2013 grand prix final

The men of figure skating: heading into the 2017-2018 season

Once upon a time, in a frosty February day in 2010, Evgeni Plushenko was standing unimpressed on the second step of the podium. He had come to win his second consecutive Olympic gold and become the first figure skater to do so since Dick Button. But as he was standing on the second step of the podium, an orange bro whose name was Evan came and sh00k his hand and climbed on the highest step. Little did the orange bro know that his stunt at that competition (not attempting any quads at all due to a stress fracture sustained in the previous season) would give birth to what we call today the quad generation. Evgeni would have probably sold his soul to Putin the devil just so he could finally play with the kids he’s been looking for all his life. So here we are in the eve of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, the top 6 men can execute at least two different types of quads and Yuzuru Hanyu will probably never retire unless he lands the 4A in competition, the only quad (4 and a half revolutions) that has never been landed before and will probably never continue to be landed on a regular basis due to the difficulty and increased injury risk. Unlike the ladies field, the men have the “big 6″ who are very likely to lock the first 6 positions at the Olympics and then there’s the rest. I will focus on these 6 skaters under the cut and make a list of other skaters to look out for because ice is slippery and you never know. 

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A compilation of all the skater cameos in Yuri!!! on Ice:

These little shoutouts to the real figure skating world amused me greatly while watching the anime, so I’ve decided to mash them all into one post:

Yuzuru Hanyu - Sochi 2014 Olympic Gold Medalist, 2014 World Champion, four time Grand Prix Final Champion (2013-16), two-time Four Continents silver medalist (2011, 2013), four time Japanese National Champion (2013-2016), current world record holder for highest short program, free skate, and combined score. 

Stephane Lambiel - two-time World Champion (2005–2006), the 2006 Olympic Silver Medalist, a two-time Grand Prix Champion (2005, 2007), and a nine-time Swiss national champion (2001–08, 2010).

Nobunari Oda -  2006 Four Continents Champion, a four-time Grand Prix Final medalist (silver in 2009 and 2010; bronze in 2006 and 2013), 2008 Japanese National Champion. Now works as a professional skater and TV commentator, and also specifically requested to appear on Yuri!!! on Ice (I’m still laughing, what a dork) 

Evgeni Plushenko - four-time Olympic Medalist (2006 gold, 2014 team gold, 2002 & 2010 silver), three time World Champion (2001, 2003, 2004), a seven-time European Champion (2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012), a four-time Grand Prix Final Champion (1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2004–05), and a ten-time Russian National Champion (1999–2002, 2004–2006, 2010, 2012–2013)

Florent Amodio - 2011 European Champion, a four-time French National champion (2010, 2013-2015), and the 2008 Junior Grand Prix Final champion

continued under the cut: 

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Shoma Uno is my Yuuri Katsuki and I will fight you on this.

Okay, first of all, I know Shoma is not the real inspiration for Yuuri. I mean, he could be part of him, too, since all that we know is Yuuri is a mix of different skaters. We do know that Yuuri’s style is very much inspired by Daisuke Takahashi, but while I adore Takahashi’s performances, he was also very much a skater who seemed in tune with his style. He is sexy and confident even off the ice. I think this is part of why people have been slow in associating Yuuri with Takahashi.

Enter Shoma Uno. Shoma, 19, joined the seniors division in 2013, won bronze in the last two Grand Prix Final, and his overall best score is currently ranked sixth in the world. Not bad for a kid who recently debuted, considering that he is up against Patrick Chan and even the scores of his idol Takahashi, and of course Yuzuru Hanyu (the most popular Yuuri Katsuki “real figure skater”, though really I see no resemblance other than they are both so cute you want to protect them) and Javier Fernandez. (I’d cite the greats of Plushenko era, too, since that really is the era when I followed figure skating, but scoring is different these days so maybe we should stick with recent skaters.) Shoma’s most thrilling achievement to date though is that he was the first to land a quad flip - yes, Viktor’s quad flip! - in international competition, and this record will be his forever. (My son, I am so proud!)

(The historic quad flip is the one in that video up there, by the way; it is the first jump he does. Listen to crowd cheering! This is still my favourite Shoma Uno performance, hands down. ♡)

See, Shoma has the ability to provide electrifying performances like he had done in the video up there. But! Look at him at the beginning of the video. Chin down, eyes like a puppy, the shy/nervous/anxious lip-biting - he does not really get into it until his program starts. Oh, but when he does! I was a wreck the first time I saw this skate, and I kid you not I watched it five times straight - and three… maybe seven more times later in the day. Off the ice, Shoma is also adorably shy and awkward. There are several funny videos of him, mostly involving Yuzuru Hanyu and his affectionate guidance/bullying, like in these videos below (idk why YouTube gives me weird videos):

- 2015 GPF awarding ceremony (Hanyu can’t take his kouhai who holds him like they’re about to get married, and Shoma keeps walking out of photo shoots)
- Shoma is too shy to touch fellow skaters

I don’t really ship real people, but I am starting to low-key ship Yuzuru/Shoma. I am happy to report that it is all Hanyu’s fault.

However, despite all these, Shoma does seem to be an ambitious kid. He looked up to Daisuke Takahashi and seems to be set on going down the same path as he did. Already their styles are very similar. Shoma is passionate about skating beautifully; despite already making a name for his artistry, he still says that that is still the area he wants to focus and improve on. I really respect this, because artistry seems to be suffering in recent competitions. There’s a lot of discussion about how skating nowadays has turned into this sport where people just try to wrack up as much technical points as they can get, at the expense of artistry. That Shoma wants to work on his style tells us that it is not all about just winning for him; he will win, but he will do it with the best skating he knows.

(Bonus video of Shoma skating with Takahashi! I was so happy for him, skating with his idol, lol. I would just die.)

Shoma also expressed that he hoped to beat his monster genius sempai, Yuzuru Hanyu, in competition someday. Now have you SEEN Hanyu’s records? Have you seen him skate? The guy is insane, but nope, Shoma intends to beat him. I am totally rooting for him, too! Already Shoma dances better than Hanyu, even though Hanyu is still the technical powerhouse.

While Shoma’s record is impressive, you can also see the areas where he could still improve. Shoma rocks the step sequences and the spins, but his jumps could still improve (sounds familiar?). He could also still work on the consistency of his performances, because even though he gives great performances, there are still times when he falls and suffers a dent in his scores, like in the recent Marseilles GPF, where he arguably gave the best FS performance but did poorly in the short program (sounds familiar??). He did land the bronze, so good for him!

TL;DR - Shoma Uno skates like Yuuri Katsuki on the ice, and is about as shy and awkward and adorable as our boy off the ice. He is ambitious and intends to win gold by skating the best way he knows, which is to skate beautifully. His signature jump is the fucking quad flip. Please love and support and protect this baby.

anonymous asked:

Hi~ Sorry if this has been asked before, but I recently rewatched some of Yuzu's EX performances and I was wondering if you have any favorites among his exhibition? :D Thanks, have a nice day :)

Yes, of course, I do :) 

Notte Stellata (The Swan) || NHK Trophy 2016

Requiem of Heaven and Earth || World Championships 2016

Those two are quite popular so you probably have seen them already. Among his slightly lesser known exhibitions, I’d recommend:

Hana ni Nare || 24-Hour TV 2015

Story || Grand Prix Final 2013

And bonus: a really young, really cute 17-year-old Yuzu with White Legend at Medalist on Ice 2011:

“GPF men’s competition just showed that no one is a shoe in anymore. The young generation, just as easily as they can splat, can roar back with technical content that only the Big 3 can dream of. It’s either going to make for one amazing men’s Olympic event or Sochi 2.0. Fingers crossed for the first option!” 

Victor Nikiforov’s Competive Skating Career... Where do we go from Weir?

Some insights into Victor’s Skating Career because Kubo-san is the best and follows the IRL Skating schedules and events.  *See previous meta post!*

At the age of 16, Victor wins Gold at the Junior World championships in Bulgaria : 

If we look at the schedule of events below, and using the information we already have that ages Victor at 27 in 2014, this lines up perfectly with the 2001 Junior World Championships in 2001. 

I think the timing is important and it’s no coincidence that Victor and Johnny Weir have a lot in common. I’m not sure where I saw the information, but I remember seeing something about Kubo-san admitting to using Johnny Weir as inspiration for Victor’s skating career. 

1) Weir is openly gay (The English Dub version has Victor talking about ‘lovers’, not specifically girlfriends, and it is suggested that the proper interpretation of the Japanese Victor uses suggests non-gender specific terms such as ‘lover’. So he could easily be Bi, too but I think the hints are pretty strong for Victor’s sexuality to lean more toward strictly attracted to males. Whatever the truth may be, he’s got his heart set on Yuuri in the end.) 

2) Both Victor and Weir won gold at the Junior World Championships at the age of 16. 

3) Weir was praised for bringing ‘flash’ into a sport that was seen as boring - and was further praised for his artistry and interpretation. He was the rock-star on ice of his time, like Victor is in YOI. 

4) Weir was a self professed Russiophile and learned to speak the language fluently. He dated and married (and eventually divorced) a Russian named… take a while guess. That’s right! Victor. In addition, later in his career he was coached by Victor Petrenkov, the world renowned skater and partner to Weir’s skating Idol, Oksana Baiul. It’s no mistake our boy is named Victor, and not just because it means ‘winner’. 

5) Weir participated in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and we can infer through the clues left by Kubo-san that Victor did, too. 

  • Victor competed in and won the 2012-2013 season Grand Prix Final, where Yuuri had qualified for the GPF for the first time in Sochi. The Sochi GPF was a test event for the Sochi Olympics and was held from Dec 5-8, 2013. 2012
  • The Sochi Winter Olympics were held Feb. 7-23, 2014 only a few months later. 
  • We see Victor wearing the Sochi Winter Olympics Uniform during the 2012-2013 GPF in Sochi, so we can infer that he was on the Olympic Athletic Team warming up for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. His wearing the Uniform was a big publicity stunt and advertisement for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. 

I think there is little doubt that he actually participated in the Olympics. 

If we take all the information we have - Victor 16 at the Sofia, Bulgaria Junior World Championships and 27 at the Grand Prix Final, we can follow this logic and we arrive at this: 

**NOTE: Someone brought it to my attention I was a little off. I’ve edited to fix it! Sorry if this ruins your day b/c you no longer share a birth year!!** 

Victor’s Birthday is Dec. 25, 1985.  OOPS YOU GUYS. Victor’s late birthday threw me off. His birth year is actually 1984. 

And if Yuuri is 4 years younger, his is November 29, 1989. DOUBLE OOPS!! which makes Yuuri’s 1988! 

((I hope this makes all the astrology geeks happy. Go to town with this info, my friends. I know I will. ))

Since Victor’s career seems to be modeled heavily on Johnny Weir’s, it doesn’t surprise me that Victor suggests to Yuuri, during practice, that Yuuri’s stamina is probably in part to not having any major injuries (and being younger).  If we know that Weir’s career was fraught with major injuries, and we know the parallels between Victor’s career and Weir’s - we can also infer that Victor has likely suffered several major injuries in the past that might limit his physical abilities. 

  1. He’ll also be pushing 29 years old (nearly 30) in the next Grand Prix final. That’s old for most competitive figure skaters - and Yakov isn’t joking when he worries that if Victor takes time off he won’t be able to get back in. Victor’s at the tail end of his competitive career. 

I expect when we see him retire, he’ll take up coaching and choreographing - perhaps following Weir even further and becoming a judge and commentator for competitive skating in the future as well as having a prolific career as a professional exhibition skater. 

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well then, catch me if you can ||  misc. sizeable point gaps in int'l comps by select skaters of asian descent
mao asada } 2013 nhk trophy (15.78 pts.)
daisuke takahashi } 2012 world team trophy (16.26 pts.)
pang/tong } 2011 four continents championships (17.66 pts.)
shen/zhao } 2009 skate america (29.58 pts.)
patrick chan } 2013 trophee eric bompard (31.68 pts.)
yuzuru hanyu } 2014 grand prix final (34.26 pts.)
yuna kim } 2012 nrw trophy (42.60 pts.)
So I was just thinking about everything Yuzuru, Javier & Nam have achieved since training with Brian Orser

Yuzuru: A Four Continents Silver Medal (2013), a Grand Prix Final Silver Medal (2012), 3 National Championships (2012, 2013, 2014), 2 Grand Prix Final Titles (2013, 2014), a Winter Olympic Games Gold Medal (2014), a World Championship Title (2014), a World Championship Silver Medal (2015).

Javier: 3 European Championships (2013, 2014, 2015), a Grand Prix Final Bronze (2011) and Silver (2014) Medal, 4 National Championships (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), 2 World Championships Bronze Medals (2013, 2014), A World Championship Title (2015).

Nam: A World Junior Championship (2014), A National Championship (2015).

So the award for best coach ever goes to…

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Bits from Aoi Hono II (Yuzuru’s 2nd autobiography) 

Scene 3 (2012 nationals 1st victory)

‘Parisienne Walkways’ was a programme that kept making new world records   [my note: 1st time was at Skate America, Oct 2012, SP score of 95.07. Then it broke records 3 more times, the last one being 101.45 at Sochi Olympics in 2014.]   It was choreographed by Jeffrey Buttle in Canada. ‘When we hear this music, we think of Yuzuru Hanyu’, ‘when you say Yuzuru Hanyu, it’s this music’, this was said among the Japanese people later on. 

Hanyu said this about his first impressions of it.
“At first, I felt it was a ‘Jeff-like’ programme; I thought it would be better that Jeff himself did it. (laughs)  But as I skated it more, a lot of my own choreography also came out.”

{my thought:  I’m so glad he did not seriously ask Jeff to skate it himself!}

Scene 4  -A painful battle- 
(late 2012-2013 season)

[some parts are summarised]
Dec 2012 Grand Prix Final was in Sochi, Russia.  Final results, Hanyu was 2nd. (my note: 1st Daisuke Takahashi, 3rd Patrick Chan).
After GPF, he was hit by bouts of ill health.

Soon after GPF free programme, he had fever and vomiting. He could not attend the interviews the next day nor perform at the exhibition.
13 days later, it was Japan Championships in Sapporo, Hokkaido. He had not yet returned to top form but he managed to give a steady performance. He was 1st in SP, 2nd in FP, and overall, he was 1st. This was his 1st win at the nationals in senior level.
(my note: 2nd was Daisuke Takahashi. 3rd Takahito Mura. 4th Nobunari Oda.)

2013 Feb 8-11 was Four Continents Championships in Osaka. He was in 2nd place. (1st Kevin Reynolds. 3rd Yan Han.)  After this, he intended to prepare for World Championships which would be in a month’s time (March 10-17).

However, upon returning to Toronto, he became ill with influenza. He had high fever and could not practise at all for 10 days. When he could finally get on the ice again, it was end February. Trying to make up for his lack of practice, and in the absence of Coach Orser who was at Junior Worlds, Hanyu practised desperately and this resulted in him injuring his left knee. He had to rest it for 7 days. When he could return to the rink, it was March 6, only one more week to Worlds.

March 13, short programme at World Championships in Canada, London. He fell on the 4T and made another mistake in the combination jump. His 'Parisienne Walkways’ which had broken world records twice this season (95.07 at Skate America and 95.32 at NHK Trophy) was given only 75.94 points and he was in 9th place. The gap in score from 1st place Patrick Chan was 22.43 points.

After the SP, Coach Orser revealed that Hanyu had a left knee injury. When reporters asked Hanyu about it, he did not want to elaborate. “Can we talk about that after the free skate?” he said.

After SP, there was a free day before the FP. During official practice in the morning, the old injury in his right ankle which was sprained during Worlds one year ago flared up. Most likely it was because he was trying to protect the left knee and put more burden on the right leg.

So now both legs had problems. Without painkillers, he could not perform. But using painkillers, some of the delicate feelings in the steps and jumps would be lost too. Hanyu decided to take just enough painkillers for the feeling to remain in his legs. He endured the pain and faced the rink.

“With my left leg injury, I was feeling hopeless. 'Why did it turn out like that?’ I really cried after my short programme. But I don’t think it was shown on TV. (laughs) But, because it was I myself who had decided to compete, and also for Japan, I wanted to give it my best efforts, and I psyched myself up for the free programme.”

FP, he was number 13 to skate, in the 3rd group, 1st to go. He landed the 4T and also the 4S although it was under-rotated. He continued to land the rest of the jumps. When he finished, he let out a loud yell and crumpled to the ice on his knees. His FP was 169.05, 3rd place. Overall, he rose up to be 4th (from 9th place after the short).

Daisuke Takahashi was 6th, Takahito Mura was 8th. For the Japanese skaters in this competition, they carried on their shoulders the quota of '3’ for Sochi Olympics men’s singles and they achieved it.

“There was quite a lot of pain but thanks to the painkillers, I could do it. […]
About the injury, Brian and Tracy spoke about it, but I really wanted to keep it hidden until the end. […]
I could not help feeling anxious. Brian was giving me various advice but I was so nervous, I didn’t hear much of his words. […]
As the Japanese national champion, I had a responsibility (to secure spots for the Olympics), but what I had done to reach here became like nothing, so it was a very tough situation. [….]
I thought, if I don’t do it now, I will regret forever, and so 'no matter what it takes, I will do my jumps’, 'I will give all I have to challenge it’. Withdrawing from the competition or avoiding quads were not in my vision field at all. 'I will definitely make it’, that was all I was thinking.”

Before the competition, Coach Orser suggested to Hanyu to do 2 quad toeloops instead of one quad toe and one salchow. Because his 4T was much more stable than his 4S, it would lessen the burden on his (injured) body and on his mind. But Hanyu refused. Because his aim this season was to skate with 2 types of quads. Once he has skated to a programme, he does not want to skate to a layout that is lower than that.

“Without lowering the layout, I tried my best and skated right to the end, and so I am satisfied. Practice is really important. What I have done for one year does not disappear after I rest for one month. (Because of ill health and injury) I could only practise properly in the 4 days before coming here (to Worlds).  2 days I was just skating for one hour, then the remaining 2 days I was skating and going through the programmes with no jumps and then doing light jumps. I did not do quads. […] Just as Brian said, what I have accumulated over one year, it will all come together right at the very end.”

Hanyu had to decline participation in the gala exhibition. He flew back to Japan for a thorough medical examination. He also had to miss World Team Trophy in April.
[next chapter: 2013 summer]

-my sharing; NOT a proper translation, many parts are left out.  Pics from internet (thanks to original owners).

A fanmade video that I really like, showing Yuzu at Worlds 2013:  Here’s to Your Amazing Season

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countdown to sochi:

浅田 真央/asada  mao/ noun. (1/?)

1. a japanese figure skater

2. olympic silver medalist (2010), two-time world champion (2008, 2010), three-time four continents champion (2008, 2010, 2013), three-time grand prix final champion (2005-2006, 2008-2009, 2012-2013)

3. badass triple axel queen (first junior girl to land the triple axel, first woman to land three triple axel jumps in the same competition)

4. the first singles skater to win all seven of the current events on the grand prix circuit

5. a flawless princess aka perfection on earth

6. possessor of the most precious smile ever

7. a badass competitor and fighter 

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Yuzuru Hanyu, Sochi 2014 Olympic Competitor

2012 World bronze medalist, 2013 Grand Prix Final champion, 2010 World Junior champion, and the 2013 & 2014 Japanese national champion.

 

2016 NHK Trophy: Men & Ice Dance Preview

Grand Prix Final spots are on the line as we enter the last Grand Prix event, NHK Trophy! Here’s our preview of the men’s and ice dance fields, both of which boast highly decorated competitors going head-to-head for medals. Don’t forget to check out our preview of the ladies’ and pairs competitors too!

TV and streaming information for NHK Trophy is available here.

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