A news clip on Sota Yamamoto’s appearance at Chubu Regionals, his first competition in over a year. Please do not use/repost my translations without my permission.
Chubu Regionals, which took place over the weekend in Morikoro Park in Nagakute, Aichi. The person who gathered not only the gazes of the audience but the media’s attention as well was Aichi Mizuho High School third year, Sota Yamamoto.
At the Junior Grand Prix Final three years ago, he and Shoma finished 1-2 in the world. Yamamoto was sailing smoothly through life. He had mastered a quad and was a prospective candidate for the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Sota: Even when I move up to seniors, I want to aim for a gold medal on the Olympic stage and do my best.
However, he was held back from shining as a senior last March. He fractured his right ankle during practice. Yamamoto, who was going through severe rehabilitation, was cornered with further trials. The same area was fractured two more times. While his past rivals were charging to the top of the world, he was unable to skate and his days were frustrating. Without his injury fully healed, over a year passed, and the Pyeongchang Olympics approach in just 4 months.
Sota: If it were me from some years ago, I definitely would want to go to Pyeongchang Olympics, and I would think it’s something I have to go to. After coming this far (with my injury), I can’t quite give up. Normally people would give up after coming this far but…
While understanding that his chances are close to zero, he can’t give up on his Olympic dream. Yamamoto made the decision to participate in Chubu Regionals, the first round of selection for the Pyeongchang Olympics. Welcomed by huge cheers, he takes the ice for the first time in a year and a half. His injury is not completely healed, so his jumps are only singles. Even so, while enjoying the happiness of skating in a competition, he goes step by step. His friends who watched over his painful rehabilitation cheer him on.
Sota: I was able to receive the audience’s warm applause and cheers, so I had fun while skating.
He was able to do what he could to his utmost. After a year and half, the clock hand has started to move again. As long as the possibility for the Olympics exists, he will move forward.
Sota: I think the period of time that I have to work hard will still continue, so I want to do my best to answer the fans’ support.