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!
With 5 out of 6 Grand Prix events completed, and only the NHK Trophy left to go, the top 6 mens competitors that will make it in to the final are still undecided. We are still waiting for the official ruling from the ISU on how they will handle the cancellation of the TEB event, and even when the decision is announced, there will be plenty of debate and discussions.
The one thing I know for sure is that when I look at who I believe will be the final list of 6 skaters at the Grand Prix final, Yuzu should be the hands on favourite to repeat as GPF champion once again.
Here are my top 6 picks to be in the Grand Prix Final. The list of skaters below is my “wish list” of who I want to see in the final lineup, not a prediction of who will be there:
If the ISU decides to add a 7th and 8th skater as per the Russian proposal, I would then add Daisuke Murakami and Han Yan to the mix. Even though Maxim Kovtun is sitting in 2nd place after the short program at TEB and will most likely make it into the final, I do not have him on my wish list for the mens event.
I threw in Boyang Jin into the mix just to see how he would be able to handle himself against a tough field of skaters. While Boyang is still just a jumping machine with not a lot of substance in between the tricks, he’s definitely worth a watch.
As for my confidence that Yuzu should be the favourite to win even though he is not the reigning World Champion, I believe he is the most complete skater in the mens field today.
I love the messages that he has personalized on his Under Amour training gear. Here are my interpretations of Yuzu’s training gear messages:
This really goes to my belief that at present, when Yuzu is heathy and skating his best, and if everyone else were to skate their best, and skate clean, Yuzu is still truly unbeatable. The only skater in today’s field of men’s competitors that can beat Yuzu, is Yuzu himself. We saw evidence of this at Skate Canada last month. Even with a disastrous short program, and a slightly flawed but much improved free program, the potential of Yuzu’s programs this season are well beyond the rest of the mens field.
“You’ve made it this far, be proud of it. Your path lay in all 360 degrees”.
I’m not sure when this message first appeared on Yuzu’s training gear (before or after the Olympics), but the confidence and support of the team that Yuzu has surrounding him is among the best. From his coach to his choreographers, to his trainers and even the security guys that protect him, it takes a team of people to build a champion. To me, the 360 degrees speaks to how well rounded he is, both technically, artistically, and off the ice as well. What a special talent Yuzu is.
“Still further ahead”
This message says to me that Yuzu knows he needs to keep working to stay ahead of the game. He has already won everything there is to win, but he’s not done. He wants to win while doing his best. He wants to keep pushing himself still further ahead. Yuzu knows that he cannot just sit back and stay the same. He continues to push himself even though he is already a champion.
“for further evolution!!”
This message is so compelling and telling of Yuzu’s character. Yuzu has stated that he wants to continue to evolve as a skater, try new things, push the limits of the sport. Once you win it all (Olympics, Worlds, GPF etc), the next question you ask yourself is “what’s next?”. This message is so consistent with Yuzu’s statements that he wants to continue to improve himself. It takes a special person to understand the talent that he has, and how to use the talent in a special way; Yuzu has a good understanding of this, and who he is. Over the next couple of years, Yuzu’s legend will continue to grow, and the evolution will continue.
Thx to @charliebenbrown for allowing me to use her photo!
What messages lie ahead in the future for Yuzu? I can’t wait to see what Yuzu comes up with next!
Go Yuzu Go!! Doki doki!