[ENG TRANSLATION] World Championships 2021 – Sponichi Practice Interview

Photo by Kogaito, Sponichi

Original article Part 1 published 23 March 2021.
Original article Part 2 published 23 March 2021.

Translation and Proofreading: @shinjistarxx, @tsukihoshi14, @yuzueco

フィギュアスケート世界選手権(ストックホルム)の男子公式練習2回目が22日(日本時間23日)にサブリンクで行われ、4年ぶり3度目の優勝を目指す羽生結弦(26=ANA)が登場した。

21日に到着。翌22日の昼にメインリンクで行われた練習には姿を見せなかったが、スウェーデン入国後初めて氷の上で調整した。練習後はオンライン取材に応じ、現地かつ今年初の肉声を出した。

一問一答は以下の通り。

The second men’s practice for the World Figure Skating Championships (Stockholm) was held on March 22nd in the subrink, and Yuzuru Hanyu, who is aiming for his 3rd worlds victory after 4 years, took part. He arrived in Stockholm on the 21st, and did not appear for the first practice held in the main rink on the next day on the 22nd, but later got on the ice for the first time since arriving in Sweden. After practice, he participated in an online interview session.

The question and answer session is as follows.

―特別なシーズン。最終決戦の直前、心に宿るものは。

何か、割と淡々としてるというか。出るまで自分自身、いろいろ思うことはあったんですけど、でもここの、現地に来て滑るからにはやっぱり、何かしら意味のあるものにはしたいなと思います。

—It’s been an unusual season. What are your pre-competition thoughts?

Yuzu: I’m kind of rather matter-of-fact about it. Before coming here, I had a lot of thoughts, but, now that I’m here at the competition venue and will be skating, I want to make some sort of meaning out of it.

-サブリンクでの練習を終えた。ジャンプの感触などは

まああの、来る時に実は地震があって、出ようとする直前に(20日)。本来は新幹線で来る予定だったんですけど、新幹線が使えなくなったりとかして、飛行機を変えたりとか、ちょっと大変でした。練習プランとしては、ちょっとズレてるかなと思うんですけど、こっちの氷ともしっかり対話できたと思いますし、いい感覚で最後、終われたかなと思います。

—You finished practice at the practice rink today. How were your jumps and whatnot?

Y: Well, um, when I was travelling here [from Japan], right before I came there was an earthquake [March 20th]. I was planning to use the shinkansen [bullet train] but I ended up not being able to, and so I had to change flights and it was a bit rough. In terms of my practice plan, I think I’m a little bit behind, but I was able to acclimatise to the ice today and I think I ended practice with an overall good feeling.

―後半は4回転ジャンプの調子が上がっていた

最初ちょっと、まあ気合が入り過ぎというか。いつもの空回りみたいなものが一瞬あったんで。それから自分のことをいろいろコントロールしながら。もちろん今回、ブライアン(・オーサー)もトレーシー(・ウィルソンの両コーチ)もいるので、しっかり話を聞きながら、自分のペースも守りながらやれたと思います。

The quads in the second half of practice today seemed to be looking better.

Y: At first I think I was maybe a little too overenthusiastic. Something like the usual idleness for a second. So after that I tried controlling (adjusting) myself. Of course, this time, Brian [Orser] and Tracy [Wilson] are here too, so I think I was able to talk to them and work on keeping my pace.

―コーチ陣とは久しぶりだったが。

いや、特に何か、久しぶりだから何かを話したとかではなく、淡々と自分のことやってますし、あと、そうですね。「今日、何する?」とか。ふふふ。「明日の練習こうしよう」とか話しました。

—It’s been a while since you had a competition with your coaches (here). 

Y: Well, it’s not like we talked about anything in particular just because it’s been a while, rather, I was able to go about doing my things calmly. Also, uhm, we talked about things like “What will you do today [in practice]?” [laughs] and “Let’s do this at tomorrow’s practice”, etc.

-コーチ陣がいることの気持ちの違いは

いろいろ自分でやらなければいけないことが全日本の時にはあったので。それが、やっぱり、そばでサポートしてくれる人がいることはありがたいです。

—How are your feelings different when your coaches are here with you (for the competition)?

Y: During the time of Japanese Nationals [in December] there was a lot I had to do on my own. So (in contrast to that time), ultimately, I’m grateful to have people to support me by my side.

-バブル環境の大会。ストレス等は

うーん。まあ特に。僕にとっては何も変わらないというか。マスクしなきゃいけないな、とか。あとは常に人との距離感だったり。手指の消毒だったり、そういったことはかなり注意はしますけれども、僕にとっては、試合の時はいつもこのような感じでやってはいるので。特に影響はないかな、と。影響はないというか、何も変わらないかな。

—This competition is being held in a “bubble environment”. Do you feel any stress?

Y: Hm. Well, not particularly. I could say for me, nothing has changed perhaps. Things like, having to wear a mask and whatnot. And also to keep an increased distance from people. I’m definitely cautious and doing things like sanitizing my hands, but, for me, I always do these things during a competition. So I think there’s not much of an effect on me; or rather, instead of effect, it’s like nothing has really changed.

-素晴らしい全日本から3カ月。上積みは

そうですね。…。まあ、もちろん、いい演技したいとは思ってますけど。うーん…。何か全日本みたいに、とかいう気持ちは特になく、ここはここで。そうですね、練習してきたことをしっかり出せればいいと思いますし、あとは、こっち来て感覚がすごく整ってるわけではないので、ちょっとずつ感覚を整えながら、体を整えながら、いい演技をしたいな、っていうふうに思ってます。素直な気持ちはそこかなあと。何か、これをやりたい、あれをやりたい、こういう演技したい、とかいう感じでは、今はないです。

—It’s been three months since your wonderful (performances) at Japanese Nationals. Anything you want to improve on?

Y: Yes… well, of course I want to put out a good performance. Hm… Rather than thinking about it in terms of “like Japanese Nationals”, I’d rather think of this competition as a different one on its own. I think it’s good if I can properly put out everything I’ve been practicing thus far, and also, my senses are not very well-adjusted coming here, so I’d like to gradually adjust my senses and my body in order to produce a good performance. Those are my honest feelings. For now I don’t have any specific thing like “I want to do this,” or “I want to do that,” or “I want to do this kind of performance.”

 ―対ネーサン・チェンや王者を取り戻す大会だったり、北京五輪の枠取りもある。フォーカスすることは。

まあ枠取りに関しては最大限、貢献したいなとは思っています。あとは、そうですね。僕にとっては今のところそれだけですかね、この大会については。あとは、とにかくまあ自分が目指している良い演技を、毎日1つずつ重ねていって、グラデーションのように良くなっていってくれればなあと思います。

—What is your focus for this competition? Is it securing the spots for the Beijing Olympics or rather to take the crown back from Nathan Chen?

Y: Well, regarding securing the spots, I’d like to contribute as much as I can. Other than that, um, for this competition, that’s my only stance for now. Other than that, I’d like to build upon my efforts accumulated day to day and work towards putting together the good performance that I’m aiming for, just like building up a gradient.

PART TWO

Photo by Kogaito, Sponichi

―ネーサン・チェンについては。

 「率直に彼に対して、凄いその…。新型コロナウイルスに対しての対策だとか考え方が凄いものがあるな、とか。しっかりしているな、と尊敬みたいなものがあって。もちろん彼みたいに僕自身も気をつけながら。本来の試合とはちょっと違うような形で今回試合をやっているので。とにかく自分の演技ももちろんなんですけど。注意するところはしっかり注意しながら、最終的に良い演技できればいいなという感じでは思っています」

—Any thoughts on Nathen Chen?

Y: Frankly speaking, I have a sort of great respect for him, because of his very clear and proper stance on COVID-19 measures. Of course, I also want to be as cautious as he is, since this competition is being held in a different format from a usual one. Anyway, of course, I have to take care of my own performance too. I’ll pay attention to the parts I need to pay attention to, and in the end, I hope to give a good performance.

 ―対決という意味では今は意識はない

 「そうですね。まあ結果出てから考えればいいかなという感じと。あとは今回は結果、結果という考えがあまりなくて。とにかく無事に、何の不安もなく日本にしっかり帰って。しっかり健康な状態でこの試合を終えられたらいいなっていう風に思っています」

—So are you not currently thinking of it as a battle (with Nathan)?

Y: Yes. Well, I feel like I should think about it after I get the results. And this time, I’m not really thinking about “results.” For the time being, I’m just thinking about returning to Japan safely without any worries, and I hope I can end this competition in good health.

 ―世界中がコロナ禍の状態。

 「うーん。とにかく今は自分ができることが、やっぱり。うーんと。今回滑るショートだったり。まあ進めればフリーだったり…フフフ(笑い)。あったらエキシビだったりすると思うので。フフフ。とりあえず、3つのプログラムをしっかり滑りたいなと思いますし。その3つのプログラムから何か僕なりのこの世の中に対してメッセージのあるものにもできたらなとは思いますけど。それより、自分がしっかり納得できる演技をするのが大前提だと思うので。しっかり今の自分の体と会話しながら整えながら。最終的には、そこまでたどり着いてこそ皆さんに何か伝わる演技だと思うので。そこまでしっかり今やるべきことたちをやっていきたいなという思いでいます」

—The world is currently in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic.

Y: Hmmm. In any case, I think what I am capable of doing is, well, um, I guess to skate the short program. Well…if I can advance on, then I guess the free program too… [laughs]. And then if there’s a chance, then the exhibition program as well. [laughs]. So, for now, I’d like to skate well in all three programs. I would like to be able to give a message to the world from these three programs, but more importantly, I think the prerequisite is to perform in a way that I can be satisfied with.

So, I have to make sure that I stay in touch with my body and maintain it well, and in the end, I think that it is only when I get to that point that my performance will be able to convey something to everyone. I’d like to do what I need to do now to get to that point.

 ―震災から10年。先日地震もあった。

 「まあ、そうですね。いろいろ思うところはありますし。僕に何ができるんだろうという考えももちろんあるんですけど。でも…そうですね、震災の時に出したコメントが全てかなと僕の中では思っていて。僕自身もいろいろアクセル挑戦したりとか。いろいろ苦しい時もいろいろありましたし。大変だった時期とかもいろいろあったんですけど。それは僕はスケートのことでいろいろ大変だったなとか思うことがあるんですけど。復興に関しては、やっぱり何だろう…。その人の人生とか命がそこにあるので。やっぱ無理やりでもやらなきゃいけないことだったりとか、闘わなきゃいけないことだったりとか。いろいろあるだろうなということを考えてはいて。まあ、気持ちとしてはソチの記者会見の時に言ったこととあまり変わらないかもしれないんですけど。僕はスケートをしているだけで、直接、皆さんに何かしているわけではないので、そこは変わらないなとは思うんですけど。ただ、この間の全日本みたいに、または、全日本後に世界選手権に出るなら、と言った時みたいに。このプログラムを通して、この子たちを通して、なにか…。10年だからこそ、とかでなくて。この時期のこの子たちを通して、何かのメッセージだったり、何かの心が動くきっかけになっていればいいなとは思います」

—It’s been 10 years since the 3/11 disaster and the other day there was an earthquake (in Japan) as well. 

Y: Yes, it has. There’s a lot to think about. And of course for me, I thought about what I am capable of doing right now. But, yes, I think the comment I put out recently* is everything I have to say. There were various difficult times for me, such as when I tried to challenge the axel jump. There were times when it was difficult, but it was about skating for me. As for the reconstruction efforts, well, how to put it. I’ve been thinking that there are many things people have to do and fight for, even if they have to force themselves to do it, because people’s lives and livelihoods are there. Well, my feelings may not be so different from what I said at the press conference in Sochi [at the 2014 Olympics]. I’m just skating, I’m not doing anything for the people in the devastated area directly, so I guess that hasn’t changed. However, just like last time at Japanese Nationals recently, or, like when I said that if there was a World Championships after that, I hope that through these programs, these little ones* of mine… not simply because it’s the 10 year mark [of 3.11], but through these little ones, I hope I can send some sort of message, or for it to touch others’ hearts in some way.

T/N: *The statement he is referring to was released to Japanese media on March 11th, 2021 to commemorate the exact day of the 10th year since the 3/11 disaster. It can be found in full here: https://twitter.com/axelwithwings/status/1369891570825056256 

**He literally uses the word “child” or “kid” here but is metaphorically referring to his programs; Yuzuru has done this before in the past when talking about programs like Seimei and Ballade No. 1 as well.

 ―演技構成に関して全日本からの変更点は。

 「とりあえず予定としては変更はないです。はい。ありがとうございました」

—Regarding your program components, have you changed anything since Japanese Nationals?

Y: For the time being the plan is to not change anything. Ok, thank you.

Published by

axelwithwings

We are the Axel with Wings translation team, made up of fans of Yuzuru Hanyu. We hope to share videos of him and Japanese figure skating content with more people around the world. We aim to do our best to accurately capture the spirit of what's said. Hope you enjoy our videos and other contents.

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