SportyMags

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!

Yuzuru Hanyu: Is this the Last of Seimei?

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”.   

Source: https://www.facebook.com/Pj-Kwong-160862723932173/?ref=ts&fref=ts

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.  

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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.

https://sportymags.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/yuzuru-hanyu-seimei-a-defining-program/

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!!  

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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!!

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12 comments on “Yuzuru Hanyu: Is this the Last of Seimei?

  1. diahsuyanto
    April 5, 2016

    Thank you for the insightful post!
    Las week is very hard for yuzu fans all over the world. I agree that the pressure is too much, and i was just not meant to be.
    The speculation and panic attack is so laughable! It is not the end of the world! Although i agree yuzu is kinda have ‘mental issue’, i think is not as severe as people think. And due to the unimaginable pressure yuzu has, it is understandable. And knowing yuzu, he likely has been noticed the problem and already worked on it. His choice to go to toronto shows that. Yuzu is smart and know what he needs, so i dont worry too much.
    About seimei!! Ah, i already miss seimei!!! I agree that it is the defining program for yuzu. While i dont share your wish for him to recycle it in oly season, i do wish yuzu will use it in 2018 oly gala, skate it with perfection and grandeur befitting seimei, after wonning his second oly gold of course!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sportymags
      April 5, 2016

      I like your idea!! If he doesnt use Seimei again…having it as gala program would be cool!!

      Like

  2. ProudSaskie
    April 5, 2016

    I too was in shock when I was watching the long program…..however as hard as it may be to understand or accept…..one can’t win them all. No one is more disappointed than probably Yuzru himself but again nothing will change the outcome……it is what it is. This is a learning experience which will serve only to better prepare Yuzuru to defend his Olympic gold when the time comes!
    Just my thoughts but thanks for your thought and comparison to Canadian Hockey……so true for those fans…..for the nation!! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Christianne
    April 6, 2016

    No one is perfect and certain people ought to remember that Yuzu is human. And yet, we regular humans aren’t subject to the immense pressure he does.
    The last three years have been such an improvement for him that I cannot believe people are blaming Brian. SMH

    Thanks for an insightful article. Again.
    I want to see Seimei in 2018, too. Here’s hoping…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cartoonlin
    April 6, 2016

    Thank you for your post, I was waiting for your insight and as usual, you nailed it! You are very right with “Yuzu has spoiled us by being perfect so often”. At that moment, his imperfectness shattered all of his fans for a couple of hours (or even more) until we finally remember that he is only human… Even I was shattered, over a sporting event (!), which has never happened to me before…

    But it’s even more disappointing that the media and some fans “couldn’t believe his failure” and attributed his failure to everyone and everything else…

    Yah, I hope your dream will come true ‘cos then we’ll get to see SEIMEI at its very BEST once again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Springbreeze
    April 6, 2016

    Your expression “Yuzu has spoiled us by being perfect so often” made me almost cry. It was heartbreaking to see Yuzu so sad and regretful after the LP and still try to smile fo the crowd!!

    I hope and believe that he will go through this experience and fly even higher to the level no other skater can reach.

    But for the moment I really hope that he will be able to have a good rest and receive proper treatment for the injury in Canada.

    Thank you for an warm article. I also want to see Seimei in 2018 gala.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yuzurist-Japan
    April 6, 2016

    I was so shocked that I could not sleep well last weekend. Yuzu started to have a pain in his left leg in December, and he fell three times in Japanese Championship. But seeing him performing for some skate shows in January made me think that he was already OK. However, we found out this week that he was just using painkiller at that time. Having a pain in his leg for 3 months surely made him disturbed a lot both mentally and physically. (He suggested this when I saw him talking in an interview.)
    Now I am more worried about his ability to control his health, rather than psychological one. His physical therapist said his body had been damaged a lot when he saw Yuzu for the first time in 2012. He gave him a lot of advice, so Yuzu knows how to care his body better. He has a tendency to practice beyond his limits, then has the same cycle almost every year: peak at GPF and damaged body at World. If his body had been in perfect shape, he could have performed better.
    I just want to tell him that we love him sooooo much and good luck for the next season!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Almerinda Cruz
    April 8, 2016

    Thank you very much. Our boy is amazing. I believe in his potential he will recover and return even better. Congratulations for your work. Almerinda Castro

    Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2016 04:14:07 +0000 To: almerindacastro65@hotmail.com

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was waiting anxiously your comments about what happened , as always you were brilliant.
    We tend to forget that Yuzuru is human and therefore prone to errors , this Yuzuru season provided us with amazing and unforgettable moments and I’m very grateful for that.
    As for Brian , what people have in mind , just look at how Yuzuru evolved in that time.
    Seimei is a program that I would like to see and review , perhaps as Gala program.
    We will leave Yuzuru alone, have his time , learn from their mistakes , it will come out on top.
    The future in big emotions reservation just wait !

    Thanks for the space.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kyoko
    August 8, 2017

    I just remembered what you wrote here about SEIMEI for the Olympics.
    Today, he showed at the media day in Toronto that he would skate to SEIMEI again with 5 quads. Congratulations for your dream comes true !

    Liked by 1 person

    • sportymags
      August 8, 2017

      Hi Kyoko! Thank you so much for remembering!!!! I was so happy when Yuzu announced this!!! ❤️❤️❤️ This program will become even more epic the 2nd time around!!!

      Like

  10. dd2_hk
    August 15, 2017

    Yuzu didn’t win Worlds 2016 for the reason that was revealed much later. He has too much pride of an athelete to say a word about on the spot. That only makes me admire him more – for his sportsmanship, grace and dignity on and off the ice. Taking the experience positively, it makes Yuzu realize more than ever the importance of staying 100% healthy to work through a whole season with flying colors. He would take good care of himself physically and mentally as he takes us on his journey to the Olympics podium.

    Liked by 1 person

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