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!
What does Yuzu mean to me from A to Z?? Some letters meant multiple things to me, but others I really had to think about it. The inspiration to do an Yuzu A to Z list came from Hanyuedits on Tumblr. Here we go!
A – Abe. Nanami Abe. Since the alphabet starts with the letter “A”, then of course, we need to put Nanami Abe in for the “A”. She is his first competitive coach who gave Yuzu the foundation to become the skater he is today (he had others when he was Baby Yuzu). Nanami also still does some of Yuzu’s exhibition number choreography for ice shows. They parted on very good terms and still maintain a great relationship. I hope to see her in the Kiss and Cry with another skater some day!
B – Brian Orser. Brian is the coach who has guided Yuzu to his Olympic Gold Medal, and his first World Championship. Brian has taken a natural talent and refined it into a brilliant skater. A champion himself, Brian has been able to provide guidance to Yuzu about the demands of being a champion. What a great coach!! I did an early post on Brian, click here: http://wp.me/p5z0Dv-8n
C – Cup of China. This is the Grand Prix assignment that had all Yuzu fans gasping in horror when Yuzu and Han Yan collided at center ice. Unfortunately, it is the only time we got to see the original POTO costume. It is still gut wrenching to watch the videos of that long program. I hope Yuzu does not get assigned to the Cup of China this upcoming season. It would be nice for the rest of the world to see him in a different arena.
D – December 7, 1994, Yuzu’s birthday!! On this day, a skating star was born. They have a saying for wealthy babies, that they a born with a silver spoon in their mouths. For Yuzu I would say he was born wearing skates!
E – Edea skates. Yuzu wears Edea Ice Flys. Edea boots are amazing!! I got new Edea Ice Flys this year and they are super light!!! When you try them for the first time, you immediately notice the difference in weight!! Edea will also custom form fit them to your foot as well. For more information on Edea skates: http://ice.edeaskates.com/en/
F – Fernandez. Javier Fernandez, Yuzu’s best friend away from home. Javier is a happy go lucky guy who is a good balance for serious Yuzu. He brings out the fun, playful Yuzu which fans absolutely adore. Yuzu has also had a positive affect on Javier as well!! I think Javier has learned hard work from Yuzu, and started to take his training more seriously when Yuzu arrived in Toronto. Hopefully they get to train together for many years to come as they compliment and push each other.
G – Grand Prix Final champion. Yuzu has won the Grand Prix Final for two years in a row (2013, 2014). This year, Yuzu just barely qualified but showed us how formidable he truly is. Even skating with injuries, his free program was nearly perfect. It is great to see him at the top of the podium!
I – Ice. Yuzu touches the ice before every skate, to say “hello”. This is part of Yuzu’s regular rituals when he gets on the ice. You can read more about his rituals in an earlier blog post i did. Click here: http://wp.me/p5z0Dv-a6
J – Jeffrey Buttle. The former Canadian Champion, former World Champion, and Olympic medallist is the man who choreographed the brilliant Parisian Walkways program and brought out the inner rock star in Yuzu!! I would love for Yuzu to continue working with Yuzu and he brings out many different facets of Yuzu’s skating!!
K – Kleenex box cover. Yuzu’s kleenex box cover is famous!! Not only in Disneyland theme parks, but in every ice rink around the world that Yuzu visits!! Pooh even has a twitter account. I love the pictures of Yuzu playing with Pooh, even as he gets older, it’s simply adorable.
L – Love in Action, commercial for the Red Cross. This is one of my favorite commercials that Yuzu did this past off season. His lip synching of the song Believe was priceless. The footage of the making of the commercial is excellent. Click here: http://wp.me/p5z0Dv-1k
M – Mushroom haircut. Modelled after Plushenko, Yuzu was known in his younger years for a mushroom shaped haircut. His autograph was in the shape of a mushroom. Kanako even called him mushroom as a nickname which I don’t think he really liked, she now just calls him Yuzu.
N – Nam Nguyen The third member of The Cricket Brothers! The newly crowned Canadian National Champion is benefitting from training alongside the likes of Yuzu and Javi. Canadian figure skating is about to get very interesting with Patrick coming back. Will Nam be able to retain his Canadian title??
O – Olympic Champion!! At 19 years old, Yuzu wins gold at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He becomes a super mega star in Japan and has fans all over the world. Right after the Olympics, Yuzu confirmed that his next goal is to win the 2018 Olympics as well, so we get to see more of his wonderful skating in the next few years.
P – Parisian Walkways. 101.45!! The short program that broke a world record at the Olympics. PW contains another key “P” element for me, the Pistol Pose!!
Q – Quads and more quads! I think Yuzu has inspired his competitors plus a whole new generation of skaters to push the upper limits of what they can do!! I wrote this blog post about quads http://wp.me/p5z0Dv-5S at the end of February, but since then, there has been a surge of skaters posting quad jumps on their instagram accounts!! Quad lutzes, quad flips, quad loops, it doesn’t end.
R – Romeo and Juliet part 1 and 2!! Both of these programs were key turning points in Yuzu’s skating career!! Yuzu is maturing into a real Romeo, and breaking girls hearts around the world.
S – Sendai, Japan. Yuzu’s hometown and home ice rink (Ice Rink Sendai). This rink has now become a bit of a tourist attraction. If I ever happen to be in Sendai, I would make a stop there for sure!! Another option I thought of for the letter S was Saya, Yuzu’s older sister who was instrumental in his success. I went with Sendai, since that is where it all started.
U – Under Armour, Yuzu’s go to training gear!!! There are so many photos of Yuzu in his UA training gear so i just posted the first 2 that I had in my collection. I like the blue long sleeved one too!! But what I like best about all his training gear is the personalization, whether it is his name on the collar or the inspirational messages that are stitched on the arms and the back, or even the ones on the pants. Those little details, like I said before, make him so unique and special.
V – Vital. Amino Vital, another one of Yuzu’s commercials during this last off season. A very cool commercial!! Here is my earlier blog entry which contains link to the Amino Vital commercials. http://wp.me/p5z0Dv-10
W – Waseda University. Yuzu is enrolled at Waseda and is doing online courses. Between skating practices, competitions, and school work, he doesn’t have a lot of spare time for much else, however he has admitted to being a home body. World Champion was also another obvious option for the letter W.
X – Xylitol White. Another One of Yuzus commercials, boy he sure was busy in the off season!! This is to be expected of the Olympic champion, but it seems to me magnified ten times more when you live in Japan!! This is my least favourite Yuzu commercial. Click here: http://wp.me/p5z0Dv-1m
Y – Yumi Hanyu, Yuzu’s mom. Yuzu sure looks like his mom!! Mama Hanyu also used to make all of Yuzus costumes and water bottles to match his outfits. Here is a link to my post about his water bottles in case you missed it before!! http://wp.me/p5z0Dv-1A
Z – Zigeunerweisen program. It was hard to think of a item for Z so this program is it.
And that my friends, is the Yuzu alphabet for me!! I would be glad to hear your other options for the letters of the alphabet if you thought of something different??
Until next week….GO Yuzu GO!!