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!
During this last week, Yuzu fans were greeted with a bit of surprise coverage about his visit to Fukushima. It is very heart warming to see Yuzu go to the earthquake affected areas to lend his support, even if it’s just a visit. The ladies he spoke with were very happy to see him, and it’s touching to see the effect he has on people.
Here in Canada, a world away, the only news we had about the 2011 Japan earthquake was CNN, and then after a few days reporting about the disaster, we didn’t hear anything about it and it was forgotten. The only time we hear about it on the news these days is when some of the wreckage washes up on shore in British Columbia. It’s sad that 4 years later, there are still people living in temporary housing, and many people are still missing.
It makes me stop and think about these types of events and how quickly we forget about them when we aren’t directly affected by the disaster. We hear about stories on the news, see footage of devastation, then we go about our normal lives. For some, it’s simply not that easy. Is there any way to understand what Yuzu went through?
I tried to think if there was anything I could relate it to. It happens to be the 2nd anniversary of the biggest, and most expensive natural disaster to ever hit Canada; the major flooding in Alberta. The entire core of my city was underwater, towns nearby were completely wiped out. The pictures were amazing yet horrific. I was very fortunate not to be affected by the flood waters, my home was safe. All I could really do was sit at home and watch the footage on tv as the police and emergency agencies told us to stay at home. 2 years later, many people here are still rebuilding.
It’s nice to see Yuzu continue to support the rebuild efforts. With his busy schedule, Yuzu does what he can to remind people that there are many people that still need assistance. We often see celebrities supporting charities and pictures are posted about their visits, however they are not directly impacted. This disaster is very dear to Yuzu’s heart because he actually lived through it. I can’t begin to imagine what it is like to live through an earthquake let alone be in a building that is falling down around you like Yuzu experienced. That experience has had a profound effect on Yuzu, and it keeps him grounded with all the attention and celebrity status he has achieved.
On his recent visit to Fukushima Yuzu said: “They are still suffering, but they endure hardships. What I feel strongly is that their love for Fukushima is like my love for my hometown, SENDAI. They lost their home. But today I was really happy to see everyone’s smiles which made me happy and encouraged me.”
*Thank you to poissonbleu for providing me with the English translation of what Yuzu said.
Picture credits from: English Verson : Yuzuru Hanyu visited Fukushima
This is not the first time Yuzu has visited the earthquake affected areas. His visits bring smiles and a little happiness to those whom he meets. I think that while Yuzu always talks about these people giving him encouragement, I’m sure his visits also bring the people a bit of cheer and hope as well.
In this video, Yuzu visits the city of Ishinomaki. The coverage starts at about 12:20 into the video and Yuzu runs into a man there who talks about everything that he lost. Its hard to watch as Yuzu is trying not to be emotional.
The work Yuzu does reminding people about the disaster is not just limited to his special visits to affected areas. He often participates in various fund raisers for disaster relief efforts, and has skating programs (Hana Ni Nare) that emote his feelings towards his experiences that he relates to deeply. Here are a couple more examples of Yuzu’s kind, and generous heart.
24 hour tv special – Yuzu skating his R&J program (part of this video also includes the visit to Ishinomaki).
I love Yuzu’s contribution to this T-shirt which is being sold to raise money. He is very creative off the ice as well!! You can find his little emoticon with skates in the bottom right corner.
And while the last yellow dot is available for you to put your own special touches on this, I found this one fans version very cute and creative!! Credit to twitter: @wahuwahuerico
It’s refreshing to see a high profile athlete/celebrity who is very genuine in his support for a cause, and uses his celebrity for worthwhile causes. There needs to be more people like Yuzu out there!
Go Yuzu Go!