!
I’ve read a lot of comments from fans where they don’t understand why Yuzu didn’t look happy in the Kiss and Cry, and during the awards ceremony. I think that you have to try and understand the mind of a competitive skater who has already reached the top pinnacle of the sport.
First, Yuzu’s goal was to skate 2 programs cleanly. The SP was not clean, he fell awkwardly attempting the triple lutz/triple toe combination jump. I can see why he wasn’t overjoyed with that performance.
Secondly, while he skated “clean” in the LP, he tripled out the planned quad toe. In Yuzu’s mind, this is not success. Remember that he said he wants to skate perfect programs. This means all planned content, not just skating clean without falls. This is part of his character that I love!! Nothing but the best is good enough. This is what champions are made of!! I love his competitive spirit. He doesn’t have to be happy with “close to perfect”, and this is what will drive him forward, and motivate him for next season.
A lot of his inconsistency this season is due to his lack of solid training time. Even though his competition practices were good, and he was landing those jumps in practice, Yuzu didn’t have the necessary mileage in his daily training routine to rely on. Yuzu knows this and hopefully he will take the necessary steps to fix this next season (i.e.: reduced number of shows, crazy number of endorsements, and not training alone). Let’s get back to some serious business of training with Brian!!
Just a special shootout to whomever is helping Yuzu with the details – Mama Hanyu?? What I do love about anything that Yuzu (and his support team) does is the attention to detail that he and his team have on every little thing, from his fingertips to his toes!! Even the mask he wore in the Kiss and Cry area had matching lace on it, to go with his POTO costume. Very cool!!
So, I guess that’s a wrap on 2014-2015. It’s going to be a long off season, but I’m already looking forward to next season!! With the announcement from Plushenko that he is coming back to competitive skating next season, and with Patrick Chan back in the mix, WOW!! I am super excited that I already booked my Worlds 2016 tickets!!!
I hope people will still come to visit my blog during the off season as I will continue with some Yuzu posts since his adorableness is never ending.
To the future….