A bunch of Yuzu asks
Could you tell us a little about what happened in the 2012-2013 National? I know that Yuzu won, some people did not like it and something made him very upset, but I only know that. I tried to look for some information in the GS but I did not find anything.
I think you summed up the chain of events pretty comprehensively there. It was the first Japanese National title for Yuzu, which did not go down well with some people. Most of those unhappy folks were supporters of Daisuke Takahashi, who was at the time the top male skater in Japan and a very, very popular figure with lots and lots of fans. I did not witness it firsthand, but I heard that those disgruntled fans took it upon themselves to make a ruckus during the medal ceremony. Plus after that there was plenty of talk circulating about how Yuzu’s win was undeserved. All of which, of course, made Yuzu quite depressed. I think I read somewhere that the backlash extended further when he didn’t medal at Worlds that year. His performance at London was affected greatly by his injury, and his comeback free skate was, by all accounts, an extraordinary effort, but well, die-hard fans just can’t be reasoned with.
Do you remember your reaction to the cup of china 2014?
Oh my lord, yes, only all too well. I’m actually having the shivers just from typing this. I remember being confused at first and then worried and then full-blown panicked and hysterical as Yuzu kept lying there on the ice and no help seemed to be coming. I remember thinking that it was at the same time one of the bravest and the most foolish things I’ve ever seen when he insisted on skating his program. I remember biting my nails and practically hyperventilating every time he went for a jump. I remember feeling, I don’t know how to describe it, emotionally overloaded, I guess, when I watched him break down in tears at the K&C.
I remember vividly that it was the day I decided that this incredibly brave and foolish kid is my most beloved athlete on the face of Earth and that I would forever support him in whatever he does.
Even now I still get the anxiety whenever I see him in warm-up. Why did you do this to me, anon, why?
yuzu’s 4S is the scariest thing, like you never know when he’s gonna land it, and when he does, it’s so insanely beautiful?? I was rewatching seimei at aci and his 4S combo was so fast his quad looked like a triple???? this isn’t a gif request or anything but I just wanna share my admiration at his speed in the air and I know you’ll get it
I totally agree with every of your points, have gone ahead and make a gifset for it, and have gushed my heart out about it too in a lengthy and largely redundant love letter to His Majesty :D If there’s any positive takeaway from that disastrous free skate at SCAC, I’d say it’s the confidence he seems to have gained on his quad Salchow, or as I like to joke:
that awkward moment when you fell on your best jump popped your second best jump and nailed your least reliable quad
#just yuzuru things
i feel like yuzu sometimes changes his biellman to an a spin if he’s not doing well in the program? does the biellman take effort apart from flexibility? or does the a spin allow him to think like, oh what should i yolo later
The Biellmann position is quite taxing on his back and shoulder and Yuzu doesn’t really need it to hit level 4 on his free skate combination spin, so yes, when he doesn’t feel well enough he will skip it. Like at 4CC this year, he said he was feeling a bit stiff, so he didn’t do a Biellmann in either his free skate or the gala after. Another advantage of switching to an A-spin is that it’s an easier position to hold, so it would allow Yuzu to slow down or speed up accordingly to bring his choreography back in sync with the music, in case he missed a beat or two earlier due to a flubbed jump :)
I know you mentioned you’re currently working on skating skills/spinning tech posts, so if you kind of cover my question in those, please ignore this ask!! there seems to be a varied consensus on yuzuru’s spins - some say he’s the best in the field at the moment, and I wanted to know if you agree/disagree/other, and if you think his technique has worsened at all in recent years? (thanks for all the magnificent posts btw, i live for them <3)
I wouldn’t say Yuzu is the absolute best spinner in the men’s field right now. He’s one of the best though, that’s for sure :) In a post which has been in my draft since dinosaurs walked the earth, I’m comparing his spins to Jason Brown’s and when I eventually post it (hopefully later today if I manage to make all the gifs I want to make to go with it), you’ll see that my position (no pun intended) is that they’re on the same level.
As to the development of Yuzu’s spin technique over time, I’d like to recycle these gifs:
SP Étude in D-sharp minor, 2011-2012 season:
SP Let’s Go Crazy, 2016-1017 season:
Doesn’t look like his spin is becoming any rustier with time: flexibility, control, balance, musicality, everything is still there. If anything, he’s been getting better at gaining speed, especially during sit spins, plus both his flying entries and jumps within spins are becoming a lot more stable:
(appreciate also that smooth transition out of the Biellmann - it’s a new feature developed just last season, you know)