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: Skaters in Yuzu’s Story

In my last blog entry, I reviewed the 100, 200, and 300 point plateaus which Yuzu has recently obliterated.  Here I wanted to take a look at the skaters that have been prominent thus far during Yuzu’s career.

While Yuzu’s legend and legacy are still being written, here is my view of the skaters that have defined periods during Yuzu’s career.  Each of them are very important pieces in Yuzu’s story.  Aside from Yuzu’s own internal motivation and desire to push the limits of the sport forward, these skaters have also motivated and driven Yuzu forward, faster than anyone could have imagined.  Yuzu has always looked up to Plushenko as his idol, but apart from Sochi (team event), Yuzu has never competed against Plushy in an individual event so I did not include Plushy.  Also a special mention to Tatsuki Machida who competed against Yuzu and whom I like as a skater but did not include here.

Throughout his career thus far, Yuzu has gone up against a few formidable competitors. Yuzu has stood on the World podium together with all of the skaters in this post, across the generations with the exception of Nathan who has not reached the World podium yet.

Yuzu chart

 

How rare is it to get all of these guys in one photo.   A priceless photo!

IMG_3366

Photo source: unknown

 

Yuzu and the Uncles:

Daisuke, Patrick and Javi are considered “uncles” of the sport since they are a part of an older generation of skater.  Sorry to say that 26 is considered “old”.   Each of the “uncles” have had great careers in their own right.

Yuzu and uncles

Yuzu vs Daisuke

The Yuzu vs Daisuke period in time is very polarizing.  As I learn more about the fan bases of each skater and the animosity between them, I am shocked at the lengths some fans will go to in order to cause drama; drama that is amongst the fan bases, not the skaters themselves who all have a mutual respect for their fellow competitors.

Daisuke fans are Daisuke fans, and Yuzu fans are Yuzu fans.  Never shall the two of them meet and like each other.  I get it.  These two are very different skaters, each with their own styles and talents.  The Yuzu/Daisuke fan war stories I have heard are very shocking because I would never have thought this type of fan behaviour existed in figure skating (petitions to have skaters banned, con games, lies etc).  When something negative is said about one skater or the other, fans go on the offensive and it has become a fan war that is not always so friendly.

Is this any different than a Flames fan vs an Oilers fan?  For someone who has lived in both the figure skating and hockey world, I can say is it different.  While hockey is a contact sport, and the fan bases can be very opinionated and boisterous, people generally don’t take comments personally (of course, there are always exceptions).  In hockey, one would never be caught dead wearing the jersey of the other team, unless you have lost a bet.  There is usually friendly bickering amongst fans of both teams, in and out of the arena.

While there is also some nasty trash talk as well, most fans realize this is just a sport to be enjoyed by all, and part of the fun is the friendly competitive banter between fans. Even if some trash talk is thrown my way or someone says something bad about my favourite player, I just laugh (if it’s a good slam), and dish it back the best I can.  How many times have I taken heat for liking Ovie and Johnny when they don’t perform up to expectations.  And, how often have I thrown a jab at my boss bugging him for cheering for the Leafs, ugh, and had to take the jab back when my guys were defeated.  This is why I love sports, it’s fun!  I can also appreciate that there are cultural differences at play here and the friendly banter and nasty comments between hockey fans would seem strange from another sports’ perspective.

A recent example of this trash talk is the Stanley Cup finals game 3 (yesterday), 18,000 Nashville fans chanting at the Pittsburgh goalie, Marty Murray, trying to get under his skin.  We hockey fans think this is priceless.  Different sport, different perspective.

https://twitter.com/hockeynight/status/871199890738733056/video/1

Ok, I digress, back to the point of this post.

Daisuke was the leader of Japan mens figure skating for many years.  His bronze medal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver was the first Olympic medal for Japan in the mens singles skating event so it was quite a historical accomplishment.  When I used to watch Daisuke (before Yuzu was around), I thought he was talented, but he never caught on with me as a “must see” skater.  Daisuke’s skating didn’t “speak to me”, but he was still very talented.

Yuzu and Daisuke competed against each other for 4 seasons.  Daisuke had a long career (skipping the 2008-2009 season) and I can only hope that Yuzu’s competitive career can be the same length, but these are different times with different challenges.

Daisuke was a skater that achieved many “firsts” for the Japanese men’s program (first Olympic medal (bronze), first World Champion).  I am sure that Yuzu would have still made his mark in the skating world even if Daisuke did not exist, and with respect to Honda and Oda, Daisuke put Japan men’s skating on the map.

 

Yuzu vs Patrick

Patrick’s first season in the senior event was 2006-2007.  At that point, Yuzu was still in Novice, and trying out the Junior level for the first time.  After placing 5th at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Patricks’ dominance in the mens event was clearly evident in the 2010-2011 through to the 2012-2013 seasons.  I remember thinking at the time that it was so wonderful to have a Canadian skater to continue leading our men’s program.  While I never called Patrick a favourite of mine, I was proud that he won those World titles for Canada.

During Patricks tenure at the top of the figure skating world, his dominance was based on his superior skating skills and an ever so consistent quad toe.  Back then, Patrick’s quad toe was so large, powerful and consistent, that it set him apart from other skaters. During Patrick’s 3 consecutive world titles, there were other skaters who were also jumping quads, many of them more than one type of quad.  However, none of these skaters could match the skating skills and the quality and consistency of Patricks quad.

There was a Daisuke vs Patrick period, but meanwhile, a young Yuzu was starting to make his mark right in the middle of Patricks 3 consecutive World titles.  By the time the 2014 Olympics came, Patrick was considered the favourite for the gold medal but Yuzu came in and completely stole the show.

Yuzu and Patrick are very different skaters, both in physical build, and style.  Each skater has their own appeal.  I would say that Patrick is one of the last of the generation that isn’t quad crazy.  While some people may dislike Patrick for his comments about the new focus on jumps and the impact they have on the sport and skaters’ health, I respect his knowledge of the sport, and his own body.

I think Yuzu needed Patrick in his career.  Patrick was one of the large “walls” that Yuzu had to climb over.  To get to the top of the sport, Yuzu had to go through Patrick. Personally, I believe Yuzu’s skating skills are just as good as Patricks.  Their skating skills look different because their physiques are different.  Yuzu’s speed is a bit more deceptive, but both can reach top speed in a couple of cross overs.  The smooth glide and deep edges they each possess is pure brilliance.

Conversely, I think Patrick also needed Yuzu in his comeback.  Patrick was a bit stuck doing the same thing; he knew what his strengths were.  Having to compete against Yuzu and the new age of quad mania, Patrick has been forced to add a new quad salchow to his arsenal and now is even talking loosely about a quad flip.  Without Yuzu pushing the limits, would Patrick have pushed himself to achieve higher technical content?  We will never know this answer.  But, they have helped each other, while each staying true to their own selves.

 

Yuzu vs Javi

Javi entered the senior category the same season as Patrick.  While Javi took a bit longer to evolve as a serious contender, the largest improvement in Javi’s results coincidentally coincides with the arrival of Yuzu at the Cricket Club in 2012-2013.

While Yuzu and Javi are NOT BFF’s, both have benefitted from each others presence in training.  I’m sure the awareness of what each of them is doing in practice is motivating and helpful in their development, and the support they show each other is commendable.

Before Yuzu, I knew Javi to be a skater that was never consistent enough to make the podium in a big event.  As far as I can remember Javi has always had 2 types of quads in his arsenal.  The period where Yuzu only had one quad (quad toe) was very short.  Yuzu’s 2nd quad, the quad salchow, has given himself and his fans fits of despair at points during his journey.  But, Yuzu never gives up on his toys and we are richer for it.

Yuzu and Javi have competed against each other for 7 seasons.  In the last 3 seasons, Javi has been seen as Yuzu’s primary rival, however, this seems to be changing.  Last season Javi chose to stay the course on his technical content.  I think he made a big mistake as he now appears to have fallen behind.  It will be interesting to see what Javi does this upcoming season in response to his results last season.  We shouldn’t forget about Javi, but a new breed of skater has emerged, and Yuzu seems to be adjusting to this a bit easier than Javi is.

 

Yuzu as part of the 4 Horsemen:

Yuzu bridges the gap between the Uncles and the 4 Horseman.  The “young guns” of the new quad era are aptly named the Four Horseman of the Quadpocalypse (cool name taken from Tumblr, credit to yuphoniumist).  Yuzu career has spanned both generations and because of his natural talent and abilities, and has been able to adapt to this new breed of skater and be included in this group.

Yuzu and 4 Horseman

 

Yuzu vs Shoma

The Yuzu vs Shoma times are relatively new.  Last season was a bit of a break through season for Shoma.  It is inevitable that a younger skater will come up and push the top skater.  For his part, Shoma has always been respectful towards Yuzu.  While Shoma has said that he admires Daisuke, there are again, new fan wars between Yuzu fans and Shoma fans, since Daisuke fans appear to have adopted Shoma as their own.  Much of the drama is fed and hyped by the Japanese media.  I feel bad for both Yuzu and Shoma in this respect.  Both skaters are just elite athletes, chasing their dreams.

Leading up to this Olympic season, the Japanese media hype is really ramping up. Shoma is getting his own sponsors, and more airtime.  I think he has earned it.  What I am hearing about the Japanese media is that the bias is glaringly apparent, and it really riles up the fans.  One local sports journalist whom I know and respect said that the world of sports journalism was changing from what it once was.  He recently said on the radio that “fans want affirmation, not information”.  This really resonated with me.  Based on fan reactions on every tidbit of information that comes out, I think he was right on the money.

As for Shoma, I think he is talented.  I think it’s funny how all of the Daisuke fans have aligned with Shoma and that the divide between the powerhouse Japanese skaters is once again rearing it’s ugly head.  I wonder if Sota Yamamoto had said that he admires Daisuke (instead of Yuzu), if all the Yuzu fans would suddenly drop him and he would be picked up by the Daisuke fans.  Just a thought I had, nothing more.

As for the actual Yuzu vs Shoma.  If each skater skates clean, I still believe that Yuzu should come out on top each time.  I say this because of the small subtleties in Yuzu’s programs.  Each movement is crisp and concise.  Each beat of the music accounted for and there is a purpose for each movement.  This is a type of polish that makes the difference in my eyes.  Shoma is working hard towards this type of perfection, and once he gets there, it will become a matter of personal preference, and of course, I would always still choose Yuzu.

I wonder if Shoma would have developed as fast technically if he didn’t have Yuzu leading the way?  I think it’s also good that Yuzu has someone that is pushing him so intently from his own country.  Unlike Patrick who didn’t really have any close competition at home for the years when he was winning World gold, Yuzu has not had any chance to rest on his laurels, even at home.  If Yuzu let’s up in the slightest at home, he knows that Shoma is there to take the title away from him.  I think it’s a healthy rivalry.

 

Yuzu vs Boyang

Unlike many of the skaters before him, Boyang entered the senior event and immediately made his mark, and announced his arrival with a bevy of quads.  Even Yuzu took notice, and credited Boyang for igniting a fire in him to achieve perfection!  He was not about to be beat by the upstart Boyang, and the result was a free program World Record at 2015 NHK Trophy!

I love the quirkiness of Boyang.  He is figuring out who he is as a skater and just having fun while he is doing it.  What is interesting is that Boyang is really flying under the radar.  While the Japanese media is hyping Yuzu and Shoma, and the American media is hyping the Yuzu and Nathan, there isn’t a lot of press about Boyang, at least not in North America.  Perhaps some of the chinese fans out there could help me out on this, but I haven’t heard much about Boyang vs Yuzu.  Does the chinese media built up any hype about these two?

Boyang has had his ups and downs in his first 2 years as a senior, but you can’t take away the fact that he has medalled twice in 2 years at Worlds.  Boyang has come along at a perfect time to energize Yuzu.  After Yuzu won Olympic gold and set new World Records in his short and long programs, the question was “what next for Yuzu?”.  Boyang coming along at that moment prevented Yuzu from stagnating and becoming complacent with his success.  I’m sure Yuzu was still planning on a progression forward, but was the plan this aggressive initially?  Boyang was an accelerator for this technical progression.  I credit Boyang for renewing a sense of desire and motivation to achieve more, in Yuzu!

*secret wish – someone re-ignites Yuzu after 2018 Pyeongchang to continue as well.

 

Yuzu vs Nathan

Nathan is the newest Horsemen to join the gang and completes the pack.  In talking about the Japanese media and their penchant for creating drama and building up rivalries, now I get to take a look at Nathan and the US media.  The US has been waiting a long time for a skater to come along and put their country back in the spotlight.  Nathan’s achievements at US Nationals had the media anointing him as potential Olympic champion already.  It’s funny actually.

In the 2015-2016 season, Nathan earned a spot at Worlds but had to withdraw due to injury.  Then this last season, Nathan was expected (especially by the US media) to fight for the World title against Yuzu.  Affected by broken down skates and the pressure, Nathan failed to reach the podium, yet is still going to be touted as a gold medal favourite going into the Olympics 2018.  Whether this hype is justified or not will be flushed out this season.

The impact of Nathan has yet to be realized.  His programs are still a bit of jump, jump, jump and this is where the sport appears to be going.  Nathan has already expressed a desire to retire after Olympics and pursue his education goals.  I’m not sure if he will retire if he doesn’t get on the podium at Olympics.

Each of the skaters, Shoma, Boyang, and Nathan are gunning for Yuzu.  Let’s not kid ourselves.  While everyone talks about achieving their personal bests and not worrying about winning gold, the goal is to win and to win you have to beat Yuzu.  To them, Yuzu is the top of the mountain, and climbing this mountain must seem like climbing Mount Everest.  It’s not impossible to do, but it requires training, and more training, and even then, if you perform your best, there are still other factors that can derail your ascent, and you have no control over what will happen.

I think that when Yuzu saw what the other Horseman were doing, it re-ignited a spark in Yuzu.  He had already achieved the top pinnacle in his sport.  Yuzu needed something to make skating fun for him again.  He got just that in Shoma, Boyang, and Nathan each in different ways.  An excited Yuzu, a motivated Yuzu, a healthy Yuzu makes for a potentially unbelievable 2017-2018 season!!   

It will be very interesting to see which media will still have Yuzu listed as the favourite to win the Olympics, and who will not.  Not one of the skaters listed above deals with the media and fan scrutiny that Yuzu does.  So for Yuzu to achieve what he does, in the fishbowl that he lives in and with the pressure that is put upon him is incredible.  I hope fans can do what the skaters do, try not to take the media reports so personally.  Enjoy the sport.  Enjoy the skaters.  I’m so excited about what next season will bring, and hope that the skaters can each have their own special moment.

 

Go Yuzu Go!!!  Doki Doki!!

Doki doki

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35 comments on “Yuzuru Hanyu: Skaters in Yuzu’s Story

  1. Jo Dewar
    June 4, 2017

    I am surprised by your comments about fan rivalry. I am blissfully just watching you tube videos of Yuzuru. He, of course, is my favorite skater. But I also love Javi. And I think I am going to like Nathan. But, as a fan, I enjoy all the skater’s performances. I like to see the skaters showing respect for each other. If they can do that, certainly fans can do the same!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Alethea89
    June 5, 2017

    I, too, sometimes worry about how media and fans scrutinised Yuzu the way they do. The immediate reactions to his announcement of 2017/18 SP were… quite something. And that’s from the side supporting him. The things that reassure me are how Yuzu has matured so considerably, and how his team protect him. I can’t wait to see what he brings to the new season.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Teresa
    June 5, 2017

    Hi, I’m a Chinese fan and no, I haven’t seen much if any hype about Boyang v. Yuzu. From what I’ve seen, which is mostly discussions by fans since there isn’t much serious press about figure skating, people see Boyang as still in the process of growing into a complete skater, while Yuzu as the top of the discipline. They’re not seen as direct rivals, since with Boyang’s PCS disadvantage (which those who follow him are highly, painfully aware of) people are happy to see him on the podium, while Yuzu’s getting anything other than gold makes people say “he’s not doing well (for him) today.” On a side note, that’s also probably why Yuzu’s and Boyang’s fans are generally quite friendly with each other, while each having a fan war with Shoma fans…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pammi 3011
    June 5, 2017

    I wasn’t aware of this (unfriendly) rivalry between Daisuke and Yuzuru supporters! How sad; I love them both (but of course Yuzuru is my very strong favourite!✨) Thanks for the very interesting article; I feel excited about this upcoming season too; Yuzu is very determined and I am delighted with the choice of SP – he is so confident in this programme, I am anticipating a new WR this season! Look forward to reading your next article 😊 Pamela

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Henni
    June 5, 2017

    I have read about the disappointment in Yuzuru’s SP choice, too. The absolute best response he could give to his fans was that perfect skate at FaoI last week. That was simply insane and the best confidence booster for the olympic season you can think of. I’m really delighted to see that his 4T+3T combination is so consistent after a whole season of absence – not to mention that he did it in the second half of the programme. I’m looking forward to Chopin 3.0 – probably the best version so far.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Katrina OLeary
    June 5, 2017

    This analysis is brilliant, thank you! I think Yuzu is uniquely highly aware of his rivals and strategies and I suspect he has spent many many hours thinking about how to best respond to them, so I am quite sure that he HAS been impacted by them as you describe. And considering the constant PRESSURE on him as the reigning Olympic champion and media superstar it is just unbelievable that he has had the mental and physical strength to stay with it, let alone progress as he has been doing. Truly alien!!! It’s good to hear him say he is still motivated to win, and I have no doubt he has not reached his peak yet, so win or lose at Pyeongchang I hope he decides to continue to skate in competition.
    I am looking forward to the growth of the other horsemen of the Quadpocalypse BUT I don’t think any of them could persevere through the pressure and reach the heights that Yuzu has as Olympic and World champion.
    I love the quote, ‘of all the millions/billions of years of life on this planet, we managed to be alive at the same time as Yuzuru Hanyu’- congratulations to us!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sportymags
      June 5, 2017

      Great quote, I hadnt heard that one before!! Thanks for posting it!! ❤️

      Like

  7. Taro Tsujimoto
    June 5, 2017

    Great read! And congratulations on your first double digest 😀.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Taro Tsujimoto
    June 5, 2017

    Waaaboooom!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yuzurist-Japan
    June 18, 2017

    Thank you always for your blog! I have been to Kobe to see Yuzu in Fantasy On Ice on June 10. I am very happy to witness he is in good health this year!
    About the fight between Yuzu fans and Daisuke fans, it appears to me that it is mainly caused by jealousy of Daisuke fans, because I noticed some of them make jealous remarks against Yuzu. I think it is really silly because I admire the both skaters. I was originally Daisuke & Mao fan (Yuzu was still about 11 years old when I started watching figure skating) and am now passionate about Yuzu. I respect many skaters, but Yuzu gave me something that even Daisuke and Mao could not. Yuzu makes our dream come true by being strong consistently and by showing us out-of-this-world performances. He gives us a lot of mental energy through his fighting and performance. Then we get a feeling that we should give back something to him. Whenever he has an away competition, about 300 fans go all the way from Japan to cheer him at the skate rink. Whenever he has a skate show here, he receives countless messages and presents. (According to Nobunari Oda, Yuzu uses “one room” just to put the presents he receives.)
    Yuzu is now very important for us. Jealous remarks from some Daisuke fans only show that Yuzu became so great that their selfish pride is hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lily
    June 25, 2017

    Thank you for the interesting analysis on the current top skaters.
    Yuzu is unbeatable if he skates his best with no mistake!!!

    Here is the fan-made video of Yuzu’s golden night in Helsinki, where I was and everything was exactly how I felt from his performance.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. just another fs fan
    July 3, 2017

    Interesting post. Hanyu undoubtedly has influenced and continues to influence the field of men’s figure skating in many ways and this post has given me some food for thought. I would like to point out a few things I’ve noticed here. Hope you don’t take offense. It’s hard being a fs fan because I often feel the need to tread cautiously whenever one discusses Hanyu.

    1. I get the sentiment for grouping the three uncles together but still find it problematic to lump Takahashi together with Chan and Fernandez. Takahashi, as you have stated, had a long, illustrious career. By Sochi, his third Olympics, he was already past his prime while Chan and Fernandez (aged 23 at the time, the same age Hanyu will be by Pyeongchang) were not. I guess Takahashi would be a “great-uncle?”

    2. Perhaps I’m in a small minority but I do think it is very possible to be both a Daisuke and a Yuzu fan. They are very different skaters but that is why they are so wonderful to watch. But definitely the period leading up to Sochi was a very difficult time for fans of both. The toxicity of a vocal minority of fans tainted the experience of fans at large. It’s a good thing that the skaters show more class. I hope fans will have learned from this experience but history has the unfortunate tendency to repeat itself.

    3. “I am sure that Yuzu would have still made his mark in the skating world even if Daisuke did not exist, and with respect to Honda and Oda, Daisuke put Japan men’s skating on the map.” Now this I disagree with. I think you may be underestimating the influence Takahashi has had on the sport. Not to detract from Hanyu’s accomplishments (and there are a great many), but as a pioneer, Takahashi did not only put Japan’s men figure skating on the map, he made Japanese men skaters serious contenders for major international championships. Takahashi overturned stereotypes that Asian men lacked expression on the ice, and contributed significantly to the popularity that current figure skaters, Hanyu included, now enjoy. Perhaps Hanyu would have made his mark regardless, but it would have been very difficult to do so without the foundation work laid by skaters before.

    4. “Personally, I believe Yuzu’s skating skills are just as good as Patricks.” Hanyu’s skating skills have improved and he is certainly one of the most well-rounded skaters of all time. However, even Hanyu himself has admitted that Chan’s skating skills are unparalleled, even stating that what Chan can do during the entire program, Hanyu finds it difficult to do for a minute. I would say that since Sochi, Hanyu has closed the skill gap, but Chan still boasts some of the best skating skills in the business even if the jumps aren’t all there (evidently, all of that compulsory figure training has paid off).

    5. It’s easy to write off Fernandez’s early part of his skating career as inconsistent but I’d argue this would apply only to the early part of Fernandez’s senior career. When he made the change to Morozov, his skating markedly improved in the span of five years, moving from near dead last to finishing in the top 10 at 2011 Worlds. Of course, it wasn’t until he made the switch to Orser that he was able to achieve his breakout season, medaling for the first time at both of his GP events and snagging bronze at his first GPF appearance. Sadly, he was unable to keep the momentum going in the second half of the season but still managed to finished 9th at 2012 Worlds. It’s not the meteoric rise Hanyu’s had, which I think we can agree is quite exceptional of an ascent, but my point is that even before Hanyu joined TCC, Fernandez had already achieved enormous growth under Brian. Hanyu’s presence has continued that growth, as he and Fernandez have continued to push each other (and still push each other) even in the era of new quads.

    6. “I think it’s funny how all of the Daisuke fans have aligned with Shoma and that the divide between the powerhouse Japanese skaters is once again rearing it’s ugly head.” I think this is a misleading statement. While Uno’s admiration of Takahashi is well known and his style is very similar to Takahashi’s, I find it fallacious (and even a little condescending) to assume that most of Uno’s fans have “aligned with” him simply because his style is reminiscent of Takahashi. Uno may have been influenced by Takahashi, but his skating is something that is entirely his own. Hanyu phrased it well in a recent interview when he stated that a skater’s legacy is not like a baton that is passed down from skater to skater but something that is uniquely their own rather than handed down.

    7. “I wonder if Sota Yamamoto had said that he admires Daisuke (instead of Yuzu), if all the Yuzu fans would suddenly drop him and he would be picked up by the Daisuke fans.” I would hope not. That kind of behavior would suggest that the fans judge skaters based on their opinions rather than their actual skating. I would think fans become fans because they have found something in their skating that they enjoy. Sometimes I’m astonished how fans can be capable of so much love for one skater but full of hate for all others. But such fans do exist.

    8. “If each skater skates clean, I still believe that Yuzu should come out on top each time. I say this because of the small subtleties in Yuzu’s programs. Each movement is crisp and concise. Each beat of the music accounted for and there is a purpose for each movement. This is a type of polish that makes the difference in my eyes.” I find it interesting that you point this out as Hanyu’s strength when this attentiveness and sensitivity to the music is precisely what Uno is lauded for. Why not mention Hanyu’s transitions or his jumps? They are more clearly ahead of Uno’s current level of skill. Uno’s jumps may be atrocious but he is no slouch when it comes down to musical interpretation. Just thought that was an odd comparison to make.

    9. Perhaps Boyang will get more media attention as we get closer to 2022. But China has always been very focused on their pairs skating and their singles programs are woefully neglected in comparison.

    10. “The US has been waiting a long time for a skater to come along and put their country back in the spotlight. Nathan’s achievements at US Nationals had the media anointing him as potential Olympic champion already. It’s funny actually.” Why is this funny exactly? There’s nothing unusual about this. As you have mentioned, it’s been a long time since the US has produced a skater with both the technical firepower and artistic potential (I say potential because Chen still has quite a ways to grow, but the guy’s only 17, give it time) to contend for a medal. It is very likely that Chen could medal, or even win Olympic gold, if things go in his favor. We all know ice is slippery and although Hanyu may be a heavy favorite, as his skating career has shown, he is not an automatic shoo-in for gold. In a system that rewards quads and more quads, Nathan is an OGM contender based on sheer jump BV alone. In his senior debut season, he was able to beat Hanyu at his first figure skating championships, after recovering from last season’s injury. Granted Hanyu did not perform anywhere near his best, but that’s still damn impressive. At Worlds, Chen attempted a historic six quads in his free skate, landing 4 despite nerves and skates that were literally falling to pieces; while that gamble did not clearly pay off, imagine if he’s able to perform that feat in the next season. The young can add more quads more quickly, an advantage that is certainly very dangerous to older skaters who are unable to take on that risk. Hanyu’s no uncle but he’s no spring chicken either. He has stated that quads are only part of the program and his philosophy is to add quads when he can confidently land them and integrate them into his program.

    11. “Affected by broken down skates and the pressure, Nathan failed to reach the podium, yet is still going to be touted as a gold medal favourite going into the Olympics 2018. Whether this hype is justified or not will be flushed out this season.” Oh, I think the hype is well justified for reasons I have stated above. While we can agree that a clean and perfect Hanyu cannot be beaten by any of the top men so far (based on how they have performed this last season), Hanyu, though relatively consistent, does not consistently deliver clean and perfect skates. The last time he has skated two clean programs was at 2015 GPF, something he has said he wishes to work on since he was not able to deliver both programs clean in any competitition last season. He is unparalleled in many aspects, as a skater and as a person, but shockingly, he is mortal and prone to mistakes. He had a disaster of a skate at Skate Canada (mustn’t break the tradition of bombing his first GP event, I suppose), won NHK against a relatively weak men’s field, won his 4th consecutive GPF title with an amazing short but an error-ridden free skate (to be frank, in startling contrast to 2015 GPF, 2016 GPF was pretty terrible for the men, with 4 out of 6 free skates being subpar or disastrous) and snagged a heartbreaking silver at Four Continents after popping his combo during the short while Uno and Chen skated clean.

    12. “To them, Yuzu is the top of the mountain, and climbing this mountain must seem like climbing Mount Everest.” I admire Hanyu as much as the next Hanyu fan, but I think it’s presumptuous to assume all the top skaters feel this way. Hanyu is unquestionably an amazing skater, one of the greatest skaters of all time, but the reason why men’s figure skating is so exciting right now is because we don’t have just one heavy favorite for OGM–we have six amazing, talented men all who have a legitimate chance of medaling or winning gold. Rather than trying to climb the mountain you suggest Hanyu is on, I think every skater is climbing his own mountain and offers something unique to the field; Hanyu himself continues to climb his own mountain, pursuing a vision beyond perfection, beyond limit, revisiting Chopin, a program we all thought to be perfect, and trying to develop that program even more.

    13. “It will be very interesting to see which media will still have Yuzu listed as the favourite to win the Olympics, and who will not. Not one of the skaters listed above deals with the media and fan scrutiny that Yuzu does.” I agree. As the reigning Olympic and World champion, Hanyu currently has the most momentum going into the next season and will undeniably be a heavy favorite. But a lot can happen in the first half of the season. How the GP series plays out (and Nationals and Europeans) will really decide which skaters have the most momentum going into the Olympics. I sincerely hope that regardless of whoever wins, that the top men are able to deliver amazing skates they are satisfied with (no Sochi repeat please). The Olympics happen only every four years after all, and it is the biggest audience figure skaters get to skate for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sportymags
      July 3, 2017

      Wow…thanks for taking the time to write all that! 🙂 You have some great and very valid points! Yes skating is such a subjective sport and putting a view point out there is dangerous sometimes but I do this for fun and I enjoy reading comments like yours. BTW, I do like Daisuke and Shoma too, just Yuzu is my favorite,….and Honda was just at a time so much before social media that I just decided to start with Daisuke time….even though, yes he would be kind of a great uncle. 😊

      Like

      • just another fs fan
        July 3, 2017

        You’re welcome. I enjoy healthy discussion with other fs fans. I think it’s good to have a variety of different opinions. Fanfests for GS skate are all very well and good but it’s rare to have productive discussions comparing rival skaters…fans can get heated in defending their favorites. I do appreciate that you’ve taken the time to write thinkpieces like this though. I used to blog so I know how much time and effort is put into one so kudos for keeping up with it for so long. I wish there were more figure skating blogs that at least attempt this sort of analysis. In general, I find sports coverage of figure skating (in English anyway) sorely lacking.

        Liked by 1 person

    • redcat
      July 6, 2017

      Thank you for this intelligent, well-worded comment. I agree with almost every part of your well thought out stance!

      I would like to add a few thoughts, equally with no intent of offense. 🙂 (I have to agree strongly with both of you that it’s scary to put your opinion out there, specifically when Yuzu is concerned.)

      “The Yuzu/Daisuke fan war stories I have heard are very shocking because I would never have thought this type of fan behaviour existed in figure skating (petitions to have skaters banned, con games, lies etc). ”

      If there’s one thing that can be said about sports fans across all disciplines, it’s that they’re passionate. 😉 FS is no exception (and there have been much fiercer fan rivalries in FS than the one you’re discussing here). On the upside at least that means that there is enough of a fanbase. On the downside discussions can get pretty heated sometimes and consequently tarnish the experience for the more even-tempered, less opinionated participants or even put them off altogether.

      That being said I feel like some of your article is – and I hope you don’t take offense as I think it happened rather unintentionally and that you meant no harm – over-dramatizing and even fuelling the fan-war narrative by focussing on extreme exceptions. While I believe there’s a grain of truth in some of those stories, they’re still exactly that: stories based on hearsay, referencing events that reportely happened at a select few competitions held in Japan. They may very well have been exaggerated or distorted by second- and third-hand accounts and now it has become some sort of perpetuated myth that fans of either of these skaters are more or less generally like this, which, judging from my own experience, is unfair to both of their fanbases at large. Personally I’ve never heard of anyone belonging to either side engaging in con games. Is there any proof for the supposed banning petition? Even if some of it might be true, it’s hardly the majority, who engages in such unhealthy behaviour. It’s sad that a few outliers (or “a vocal minority” as “just another fs fan” aptly put it) seem to be seen as representatives of an entire fan-collective.

      “Daisuke fans are Daisuke fans, and Yuzu fans are Yuzu fans. Never shall the two of them meet and like each other. ”

      “I think it’s funny how all of the Daisuke fans have aligned with Shoma and that the divide between the powerhouse Japanese skaters is once again rearing it’s ugly head. I wonder if Sota Yamamoto had said that he admires Daisuke (instead of Yuzu), if all the Yuzu fans would suddenly drop him and he would be picked up by the Daisuke fans.”

      I love Daisuke, who is my all-time favourite skater. I’m a fan of Shoma. I also like Yuzu a lot and have never understood those few individuals on either side, who feel the need to disparage either of these skaters or their fans to build their favourite up. (This sort of thing actually achieves the opposite anyway.) I like Sota too and hope he’ll fully recover to make a splash on the senior scene soon. (While Yuzu is his undisputed idol, he has said to look up to Dai as well by the way.) Just as with Shoma, my preference for his skating doesn’t have anything to do with who he idolizes. (And last time I checked I hadn’t signed any adoption papers. ;-)) I know a bunch of hybrid Yuzu/Dai and Yuzu/Shoma fans. They aren’t even rare. I know Shoma fans, who aren’t fond of Daisuke and Dai fans, who see nothing special in Shoma. (While the influence is visible I don’t even think Shoma’s overall style is all that similar to Dai’s skating, whose style is very hard to pinpoint anyway, because he interpreted so many vastly different musical genres throughout his career.) It would be so nice for anyone to be able to gush about their favourites without being stereotyped. 🙂

      “Daisuke was a skater that achieved many “firsts” for the Japanese men’s program (first Olympic medal (bronze), first World Champion). I am sure that Yuzu would have still made his mark in the skating world even if Daisuke did not exist, and with respect to Honda and Oda, Daisuke put Japan men’s skating on the map.”

      I know either side can be guilty of selective focus, bias (and sometimes buying into the media generated drama). Unfortunately that’s almost inevitable. I’ve read criticism from Yuzu-fans of supporters of other skaters sometimes not acknowledging his outstanding achievements enough and holding him to an unreasonably high standard. And while I understand why it sometimes appears so, if you are a passionate Yuzu supporter, it actually goes both ways. To me it seems that there are just as many Yuzu fans, who are undermining or underestimating what Daisuke has contributed to the sport in Japan and worldwide. In addition to achieving a wealth of firsts for Japan and even for Asia (which also included the first Junior World and GPF title) and initiating the popularity-boom of men’s skating in his native country, he was one of the most artistically influential skaters around, being cited as a favourite and major inspiration by many of his peers, retired greats and up-and-coming youngsters. When he bid farewell to competitions he received a flood of affectionate messages. Many well-known faces in the sport were sad to see him go. Of course his “style” didn’t catch on with everybody (and I don’t think anyone should have to explain themselves or be defensive about not liking a skater’s style :-)), but it did with an overwhelmingly large amount of skating fans, many of which follow him to this day since he’s still very active in various fields and currently starting to leave his mark on Japan’s pro skating scene.

      For some reason speaking up for our favourites, in my case Daisuke, often gets misinterpreted or is being read into way too much when it’s nothing more or less than a defense against trivializations of his impact and status in the greater scheme of (japanese) fs history. These athletes aren’t vying for one exclusive legend title. Yuzu’s undeniably tremendous feats don’t take anything away from other skater’s past accomplishments and vice versa. These achievements all left their mark and built on one another leading up to the present with the previous generations paving the way and serving as inspiration for their successors. Just focussing on the men’s side Yuzuru is just as much in the history books as Daisuke, Takeshi Honda, Minoru Sano or Nobuo Sato. They (and also Nobunari, Takahiko, Tatsuki and currently Shoma) all contributed/are still contributing to the legacy of the japanese skating powerhouse and I’m sure this will continue well into the future when there will be new stars we haven’t even heard of yet.

      All of that being said: Good job on your article! It was an interesting, enjoyable read, even if our opinions differ on many points. As “just another fs fan” said: it’s a thought-provoking piece and encourages a healthy discussion, which I commend you for and is the type of writing I would love to see more of. I agree wholeheartedly with the last paragraph. If everyone tries to be open-minded and stays respectful of their favourites’ rivals and their fans, it will enhance everyone’s enjoyment of this exciting, beautiful sport.

      The entire comment-section here is a very fine example that this attitude is way more common than some fabricated narratives try to make us believe. Thank you! 🙂

      (By the way: In my opinion your categorisation of “uncles” and “young guns” and Yuzu being the bridge between them is quite apt. Although he too was an important protagonist, it wouldn’t have made sense to start with Takeshi when Yuzuru never competed against him.)

      Finally please allow me to add on a little more food for thought for a possible continuation of the discussion about how each of the japanese top skaters’ contributions are interrelated in the vein of a butterfly-effect and all played their own significant role in the greater scheme of things (again mainly focussing on the men’s side). Take one of these links out and (part of) the structure collapses like a house of cards:

      – In the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which he was directly affected by, Yuzuru participated in over 60 skating shows, a few of them organized on the spot for charitable purposes to support the people suffering from the aftermath of the disaster. One of those was initiated by Shizuka, another one (the one taking place on April 9th in Kobe) by Daisuke, who gave the planning of the show precedence over his practice for the upcoming world championships. The Kobe show was held in 5 consecutive years to continually help with the rebuilding of the devastated region. (http://pigeon-post.net/interviews/JS_Remember_en.html)

      – Because Yuzuru’s home-rink had been destroyed by the earthquake, he had to move to Hachinohe (and later Yokohama) to have a place to train until its reopening. Having many skating shows to participate in during the following off-season provided him with further opportunities to make up for lost practice time.

      The reason why there were so many ice shows in Japan at that point was accounted for by the high popularity of the sport, which was in turn a result of the major achievements of their top skaters, who emerged one after another from the late 90’s onwards. (I’d recommend anyone, who isn’t familiar with Japan’s FS history to read the following article: https://www.ifsmagazine.com/rise-japanese-powerhouse/)

      – Consequentially would the sport in general have become as popular in Japan without the likes of Midori Ito, Shizuka Arakawa, Daisuke Takahashi and Mao Asada?

      – Would men’s skating in particular already have been as popular around the time Yuzu and Tatsuki entered the senior ranks, if there hadn’t been a Daisuke Takahashi, who was the first male asian skater to reach the very upper echelons of FS and who on his part was spurred on by his peers Nobunari Oda and Takahiko Kozuka to soar to these heights?

      – Would the Kansai university have built a rink (which there is a shortage of in Japan) and laid a foundation for up-and-coming talents, if two of their students didn’t happen to be Daisuke Takahashi and Nobunari Oda?

      – Consequentially would we have heard of Satoko Miyahara, Keiji Tanaka (who trains under Daisuke’s long-time coach, Utako Nagamitsu) and Marin Honda, if that very rink didn’t exist and the Kansai Club hadn’t built such a strong reputation due to Dai’s and Nobu’s (and later Tatsuki’s) achievements?

      – Would Daisuke have had such a long career and gone on to win a third world medal and a GPF title, if there hadn’t been a Takeshi Honda, who advised him as a technical/jump coach from 2011 onwards, to a degree helping him regain his 4T after his nearly career-ending injury?

      – Would skaters like Tatsuki Machida and Shoma Uno (who in turn went on to motivate and “push” Yuzu) have been inspired to work hard and get to the very top, if they hadn’t had such a strong role model in Daisuke, who they admired and tried to catch up with in order to be able to compete on equal footing with him?

      – And to pick up on one of your own very good questions: Would Shoma have improved even further in such a short time-span from his senior debut to the present, if he didn’t have Yuzu leading the way?

      – Would Takahito Mura still be competing and enriching the men’s field, if there hadn’t been a Tatsuki Machida and a Yuzuru Hanyu?

      – Would the Japanese Skating Federation be as strong without their wealth of top skaters over the past 15 years?

      – Would Yuzu have had such a meteoric rise and been given a chance to prove his genius to the world pretty early in his career, if all of the above (and more) hadn’t gone before or would he (and nowadays also Shoma) have been chronically held down for a good portion of his senior career without his predecessors fighting their way to the top bit by bit, slowly dismantling the preconceived notion that male asian skaters aren’t podium contenders and worthy of high PCS?

      (Anyone’s invited to expand this list in whichever ways they see fit. :-))

      Liked by 1 person

      • sportymags
        July 6, 2017

        HI Redcat! Thanks so much for a nice thought out message! I enjoyed reading it! For me, I’m not extreme one way or the other, Yuzu is my obvious favorite and I just call it the way I see it. For the fan controversies, I was informed of them by Japanese fans whom I trust not to “make up stories” but I definitely don’t have first hand account. Trust me, I live in a hockey world and these FS fan war stories are nothing at all comparatively. For me, it’s mild entertainment.

        I enjoy how the skaters of team Japan support each other and am impressed and envious at the depth of their mens program.

        Like

  12. Erin
    August 29, 2017

    Just recently became a fan of Yuzu and I’ve been catching up on all the videos and articles (at least the available ones left) about him. I’ve seen comments about the Dai-fans hating on Yuzu but I haven’t found much proof so I thought it was just blown out of proportion by some uber Yuzu-fans, but I’ve just seen a video where Yuzu was asked what Brian’s best advise to him and he said it was at Japanese Nationals when he first won the title and he and the crowd thought it would be Takahashi who’d win but instead it was Yuzu who won. He didn’t say exactly what happened but he said he was agonized and Brian told him it happens to everybody when there’s passing-of-the-torch. Yuzu was encouraged by Brian’s words and so despite of all the noises, controversial, and differing opinions in Japan skating, he was able to skate how he likes. I feel so sad for Yuzu because he seems to really love his country (one of the many many things I like about him) and to be put in that situation, I can’t imagine how hard it must be for him.
    And now there’s Shoma. I’ve seen a lot of comments from Shoma-fans hating on Yuzu and I can’t help but think that those fans are originally Dai-fans because really, how can anyone hate Yuzu? Yuzu may not be your favorite but to hate him? I have a friend who’s a fan of Patrick but she admits Yuzu is a great skater and she also thinks Yuzu has a great character (unfortunately for me, Patrick is still her fave). Japanese media is making the drama worse IMO. Especially now with Olympics approaching, I’m preparing myself for more controversies.
    Anyway, I’m glad that there’s Shoma who could shoulder the burden when Yuzu retires and as of now, I haven’t seen Yuzu-fans who are hating on Shoma (if there are, shame on those people!) and I hope their passing-of-the-torch will be a “peaceful” one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • just another fs fan
      September 25, 2017

      You are indeed blessed if you’ve never seen any Yuzuru fans hating on Shoma. Just check out Golden Skate or Youtube comments or heaven forbid, Planet Hanyu forums and you’ll see plenty of threads railing on Shoma’s flutz…it’s saddening to see fans attack any skater that threatens their beloved favorite but there’s bound to be some friction with any change of the guard. Though they have a loud bark, they are fortunately a very small minority of fans.

      Like

      • Teresa
        September 25, 2017

        Hi, may I offer a differing opinion? While I don’t know much about YouTube comments, I visit GS and PH forums often, and they don’t seem to me to be “attacking” Shoma. On the opposite, they’re generally supportive of him in competition threads and discussion of team Japan. There’re also fans of both Yuzu and Shoma active on both forums. It’s true that Shoma’s flutz is often mentioned in chats, but it’s merely a fact for discussion instead of malice. Stating a competitor’s flaw when discussing events, or expressing disagreement when it is not penalized, is not “attacking” this athlete, is it?

        Like

      • Erin
        October 5, 2017

        Umm, I don’t think criticizing Shoma’s techniques is “attacking” but I do think that some people do bring it up quite often (especially in YT) and that is kind of over the top for me. I mean, it’s fine if one person comments on it and others would just like that comment, but no, the comments section seems to be full of criticizing and some are put in an almost rude way. But I have to say, some Shoma-fans are quite obnoxious. Well I guess in every fandom it’s impossible not to have such people. In defense of Planet Hanyu, I haven’t seen Shoma-haters there and many are actually a fan of him and people can discuss things rationally. In GS however, I’ve stopped visiting that site because everytime a Yuzu-fan gives his/her opinion, he/she gets dismissed like “oh she’s a fanyu, ignore her she doesn’t have anything worth to say” or “oh another fanyu, ofc she hates other skaters”. That’s when I realized the term “fanyu” was actually derogatory. It’s both sad and funny to me because it seems that despite being a huge fandom, Yuzu-fans get bullied LOL

        Like

      • Caro
        October 8, 2017

        @ Erin:

        Unfortunately a few Hanyu fans are doing the exact same thing to followers of other skaters, especially to Shoma, Patrick and Dai fans. Dai fans are often being discredited as a whole, because they’re being accused of having treated Yuzu unfairly back in the day (disclaimer: it was once again only a minority, who did) and I think it’s very offending to imply that they’re some sort of homogenous mass. I mean Yuzu fans understandably don’t like being lumped together and labeled as a rude mob, so why do the same thing to supporters of another skater?

        What I find extremely questionable is to equal Dai fans with Shoma fans. There’s a certain intersection, sure, but Shoma has way more new followers, who weren’t even around when Dai competed and therefore don’t know much about him (or his fans) other than he’s been Shoma’s no.1 inspiration. Several Hanyu and Chan followers support Uno as well. And then there’s a bunch of former Dai fans among Yuzu’s fans, a couple of which are regular posters (and even mods) on Planet Hanyu now. Curiously enough some of them are among Shoma’s biggest critics. So I honestly fail to see any sort of pattern.

        And now I’m realizing that sportymags sadly might have been spot on with their observation, that there’s just no way that any of the “opposing” fancamps will ever overcome this divide. It’s the main reason why I’ve detached myself from each and any active participation in forum discussions a few years ago, because…blah. I’m just enjoying my favourites on my own now. It sometimes gets a bit lonely, but it’s much more conducive to my sanity.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Erin
        October 8, 2017

        @Caro
        Yeah, I get what you mean. I apologize if I sounded like I’m generalizing Dai-fans who hate Yuzu. It’s just that in GS, the ones who uberly fan over Shoma either have avatars of Takahashi or I’ve seen in Takahashi fan page and it’s their words which were the harshest to Yuzu and that made me think they are/were Dai-fans. But of course I understand that they’re only minority. Like I’ve said, it’s impossible not to have such fans in every fandom. And when I said Yuzu-fans get bullied I meant the times when other skaters’ fans join up to express their dislike, like what happened when some Yuzu-fans made an annotated H&L video. Boy, that was a sad event. Moderators had to delete several posts LOL. Many Yuzu-fans left GS and created Planet Hanyu. I don’t also join the discussion in forums, I just lurk there so I can get updates on Yuzu. XD
        Btw, here’s the link of the video and tl I’ve mentioned in my first comment. I just noticed I didn’t put it before, sorry guys. 🙂

        Like

    • El Dorado
      December 10, 2017

      Nathan Chen has said something in the same vein in a recent interview that the atmosphere when he won over Yuzuru at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow this year was very awkward and that he could clearly feel that the crowd would have preferred for the title to go to Yuzuru and that he had conflicting feelings because of it. I was shocked how the hostile atmosphere towards Nathan even translated through the TV broadcast. Though it’s not really suprising for some of the stuff people on Hanyu’s fan forum are posting about youngsters like him and Shoma is downright condescending (and not only restricted to aspects of their skating). But like Brian Orser wisely said, this is bound to happen with every passing of the torch when a popular established skater gets challenged and eventually overtaken by fresh-faced talent. It’s not specific to any one fan group.

      Like

      • sportymags
        December 10, 2017

        I was at Rostelecom Cup and I did not witness any hostile environment at all. I don’t read the fan forum so I am not sure about all that but the fans in the arena in Moscow that I was around were very respectful of all of the skaters.

        Like

      • El Dorado
        December 11, 2017

        Hm, I don’t know, it probably always depends on where you are seated in the arena, because I’ve heard mixed reports from people, who were at Rostelecom Cup and if I recall correctly there were discrepancies between reports from various attendees of JNats 2012 as well. I have no doubt that you genuinely experienced it that way, but I also I don’t believe Nathan or Yuzuru would make these things up. If they felt that way, I’m sure that something about the atmosphere was off in their perception. As TV spectator you could feel it too, if you watched the medal ceremony at JNats as well as the reaction to Nathan’s free skate at Rostelecom.

        Like

      • sportymags
        December 11, 2017

        I would love to hear the comments from Nathan…is there a video? I would hate if Nathan said something, it got translated to Japanese then back to english and mis-interpreted somehow. I hope it didn’t.

        Agree….every fans experience would be different. The only thing i noticed was fans didnt cheer as loudly for Nathan as Yuzu but thats probably because there were a ton more Yuzu fans there.

        As a former skater I just love the sport. I have my favorites but will cheer for many. 😊

        Like

      • El Dorado
        December 11, 2017

        The most recent article featuring his interview was in Russian meaning Nathan’s comments would have been translated once from English. Of course the possibility of mis-interpretation is given there, you’re right. I’ve read a direct comment from him before that alluded to the same thing in a more subtle way. The subdued cheering part could be what he meant and it would mostly correspond with the impression derived from TV too. There were visibly disappointed fans in the audience and the TV mic for the Russian stream picked up a noise that sounded like a cheer when he popped his 4T into a double, but we don’t know how much he would have been aware of that or if this is what he referred to. Let’s see, if there will be some clarification on his part in the near future. I agree, the disproportional number of fans is almost always the reason for these scenarios.

        Kudos for cheering on many skaters! 🙂 It’s the same way for me. I don’t even have clear favourites. The skaters I root for change every season depending on their programs. For me personally that’s the healthiest way to follow the sport and that’s why I don’t understand people, who get so invested in specific skaters that they lash out at others (I understand the getting invested part, but not the lashing out one).

        Like

  13. Caro
    October 10, 2017

    @ Erin

    Apology accepted, but I think you need to look at your statement about current Dai fans on GS again, most of which I happen to know from my (and Dai’s) active times. I don’t post anymore, but am still silently reading on a regular basis, so I know a thing or two about the current landscape on there. Which makes me feel that your statements are still randomly lumping people together or that you’ve been only glancing at who posts what at best. First of all there aren’t many active posters with Dai avatars on that forum anymore (I think about 3 or 4?) and the ones, who still have them are definitely not the people, who have been criticizing Yuzu, they’ve not even been mentioning him much and posting in Shoma’s FF is certainly not a crime. The few international fans, who are still visible online these days usually stick to themselves, because Daisuke isn’t part of the competitive scene anymore. Furthermore I’ve come to understand through private communication that many of them, myself included, have grown extremely weary of the endless generalizing finger pointing, to the extent that they’ve sadly lost interest in publicly voicing their opinion.

    Except for one poster (who was rightfully banned from GS years ago and resurfaces on Dai’s fan page once in a blue moon to report on Japanese skating shows they’re attending) I recently also haven’t seen any of the handful of people, who were notoriously known for harshly criticizing Yuzu back in the day. Moreover Dai’s fan page accommodates a very small and quiet community these days and I find it extremely saddening that the few still standing regulars, who exclusively discuss Daisuke and his recent activities on there peacefully are being portrayed in a bad light here. In my estimation that’s bordering on defamation tbh. Anyone who’s interested has every opportunity to see for themselves. The forum isn’t closed off to guest visitors and there’s only one news thread with relatively regular activity anyway. That’s how small the international online community has become. They’re by far outnumbered by Dai’s Japanese fans, who, apart from very few exceptions, aren’t to be found near any English speaking forum, but on twitter, instagram and Line instead.

    I’ve also noticed that a couple of relatively new Yuzu fans seem to think that somehow Dai’s international fanbase had something to do with any of the infamous (partially rumoured) events at Japanese Nats 2012. How so? What does Yuzu being treated unfairly by a group of disrespectful people at Nationals have to do with a Dai fan in Europe, North America or actually with anyone, who wasn’t present at that competition really? I’m not condoning any of what was reported about the surrounding circumstances at all, even harshly denouncing it, but I obviously also don’t feel responsible for it and I certainly don’t intend to speak or argue on behalf of those people since I’ve never been associated with them.

    Secondly, except for 4, Shoma’s biggest fans on GS (the ones who regularly contribute to his FF) were not even around during Dai’s active time, so repeatedly bringing up the correlation between these two skaters’ fanbases doesn’t make much sense. About a third of the posters in his FF are actually equally big fans of both Yuzu and Shoma.

    Thirdly the Yuzu interview you just quoted is very well known and the whole issue it refers to (which goes beyond a bunch of rude fans, who, as you correctly pointed out, exist among all of the popular skaters’ fancamps, including Hanyu’s) has been discussed thoroughly back in 2012/2013. I don’t know how that is supposed to bring anything constructive or new to the current discussion? This might not have been your intention, but it comes a bit across like somehow trying to stir old wounds and create new friction based on events that lie years in the past and which none of the debating parties or actually the majority of these skaters’ current fanbases were responsible for or even remotely involved in. What’s the point? I’ve seen plenty of disrespectful behaviour against and constant harping on many top skaters, including several of my favourites over the years. If I started getting into that, it would never end and I’d probably constantly be upset. I choose to stick to the present and to rooting for my current favourites (including Yuzu) and to cheering on Daisuke in all of his endeavours in retirement instead without concerning myself with what others think about any of them. And I don’t intend to get any deeper into the exact same type of discussion, which was the reason why I turned my back on forum participation all over again, so this is my last word on this topic. These athletes are leading by exemplary sportsmanship, why can’t their fans follow and focus on things they have in common and enjoy? Play nice, guys! 🙂

    Like

    • Erin
      October 10, 2017

      @Caro
      I said I noticed I haven’t posted the link on my first comment, you know, the very first comment I posted? I didn’t post it in relation with what we two were talking about. I thought that would be my last post that’s why I put the link there as I didn’t want to post a separate comment.
      Regarding Dai-fans, I’ve read what I’ve read in the forums and I don’t know how it is now in GS as I don’t visit that site anymore and like what I’ve been saying, I know they are minority and not all Yuzu-haters are Dai-fans and I’m so done with this topic. So, this one would be my last post. 🙂

      Like

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2017 by in Figure Skating and tagged .
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