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: 2016 NHK Trophy

Ok, the Grand Prix Final is set!!  After an exhausting but exciting weekend, NHK is now over and the preparation for Marseille begins!  It’s really hard to be 16 hours behind Japan. Instead of trying to “wake up” at 3am to watch the Men’s SP event, I decided to just stay awake and watch everything (Pairs and Womens prior to Mens).  So, for the first night I was up from 7am Thursday, went to work and then stayed up until 6 am Friday (23 hours)!!  I was smart about it though, and took Friday off from work.  After 5 hours of sleep, I got myself prepared for Day 2, and was up from 11am to 7am (20 hours).  For Yuzu, no problem!

A special shout out to CBC for finally hearing the fans and streaming BOTH the SP and LP!! Normally they only stream the LP, so when I saw the schedule, I was so excited!!

Friday, 3am: Men’s SP

While the men’s event started at 3am, Yuzu did not appear until about 4am.  Of course, CBC did not follow Yuzu exclusively during the 6 minute warm up like the Japanese tv station did, so by the time they put the camera on Yuzu, I thought my tired eyes were seeing things.  I was seeing purple, I was seeing a cute Easter Bunny!!

img_4126

After rubbing my weary eyes, I realized this was not a dream.  Then the CBC stream was showing another skater on warm-up when I heard the loud gasp and shrieks.  A few seconds later, I learned that it was caused by Yuzu taking his warm up jacket off and the crowd was gasping in excitement.  It was a moment that I didn’t see until much later (replays).  I then remembered that I had had that same “WOW, OMG” moment when he took off his warm-up jacket at Autumn Classic and we saw the top of the white costume as well.  Those that were at the Autumn Classic or Skate Canada were the only ones to see the white outfit live, and I am thankful I am one of those fans.

My first thought was that I still liked the white better.  After my initial Easter Bunny reaction, I have had the chance to look at some photos and get used to the new purple look.  I guess I will make up my mind which I like better once I see it live at GPF.  I do however, love the iridescence of the pants and how you see blue flashes when he spins.  I read somewhere that Yuzu mentioned that there still might be a colour change to it.  I hope they go a bit darker with the pants still, and maybe a bit heavier material?

The short program itself was much improved compared to Skate Canada, and you can see that as time goes on, Yuzu is feeling the music more, and his “rock and roll” attitude is being slowly incorporated into the program.  The rock star is BACK!

After Yuzu was finished bowing to the audience, he took a few steps backwards and wasn’t really watching where the flowers and gifts were on the ice as he was waving and bowing to fans.  My first thought was “OMG, don’t trip on the flowers” and images of the ending of the movie Ice Castles came rushing to my head.  (Lexi was blind and making her comeback, the fans didn’t know, and she tripped over the flowers since her team forgot to plan what to do with that part).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk20cpYnSL8

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Best lines of the night:  

  • Yuzu: I want to get more!
  • Brian: Yes, I know you want more…haha

This is too priceless and so Yuzu.  SO adorable!

Friday, 3:30am: Men’s LP

Knowing that there probably wasn’t any costume change happening this time, I settled onto my couch and prepared myself for another marathon session (again starting at about midnight with Pairs, then Women’s final).  I had one panic moment when the streaming completely died during group 2 of the Women’s final. Fortunately, CBC (or whoever) had it fixed and I only missed 3 skaters.  But, what that did do was add some stress over how stable the stream would be for the men’s event.  Ugh.

I wrote a blog article quite some time ago about Yuzu’s rituals that he performs at every event.  Nothing much has changed over the years, subtle differences here and there, but on this night (morning) he did add something that melted every heart that was watching the event.

https://twitter.com/AoiAoihonou/status/802485487969529856/video/1

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This squish of Pooh’s head and the look into Pooh’s eyes as Yuzu left the boards to skate his LP, melted me right to the ground!! Seriously?  OMG, can Yuzu be more adorable?  This is right out of How to be a Perfect Guy handbook.

img_4549Photo source: screen shot

Yuzu looking so dejected when the score for the LP didn’t reach 200 was so sad, but the moment Yuzu realized that total scored added up to over 300 was priceless!

img_4596Photo source: Mainichi Photography

Best lines of the night:

  • Yuzu: I was really nervous before the toe!!
  • Yuzu: Oh, 300!!!!

Of course for the medal ceremonies, all of the skaters skate out nicely to center ice when announced and take their bows.  Yuzu being Yuzu, comes out at full speed and slams on the brakes at center.  He then bows and takes off with speed towards the podium and does his trademark jump onto the podium.  Classic Yuzu!!!

img_5016

Photo source: screen shot

Can I just say that OMG, Yuzu talks fast.  I’m not sure if, for Japanese fans it sounds as fast as it does to a non-Japanese speaking person like myself, but during his post-win interview in the Kiss and Cry area, I could barely keep up with listening.  I have been told I speak fast (in English) and if I sound half as fast as Yuzu does when he is talking Japanese, I now know why people ask me to slow down.  🙂

CBC TV showed the event the next day with Kurt Browning doing some commentary.  I loved when Kurt said Yuzu was “the right skater to win the Olympics and not quit because he obviously had a lot more to offer…..(Yuzu) is so far ahead of the skating world in many areas….everyone is chasing him”.

My only sadness is that Boyang isn’t the 6th skater at the GPF.  If Boyang would have beat out Adam Rippon for the last spot, it would be my dream lineup for the GPF event. BUT, as long as we get to see Yuzu, it will still be perfect!

See you at GPF Yuzu!!

Go Yuzu Go!!!  Doki Doki!!

Doki doki

Cover photo source: Twitter (cannot recall user but will update when I find it again)

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7 comments on “Yuzuru Hanyu: 2016 NHK Trophy

  1. Jo de Souza (@JodeSouza64)
    November 27, 2016

    I love every move, reaction and sentence of Yuzuru. It’s all so sincere and natural.
    Thank you once again for helping us to see a little more of Yuzuru.
    I was sad for Boyang too.
    The photos were wonderful.
    Hugs from Brazil

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Monica
    November 27, 2016

    I had a very similar “marathon” session for NHK. Luckily NHK Trophy was during Thanksgiving in the US so I didn’t have to worry about work. The only thing is after watching those exciting programs at 4 AM you’re much too excited to sleep immediately :).

    My first reaction to the new costume – is Yuzu that blueberry I see on my stream. I miss the white (saw it at both ACI and SC), but if it helps him win then I’ll take it. Maybe the shade will deepen like Ballade’s costume did.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kwok Kwan Yow
    November 28, 2016

    You brought back sweet memories Ice Castle! I watched it when I was a kid crazy about ice skating and “Looking through the Eyes of Love” was and still is one of my favourite songs!!

    Yuzu’s new lavendar/ purple colour kind of grew on me after I watched him skate. The colour changed from lavendar to blue to greenish as he skated so he looked really nice in it. My heart also melted when I saw him squeeze Pooh’s head for encouragement. My heart just melted! Another scene which melted my heart was at the end of “Crazy”, when Yuzu skated to Orser who held the back of Yuzu’s head as if to say “it’s ok, you skated well!”

    Thanks for a detailed account of Yuzu’s every adorable move!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Janice
    December 4, 2016

    Thank you for your take on NHK. I was so glad to see Yuzu skate well. I think he is finally getting into these new programs. I too was surprised when I saw the color change for the sp costume. However, I thought I like the new color better; after all when I think of Prince I think of purple. But when you showed them side by side; I think I like the white more. Hmmm……

    Liked by 1 person

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