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!
Over the past 5 weeks, Yuzu fans have been treated to a wonderful series of tv shows called Kenji’s Room. The tv shows featured a long interview between Kenji and Yuzu. The shows provided fans will a lot of insight into Yuzu’s personality and character off the ice. Yuzu continues to be very articulate, and mature 20 year old, yet often shows us glimses of a young kid at heart who simply loves what he does and cares deeply about those close to him. It’s those moments I adore.
First, I want to send out a very special “thank you” to poissonbleu (http://ameblo.jp/poissonbleu/) for providing me with english translations of these interview shows!! Here, I want to share my favorites moments and thoughts.
“Yuzu: What is my favorite motto? “Try never to lose your initial enthusiasm.”
Kenji: Sounds good.
Yuzu: My ex-coach Nanami Abe told me this saying. When I landed a 3A for the first time, she bought me iPod. I found “AAA” engraved on it. It means “triple axel”. She gave me that words with iPod. “Try never to lose your initial enthusiasm.” I think the meaning is “You must keep on doing your best, even if you can land 3A or quads. Do not be satisfied with that. You must not be boastful.” I still treasure her words now. This words is always with me.”
The part about Yuzu’s comment that got me was that he carries a special moment between him and Nanami Abe with him to this day. Back in the day when Yuzu did land his first triple axel, the triple axel was “THE” jump that defined that you have made it to the “big time” and could compete with the “big boys”. The “AAA” engraved on the ipod is such a meaningful gift!! Nanami Abe really cared and nutured Yuzu. What a wonderful foundation she provided him with.
Yuzu was asked what the biggest blooper in his life was but he really didn’t answer the question. Then later on, he actually had a blooper moment! I’m glad they didn’t edit out this adorable moment.
“Yuzu: What will I do 10 years from now? What will I do…
Kenji: You will be 30.
Yuzu: I will be enough old! I will be “OJISAN” (OJISAN means a middle-aged person)
Kenji: Hey! What did you say? The OJISAN is sitting next to you! It’s me!
Yuzu: Shoot! Haha. I made the biggest blooper in my life now.”
Personally, I wish I could send Yuzu the link to my Yuzu Bloopers blog entry to show him how adorable he is when he does have his “bloopers” moments. If you haven’t had a chance to see them, here is the link.
“Yuzu: What is the feast for me? Ummmm if I answer to this question frankly, I would be a bit embarrassed and some people say it’s not a kind of feast but I dare to say it’s my mother’s home cooking.
Kenji: Wow, I’m embarrassed to hear that!
Yuzu: But I really think so. I think for me the feast is not always an elaborate dish. For me, the feast is the food which she makes for me thinking much of my health. She always cooks for me thinking about the nutrition to get rid of everyday fatigue and stress. I love to eat such food. I’m not interested in eating so much. She really know that. She knows my favorite taste and how I feel easy to eat. So my mother’s cooking is the feast for me!”
No matter how old we are, don’t we all still love our mom’s cooking?? As I grew up and started living away from my parents, my mom would always prepare “care packages” for me, so that I could always feel at home and enjoy my favorite meals even though she wasn’t with me! In fact, she still does! If I am ever asked the same question, my answer would be the same as Yuzu’s!
“Kenji: And I have another surprise. I heard you are a fan of “Hiroshima Carp” (Japanese baseball team). Look at this.
Yuzu: Wow! This is great!
Kenji: This is Kenta Maeda’s uniform with his autograph.
Yuzu: I wonder if you have another surprise? For example, Maeken-san (Kenta Maeda’s nick name) will enter this room?
Kenji: No…. sorry, someone who looked like him came here before. Haha. Try it on?
Yuzu: I’m super happy!”
Why I like this moment – it shows a glimpse of Yuzu being a fanboy!! It reminded me that even though Yuzu is an Olympic and World Champion athlete, he admires athletes like we all do! These moments where he relaxes and totally lets his guard down are rare and special. He can still be a young kid at heart. His comment about “will Maeken-san surprise me by showing up in the room?” made me laugh. He was like a kid in a candy store!! His reactions are genuine and simply too cute for words!
“Kenji: Looking back all, what is the most impressive competition for you?
Yuzu: People might imagine that must be the Olympics… but I say “No.”. Let me see…. In the good meaning, I think the first National Novice Championship was most impressive.
Yuzu: I was so excited because it was the first time for me to compete in the National Novice Championship. I was not nervous at all. Just excited. I enjoyed competing in the competition. Really enjoyed. At that time, I trained a lot. I felt I didn’t make a goof at all. I was a 4th grade elementary student, but I thought I could definitely win. At that time the scoring system was 6.0 system. I remember the grade more than 5.00 was that of the senior skaters who competed in the World Championship. But a judge gave me 5.2 at that time. I was really happy.
Kenji: Yes, you were great at that age to get 5.2 points.
Yuzu: I was surprised at myself and thought I could compete with senior skaters at the World Championship. I was an elementary school student at that time.,, haha.”
It is impressive to me that Yuzu’s most memorable competition in his memory is not winning a Gold Medal at the Olympic Games or winning his first World Championship in Japan. His last comment is funny as he would have been about 9 years old when he had that thought. At 9 years old he thought he could compete with the senior skaters, PRICELESS!!! It’s so Yuzu!
Unfortunately, I am unable to put any video links into this blog post, as the programs were aired on a paid tv channel and protected by copyright. For those of you lucky to see the shows, I hope you were as captivated as I was. For those of you who haven’t been able to see the videos, I hope these moments have provided you with some more insight into how special Yuzu is. : )
It is finally October, and the Grand Prix season is about to start!! I am so excited!!! October is going to be a very busy month!!! I will be going to Barrie for the Autumn Classic, and my next post will be about my experience there. I can only imagine how amazing it will be to see Yuzu skate live.
Go Yuzu Go!! Doki Doki!!!