sochi gold

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“We’re so proud of our team,” said defending Olympic champion ice dancer Tessa Virtue. “I think Canada really showed its true colours. It’s so special to be a part of this event.” 

Canada wins Silver in the first ever Olympic Team Figure Skating Event in Sochi 2014 || Mens SP, Pairs SP - February 6th | Ice Dance SD, Ladies SP, Pairs FP - February 8th | Mens FP, Ice Dance FD, Ladies FP - February 9th | Medal Ceremony - February 10th

6

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: 

Keep reading

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Throwback: Figure Skating Team Trophy at the 2014 Winter Olympics

The inaugural figure skating team event at Sochi 2014 set the stage for the Olympic debut of two young talents extraordinaire - then 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya and 19-year-old Yuzuru Hanyu. Both were fresh off their first major title, she at the European Championships and he at the Grand Prix Final, both carried the weight of their country’s expectation, both rose magnificently to the occasion and dazzled the world with their very first skate on the Olympic ice. They would go on to secure their places among the youngest Olympians ever to claim Gold.

But Sochi was also where their parallels stopped and their paths diverged. 

I think sports is very cruel. Those who made the most effort may not always leave the best results. However, those who don’t work hard certainly can not leave the best results.
In order to achieve the best results, Thank you for your support.I will continue to gratitude everyone who support me and would like to continue to pursue every day from now on.
—  Yuzuru Hanyu (this is from his speech after winning OGM in 2014, still 19 years old here) [x]
Then and now

Olympics 2018 are almost here, but at first, let’s take a look at the Sochi 2014 skaters and how much they have changed in the last 3 years :-)

Yulia Lipnitskaya

The biggest transformation

Sochi 2014

GP series 2015

Rostelecom 2016

 

Adelina Sotnikova

Sochi 2014

 

Rostelecom cup 2015

 

Gabrielle Daleman

Sochi 2014

Worlds 2017

Gracie Gold

Sochi 2014

GP series 2016

 

Ashley Wagner

Sochi 2014

 

Challenge series 2016

Mao Asada

Sochi 2014

Finlandia 2016

Yuzuru Hanyu

Sochi 2014

GP series 2016

Kevin Reynolds

Sochi 2014

Worlds 2017

 

Kanako Murakami

 

Sochi 2014

 

GP series 2016

Polina Edmunds

Sochi 2014

GP series 2015

Carolina Kostner

Sochi 2014

Worlds 2017

 

Bonus: Brian Orser

Sochi 2014

4CC 2017

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Oh my god, they knocked him out right there, right after he won Sochi and Worlds gold!!! No mercy at all haha 😂 WOW I need more interviews like this XD

So in 2014 they did analyze that salchow a lot haha. Yuzu’s eternal enemy :))) Here’s another post of mine with more insight on his fight with the salchow in 13-14 season. But anyway, Yuzuru sounds very excited and genuinely happy in this video. I hope to see him happy like this one more time next year ;)

Yuzuru Hanyu’s Mentality that Continues to Win.
–article by sports writer Toshimi Oriyama, from magazine ‘文藝春秋 2017年 02 月号’ (published in Jan 2017), translated by me.

(it’s a very long and good article)

Last year, in the figure skating Grand Prix Final (GPF) held in Marseille, France, Yuzuru Hanyu achieved a 4th consecutive victory, something that no one has done before. On the first day, his short programme (SP) was almost perfect and he was in 1st place, then 2 days later, for the free programme (FP), he made some mistakes. But he managed to escape the chase by younger skaters, Nathan Chen and Shoma Uno.

The 22 year-old, who is the Sochi Olympic gold medalist and who has since broken the world records a few times, thought back calmly about GPF 2016.
“As a goal, I am very proud of the 4th straight victory. But I am not satisfied with my performance. I am extremely 'kuyashii’ (frustrated/regretful) about the FP score which was in 3rd place. I did a good performance for SP and I thought if I did a fairly good one for FP, I could aim for world highest score; I need to review this point within myself.”

GPF is the high point of the first half of the season. It is a competition that shows the world’s best, similar to World Championship of the 2nd half. Hanyu’s 4th victory puts him on par with the 'emperor’ Evgeny Plushenko (Russia). However, for Hanyu, instead of the joy of victory, he felt more of the regret that he 'could not do a convincing performance’. And this ambition and hungriness is the mentality that is the source of Hanyu’s strength.

2010, Hanyu won the World Junior Championship, and the next season, he moved to the senior competitions. From that time, his supple and graceful performances already had a charm and the beauty of his jumps had a good reputation. Then, in 2011, in his hometown of Sendai, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck; that painful experience and recurring thoughts like “I think I will not be able to skate again” surely led him to grow as a person.

However, to possess that special mental strength to be able to stand at the highest point at the Olympics and to continue winning after that, there were 3 other turning points.
The presence of Patrick Chan (Canada) who was called 'the absolute champion’.
The 'kuyashii’ (regretful) gold medal at Sochi Olympics.
The accident at 2014 Cup of China.

Hanyu’s mental strength that could be seen in glimpses from the time of his debut, the 2013-2014 season added 'calmness’ and a 'spirit of study’ to that.
The year before, he had moved to the Cricket Club in Canada to train under Brian Orser and his abilities continued to blossom.
And there was a rival who was a big impetus for him. 3-time World champion Patrick Chan who also won GPF twice and was acknowledged to have the best skating skills in the world, plus huge battle strength on the big stage.

Hanyu faced Chan in 2 GP series competitions in 2013. The 1st one was Skate Canada where his score was lower than Chan’s by 27 points and the 2nd one was Trophee Eric Bompard where the gap was 32 points. He was 2nd place in both competitions and you could say it was a crushing defeat.

But these 2 straight losses caused Hanyu to change. Especially Chan’s clean performances at Trophee Eric Bompard that hit record scores for both SP and FP, “it was a trigger for me to look at my own abilities objectively”.
“I had nothing but respect and admiration for Patrick’s perfect performance. But at that competition, if both Patrick and I did perfect performances, I knew clearly how much of a gap there would be, and that made a big impact. At that time, I would have lost by about 5 points.”

No matter how perfectly he himself skated, there was a difference in the difficulty of jumps, the level of programme components and such; the reality was that if the opponent does not make mistakes, he (Hanyu) would lose. That was thrusted clearly at him in the form of results.
“To cover the gap between Patrick and me, there was a need to increase PCS. To do that, I had to relook at /improve my skating skills which is the foundation, and I had to be more aware of maintaining my expressive abilities during the run-through practice of the physically demanding programme. In addition, I had to get points for spins and steps, and higher GOE for jumps, I thought about all these things.”

Being conscious of the specific scores, having a strategy in the programme, he also came to have a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the practice that Coach Orser laid out for attaining high scores.

Also, he got a hint for his own growth from the words that Chan said.
During the press conference after the competition, sitting next to him, Chan was explaining in detail to the reporters how he was mindful about the way he used his body to express the music. Hanyu listened and “it was a good reference for my own performance”. After moving to Toronto, he had started learning English, so he probably understood the words between Chan and the reporter.

Hanyu at that time was only 19 (t/n. it was just before his 19th birthday). I have interviewed many athletes, not just figure skaters. But at press conferences of international competitions where foreign reporters overwhelm, even I feel that the nervousness is very pressurising. To turn that situation into a “learning area”, that 'spirit of desire’ deserves special mention.

When he received that impetus from Chan, at the same time there were words that made one feel the power of Hanyu’s inquiring mind. “Surrounded by reporters and being interviewed on-the-spot is useful,” he said.
“After a competition, media people surround me; in the exchange that I have with reporters, I can look back at my performance and talk about it right after I finish performing. I like to analyse my own performance, so it is very stimulating to have questions flying at me from various view points, and also, it enables me to think in a way that’s different from before. Interviews become a place for learning.”

Even veteran athletes find it hard to say something like this. It clearly shows his youth, and stemming from it, his frankness and inquiring mind.

The result of the impetus and learning points from Chan was seen quickly, at the GPF merely 3 weeks after the crushing defeat at Eric Bompard. Hanyu rewrote the world’s highest score for SP that was previously held by Chan, and his FP score was also his personal best. His total score was 13 points more than Chan and he won his first senior GPF.

Using the gold medal

Maintaining that energy/momentum was the key to the Olympic stage 2 months later.

His SP was a masterpiece and, for the 1st time in history, the score went above 100. He was in 1st place with 101.45. But for the FP, he fell at the 4S and 3F. He thought Chan who was 2nd after SP, would overtake him to be the winner. However, Chan also made mistakes and the result was that Hanyu won the gold medal.

“When I finished my performance, I thought the gold medal was not possible anymore. The failure of my FP made me realise the fearfulness of the Olympics, and I also felt the weight of the Olympics. I don’t know why but somehow my body could not move at all.”

The Olympic stage that’s once in 4 years. Participating for the first time and suddenly, he stood right at the top. Winning the first figure skating men’s gold medal for Japan, Hanyu decided immediately after that he would continue to evolve.

“In these next 4 years from now on, the pressure and the attention from the media and such, I think there will be a lot more of these extra things following me. In competitions, judges will not give me a higher evaluation just because I am an Olympic champion. How others see me does not matter. I myself must give a performance that’s worthy of a champion and really receive a gold medal evaluation. In this sense, I must make use of the position of 'Olympic Champion’. Because it is a chance for me to keep putting pressure on myself. Like telling myself, 'Oi, show us an Olympic champion-like performance! Hanyu Yuzuru, show some growth!’ (laughs)”

Then, the performance that left regrets on the Olympic stage, it became the will and desire to move forward to the next step. Thinking back, he said,
“For the FP at Sochi, if I had landed the quad salchow and done a no-miss performance, I would very likely be dragged by the Olympic champion result. Precisely because the Sochi gold medal was one that was carrying regretful thoughts, that’s why the present me exists. I got the Olympic gold medal at such a young age, and in addition, I received some problems to work on. As an athlete, this was really a lavish situation.”

A shocking collision

The season after Sochi, just as he said, he grew further, stepping his foot into unknown territory.
To prepare for the coming era of quads, he put a 4S and two 4Ts in his FP, and one of the 4T was in the 2nd half where more points would be given. To get used to this, he also put a 4T in the 2nd half of his SP. He spoke about the objective.
“It’s also preparation/groundwork for incorporating other kinds of quad jumps in future.”

However, his efforts met an unexpected setback at the 1st competition of the season, Cup of China (CoC). In the 6 minute warm-up before FP, there was an accident; he and Han Yan of China crashed into each other.
Blood could be seen dripping from Hanyu’s head (t/n. his chin) and there were screams from the audience. Coach Orser quickly called the doctors (t/n. U.S. team doctors came to help). After checking him, the doctors said there were no signs of concussion, but people around him told him not to skate.

However, Hanyu was stubborn. “I will skate.”

Orser reluctantly sent him into the rink, but of course, it was not the performance (that was planned). His whole body was battered and there was no strength, he fell a total of 5 times. What was pushing him on was his will power alone.
After this, he continued to compete until GPF, but the venture to make his performance one rank higher had to be shelved.

At the end of the year, due to intermittent abdominal pain, he went to the hospital for a checkup. He was found to have Urachal Remnant Disorder and underwent surgery. After that, he needed to rest and recover for one month. When he started to train again, he sprained his right ankle. Due to all this, he was 2nd in the World Championship that he was aiming for a 2nd straight victory. Even though he had a 2nd straight win at GPF, to him it was a year of stagnation.

After Worlds, he looked back on the season that was troubled by many accidents.
“The injuries and illnesses were hard on not only the body but on the mind/spirit as well. But even under those circumstances, I could at the very least leave some results; to me this experience was not not totally negative.
For the accident at CoC, there was insufficient attention on my part, so it triggered a re-looking at the way I entered into the competition, including the way I manage my body condition. And also, more than anything else, the way I was supported by my coaches and the people around me, it was a season where I felt it even more deeply than the Olympic season. All these experiences will be a plus in my competitive skating life, and also in my 2nd career after I retire.”

He also thought about the development of figure skating as a competitive sport. Based on his own accident, he said, “figure skating is a sport with an element of danger that can be a risk to life –that this is known to more people is a plus to the development of the sport.”  He also said he was happy that it gave rise to a tide of thoughts on what is necessary to prevent concussions and other life-threatening accidents.

No matter what 'minus’ elements there are, he transforms them into 'plus’, seizes them and looks ahead. As a reporter, this attitude of his amazes me from time to time.

Even when he is bleeding from his head, he is determined that he must go on with the competition; it was also due to the pride that comes because of achieving the title of Olympic champion (t/n. 'pride’ in the positive meaning). Hanyu very naturally has that on him.

The next season, 2015-2016, Hanyu once again challenged the programmes with a quad in the 2nd half.

In the 1st competition, Skate Canada, he was too conscious of the “quad in 2nd half” and made some unthinkable mistakes. As a result, he lost to Chan who had just returned from a year of rest.

However, it was different from before. Chan’s programme layout was lower in difficulty than his own, and he lost to Chan’s 'safe driving’ performance. It made him check/confirm if the direction and path that he was going was correct.
“Seeking even greater evolution is what is most like me.”

For his SP, in exchange for not having a quad in the 2nd half, he put 2 quads in the first half, 4S and 4T, making it even more difficult.
No matter what, he wants to challenge himself and this also raised his concentration power.  At the next competition, he scored 322.40, the first above-300 points in history. And then at GPF, he broke his own records with 330.43. With difficult programmes and clean performances back-to-back, it was a stunning victory over rivals Chan and Fernandez.

Storming through the 300-mark which no one has even touched before, Hanyu’s mental aspect has also reached that high level which normal people cannot comprehend.

“At Sochi Olympics, my free skate performance failed. When I finished, I thought 'the gold medal is gone’. And at that moment, I realised, 'ah, so I was conscious of the gold medal and I was nervous’. This time, that experience at Sochi was put to good use. Before entering the venue, I was aware that I was thinking 'I want to surpass 300 points’. So first, I acknowledged that I am thinking about that and putting pressure on myself, and then, 'if so, I have to do this’ and I think I controlled well my mental state.”

In a situation of being closely chased, the strength to look at himself calmly brought forth a spectacular feat.

For the 2016-2017 season, he decided on new challenges, having a quad loop in both SP and FP and a layout that’s more difficult. When 2016 started, the pain in his left foot (t/n. lisfranc injury) became worse, and after Worlds, even walking was not allowed and this restriction period continued for one and a half months. But in spite of that, he still aimed for further evolution.

Connection with the audience

But it was also an inevitable decision. The previous season, Boyang Jin (China) had 3 types of quads, including the most difficult (of the quads jumped til now) quad lutz, and 6 quads in total for SP and FP and he was 3rd in Worlds. Then Shoma Uno did the world’s 1st quad flip in the Team Challenge Cup in April.

Hanyu himself opened up the frontier of 300 points. Rising young skaters have quads as weapons to challenge him. And it’s not just about having quads, it is about the number of quads and how well they are done; this era of competition has come.

This season, in addition to jumps and layout, Hanyu is widening his range of expression. This can be said as his real value/ ability.

His SP is Prince’s 'Let’s Go Crazy’. It’s rock music that brings to mind his Sochi Olympics SP 'Parisienne Walkways’. FP is 'Hope and Legacy’ which is a combination of 2 pieces of piano music from Joe Hisaishi that Hanyu likes very much. They are 2 contrasting types of music. SP is an uptempo music that Hanyu is very good at; FP piano music has a rhythm and sounds that are harder to grasp for jump timing.
Having 2 completely opposite types of music was for raising his own expressive abilities. At GP Final which he won for the 4th consecutive time, he spoke of being aware of a 'connection with the audience’.

“This season’s SP, I am performing it like a rock star having a live concert, so it’s a programme that is not possible without the audience. In France (GPF), the audience also became very excited and it was very fun. Then for the FP, I could perform while feeling the music with my whole body. It’s different from the SP, it’s not a programme where the audience becomes more and more excited and clap and go WA!!! But during the performance, I could feel the gaze of the audience, and when I did my jumps, I could see there were people praying for me. I connected with the audience, in other words, our feelings became one, and I felt this happiness.”

Something that is in the beat and the meaning of the lyrics of Prince; abandoning yourself to the piano music of Joe Hisaishi and feeling the wind, the trees, the air and other things of nature. Sharing with the audience the world that you express through skating, wanting to create a programme that’s like having a conversation with the audience – that is one of the complete forms of figure skating which is sports and also art.

From TV and books etc, Hanyu studies the ways of thinking of athletes from other sports and reflects them in skating. He often says that this is his weapon. Recently, gymnast Kohei Uchimura who won a consecutive victory at Rio Olympics said, “I had to win, it was good.” Words in which you could feel the heavy pressure on someone who stood at the top, those words left a deep impression on him. Without being imprisoned by existing boundaries, he wants to pursue figure skating further and further, this is his thinking.

“Receiving the programmes from the choreographer, integrating jumps into it and performing it, that is my job/work. When all the jumps are completed beautifully, then it can be called a real performance. That is why I am so regretful (kuyashii); while adding in a new quad and doing a layout that’s more difficult than last season, I am still not able to make a new personal best score this season. If I speak my true feelings, I want to raise my scores and become the Yuzuru Hanyu that no one can catch.”

For his own growth, for figure skating as a sport, his desire/greed never fades, and this is his true strength as a skater. And it can also be said that this is why he makes us feel that for him there are infinite possibilities.

– original article by sports writer Ms.Toshimi Oriyama;  very sorry if I didn’t translate it well enough. 

Hanyu, enters the Continental Championship in Korea "It is perfect"

[Hanyu’s arrival at Incheon International Airport being welcomed by Korean fans]

Figure Skating · Sochi Olympic gold medalist Hanyu Yuzuru (22) = ANA = arrived in Korea where the four continents championship (16 ~ 19th) will be held.

I was greeted by over 100 fans. Although I was worried that I had missed the All Japan Championship at the end of last year which was taking five consecutive championships, I’m in good shape. “Yes, it is perfect, I came firmly” and showed a smile.

This tournament will be held on the same rink as the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018. The men’s short program (SP) will be held on Feb 17th.

5

Yuzuru’s 1st interview of 2017! On Hero’s (Fuji TV):
[from 1:37 of 1st video below]
Happy new year!
-Happy new year!!

How are your feelings for the new year?
- I’m feeling very fired up. (laughs) Because 2017 is the year before the Olympics. I feel that I must work hard and do it well from here.

Any wishes/prayers?
- I haven’t gone for the New Year shrine visit yet. (laughs)
It is important to pray (or make the wish) but the one who has to carry it out is me…

About 4CC
- I haven’t participated in 4CC in a long time. Usually, after nationals, there are 3 months of having nothing until Worlds. So in a way, I can compete while there is still the competition feel/sense. I have not won 4CC before, so I would like to take the title.

It is at the same venue as the Olympics, right?
- Yes. I would like to fit/adjust my peak going towards that. It’s an important chance to be able to skate at the same place. And it is also at the same time (of the year), so it is good practice for adjustments.

Narration: He won the gold at Sochi Olympics in 2014. The year before, he also went to the same venue for a competition, GP Final. He said it was good to get a feel of the ice and the atmosphere of the place and things like that.

- (from another video) The temperature of the ice and the temperature of the venue directly affects our bodies and our skating. And whether each note of the piano for my FS can be heard, things like that. I would like to look at these things carefully. (t/n. this part was aired in another news programme later, see 2nd video below)

About PyeongChang Olympics
- It is getting nearer and nearer. When you say one year, it feels short but then there are 365 days, so there is a lot of time. I would like to treasure/make good use of each moment of this time.

[old footage shown –he said “Efforts tell lies but it will not be in vain.”–translated before in my old post]

Y- It’s the year before the Olympics, so I feel I have to improve/evolve in every area. Training that will show results in competition, ways of putting in effort, I am also working on things like that.
Kato-san: But Hanyu-senshu’s evolution is already amazing….
Y- No, still far from it, far from it…… 
First, I want to do my FS with no mistakes. This season’s FS, I have added in a quad loop, 2 quads in the 2nd half, the quad salchow and quad toe in the 2nd half, and also 2 (triple) axels; there are still many areas in my programme that I need to work on, so that’s the first thing that has to evolve.

[interview ends]

Kato-san in studio: The 4CC next month is in the same venue as Pyeongchang Olympics, so he will check out the feel of the ice, the reverberation of the music and things like that. The World Championships in March will determine the number of places for Japan at the Olympics. He said ‘it will be alright if I get first’.

Videos, much thanks to YzRIKO: (1) and (2)

Translated by me;  pics–thanks to fans on twitter.