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!
There begins to be a time when there simply is nothing more to say. The best thing to do is to simply sit back and watch a supreme athlete work his magic. Earlier in the year (March, 2015), I wrote a blog entry about Brian Orser, The Legend Building a Legend. I think we all knew a legend was being born, but how quickly Yuzu has become legendary is simply amazing!
Well, I think Brian’s work is almost done. The Legend of Yuzu has now been firmly established beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Only Yuzu knows how far he can take this!! Yuzu’s Legend will continue to grow over the next few seasons and by the time he is done it will be something that will never be eclipsed.
I normally wait until a competition is over and then write my blog entry, but after watching the short program I simply could not wait to get my thoughts down!
Men’s Short Program:
Daisuke’s 4S and 3A were very nicely executed, although he had trouble on his combination jump. I found his skating to be a bit slow, and while the music was powerful, the program was lacking expression. I am happy for Daisuke as he is finally starting to show some consistency now and getting better results.
Well, after the short program, Patrick said that he didn’t study the rulebook before he went out, but I guess now he knows how Yuzu felt at Skate Canada after the short program. After popping his quad toe, he invalidated his combination jump since he ended up doing 2 triple toe jumps. Funny enough, when he popped that quad toe, his free leg reached back and he held it in a position for about 1 second that appeared to be setting up for a combination jump. I knew there was no combination planned but I thought, “oh, he must be thinking about whether to change the program on the fly”! As it turns out, he didn’t. Whether or not that thought crossed his mind, only Patrick knows. That was my lasting impression on the program based on a slight hesitation that I thought I saw. However, it’s pretty hard to make those changes on the fly in a short program without affecting the choreography, and given the strict rules.
Boyang wasn’t perfect, but his TES scores are enough to keep him in the top 3 of the leaderboard. He sure is a jumping technician. Boyang’s artistry, or lack thereof, will hold him back for awhile, but maybe he and his team will focus on that side of his skating in the upcoming seasons before Olympics. However, I do not believe that Boyang has the natural artistry that Yuzu has. His face does not emote any feeling towards his programs, and he is almost a bit robotic. Each time I see him skate, I am amazed by the jumping ability, yet I am left scratching my head wondering what I just saw.
So, Shoma started out with a very nice 3A, but again, when he lands jumps, his free leg always swings back, almost behind him instead of out to the side slightly. I cannot figure out if this is just his landing style (because he doesn’t do it 100% of the time) or if it’s because of his super deep knee bend or other reason? To illustrate what I am saying, if you imagine Yuzu in your mind (picture him) in a jump landing position, his free leg is out at about the 8’clock position. For Shoma, his landing free leg is at the 7 o’clock position, sometimes even closer to 6 o’clock, directly behind him. When Shoma swings his free leg so far back on a landing, he ends up taking having to take a super deep/sharp landing edge. Also, his free leg foot/blade is held so close to the ice, I am sometimes scared his blade is going to accidentally touch the ice. His free leg is not held nice and high on his landings. Or, maybe it’s just me, and I have been spoiled by Yuzu’s perfect jump landings. Enough about that, I am happy that Shoma is within striking distance of the podium but its gonna be a fight for the bronze medal!!
Ok, I will skip to Javier here, and talk about Yuzu last. I need to save the best for last!
My streaming video died for about 5 seconds just as Javi entered his 4S. So other then looking at the TES box on the screen, I had no idea what happened until Javi was finished his program, and they showed the replays. Thank goodness this did not happen when Yuzu was skating, I would have had a heart attack! Javi did not skate his best, and personally, when his marks came up I thought he was a bit overscored. Overall points wise, I would have scored him closer to Boyang and Shoma. I didn’t think I would ever say this, but I think Javi’s Black Betty SP was better than this new one.
I had forgotten about the minor little scratch on the 4S landing at NHK, so when I saw Yuzu land the 4S super cleanly, my immediate thought was “wow, he is going to break his record!!” Then, with the 4T-3T combination beautifully completed, it was almost a lock. I held my breath on the 3A, and was rewarded with a stunning, HANYU QUALITY triple axel. The only thing I could have wished for was for Brian to be in the Kiss and Cry area with Yuzu to enjoy the special moment with him. Forever the gentleman, Hanyu seemed to temper his excitement of his achievement since Javier was skating next.
After looking at the final SP scores:
Brian must be so proud of his boys!!
From a Lynn Rutherford tweet:
110.95 not enough? According to ISU quick quotes Hanyu thinks his SP can be better: “I am a bit upset about my (L3) step sequence”
From Nam Nguyen’s twitter – so cute:
I love how Yuzu never forgets about Pooh in the Kiss and Cry. Love the little wave from his buddy!
After this performance, the expectations for the long program are quickly growing! Yuzu is looking strong, and confident. I wonder what the rest of the men’s field is thinking.
Figure skating is as much of a mental game as it is a physical one, and this my friends, is mental domination.
Saturday cannot come fast enough for me! I will be sitting here with many of you, watching nervously, and cheering on our favorite legendary skater!
Go Yuzu Go!! Doki Doki!!