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!
Worlds 2016 is now in the history books. Is Seimei history as well? I certainly hope not. After the thrill of watching Seimei performed to perfection at NHK and GPF, I had hoped and dreamed to see a perfect Seimei performed live in person at Worlds. The anticipation in the crowd was palpable, and the hush in the building as Yuzu got into his starting position was a surreal moment.
After the shaky landing on the first quad salchow, it looked to me like Yuzu didn’t have his usual spunkiness. The usual light spring in his step was a bit tentative and almost laboured. I got a weird sensation as I watched the program unravel. The arena was dumbfounded, no one knew what to do after Yuzu was done. The shock in the audience was deafening. It was like a cruel April Fools Day joke, but yet, it wasn’t.
While I was disappointed for Yuzu, my heart went out to him as he sat stunned in the Kiss and Cry area. I could only imagine how he felt. He knows what perfection feels like, he knows he has the ability to do it. Yuzu has the weight of his own expectations, the weight of the skating world, and the weight of an entire nation on his shoulders. Lest we forget he is only 21.
After his long program, Yuzu did not make any excuses for his performance. Yuzu didn’t mention his injury (which we found out about afterwards), he didn’t say anything bad about his coach (and I shake my head in disbelief at fans who think that Brian is at fault), he didn’t say he wasn’t ready, he merely said he had been nervous. Yuzu just did not have his special Seimei “magic” for those 4.5 minutes on that night.
A comment by Yuzu spoke a thousand words: “I didn’t become Seimei today”.
There is so much speculation about what happened, and why, why, why? Can we just cut Yuzu a break, and chock it down to the fact that he might simply have had a bad day?? It happens to the best of all athletes in every sport. So often we see the athletes say “I’m sorry” after a bad performance in their interviews, and they shouldn’t have to, they have nothing to apologize for. Yuzu gave it his best, and on that Friday night in April, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Reading the articles in the press, and following the social media craze and the panic that was evolving after Yuzu’s loss, I would compare it to the mass panic that Canada goes through any time we do not win Gold at the World Championships or Olympics in Ice Hockey. Within minutes of any gold medal loss, everyone in our country starts panicking and is worried about the state of hockey in Canada. The “analysis paralysis” begins, people wanting to know why, and dissecting every little detail! Sometimes, there simply isn’t an answer. That is the nature of sports. You win some, you lose some. Hopefully Yuzu will win many many more, and by this I mean every event next season! : )
The expectations on Yuzu are tremendous. The media is relentless! The pressure on Yuzu is incredible!! It’s impossible for a human being to be perfect all the time. We have to remember this. Yuzu has spoiled us by being perfect so often.
The questions: Was he injured, was the perceived conflict between him and Denis a factor, was he stressed out during the week, the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, what matters is that Yuzu is looking at this as a learning experience, and will come back stronger than ever next season. We all should follow his example.
I hope fans can try to put themselves in his position. Could you handle the pressure of your every move being photographed and scrutinized? I surely couldn’t. But as per usual, Yuzu handles it with class, with dignity. It was heart breaking watching him try to smile so shortly after a disappointing finish, but he represented his country with pride and grace. He is a pretty incredible skater and person.
Back to my wish for Seimei. This is a program that I am in love with. My wish is that Yuzu will bring back Seimei for the 2018 Olympic season. It’s been done before where a skater has re-used an older program after a break from it. Every so often, a “special” program comes along that defines a skater and I truly believe Seimei is that program for Yuzu. Here is the link to my original blog entry about Seimei before we even saw the full version of it.
Selfishly, I do not want this to be the end of Seimei. Brian Orser did this with “The Bolt”, he found the music, thought it was “special”‘ and tucked it away until his 1988 Olympic year. The fact that we already have seen Seimei, makes no difference to me. In fact, it serves as a teaser. So, Yuzu, if you ever read this – please bring Seimei back!
Yuzu is truly Japanese at heart even though he trains and lives part time in Canada. Many people wondered if a Japanese program would translate properly and be understood by foreign audiences. Well, judging by the reaction of the crowds and fans this season, it is more than well received, it is a masterpiece! In fact, it totally sets Yuzu apart because it is so unique and beautifully choreographed – well done ShaeLyne and Yuzu!!
Photo credit to @casa1103 on twitter
Cheer up Japan. Yuzu will come back next season ready to conquer the world!! His competitiveness and determination will drive him to new heights!!
Yuzu is still #1 in my heart, no matter what the scoreboard says!!!
Go Yuzu Go! Doki Doki!!