[ENG TRANSLATION] Yuzuru Hanyu’s Pre-World Team Trophy Media – 210414

Photo by Sponichi

All articles originally published 14 April 2021

Part 1 | Part 2

Translation & proofreading: @yuzueco, @axelsandwich & @shinjistarxx 

フィギュアスケートの世界国別対抗戦の開幕を15日に控え、17年大会以来2大会ぶりに出場する男子の羽生結弦(ANA)が14日、公式練習で調整し、オンラインで取材に応じた。

Figure skating World Team Trophy (2021) will begin on April 15th, and Men’s skater Yuzuru Hanyu (ANA) finished his first official practice on the 14th, and then answered online interview questions.

 ――初練習を終えての感覚は。

 「えーと…。えー、14日間の隔離を終えて、ちょうど今日やっと隔離が終わった状態なので。まあ、自分のけじめとしてしっかりと隔離期間を終えた上で来ました。なので、今日ホントに着いたばかりでまあ若干、足がフワフワしているところもあったと思いますが、それを含めて、いい調整ができたかなというふうに思っています」

―How do you feel after ending your first practice today?

Yuzuru: Hmm, um… my 14-day quarantine period ended, since it finally just ended today, so, well, I came here upon properly carrying out my responsibility to finish the isolation period. So because of that, I really just arrived here today, so I think to a certain extent there’s some parts where my legs are a little unsteady, but, taking that into account, I think I was able to adjust well [in today’s practice].

 ――国別はどんな位置づけで、どういう大会にしたいか。

 「えーと。もちろん、この大阪という地が今、大変なことになっているのは僕も重々わかってますし。そして、世界中、日本も、自分のふるさとである宮城、仙台も大変なことになっていることも分かりながら、複雑な思いでいながら、今ここにいます。それは、やはり試合を辞退したり、または試合に出るという決断をしたり、いろんな経験を踏まえた上で、今、僕ができることはここに立って、ここに演技を残していって、誰かの、誰かの何かしらの希望だったり、えー、何か心が動く瞬間だったり。本当に1秒でもいいんで。1秒に満たない瞬間でもいいんで。何かしら誰かの中に残ったりするようなものを、演技をすべきだなと思ってここにいます。凄く…何か難しい問題で言葉をうまく出すのが本当に大変なんですけれども。ただ、大変な状況はやっぱり震災の時と同じで、皆さんそれぞれ違うんだなっていうのを凄く今、痛感しています。お仕事の方で大変だと思われる方、そして、医療従事者の方は本当に普通以上の疲労だったり、精神的な苦痛だったり、いろいろなものがあると思いますし。

僕らみたいにしっかり自粛しても平気だという人もいますし。自粛して疲れている方もたくさんいらっしゃいますし。本当にいろんなシチュエーションがあると思います。でも、僕は演技で何かを残すことが絶対できると思うので、ていうか、残したいので。何かしらの意味を、この国別対抗戦という場所をお借りして、プログラムを通して残していきたいなと思います」

―What kind of meaning does the World Team Trophy [this year] have for you, and what kind of competition do you want to make of it?

Y: Hmm. Of course, I am gravely aware that the Osaka area is currently in a bad situation [regarding COVID]. And, I understand that the whole world, including Japan, and my hometown Miyagi, Sendai too, are all in a difficult state as well, so I am here right now with conflicting feelings. That is, the decision of whether I should withdraw from the competition, or should participate, and upon taking into account various opinions, what I can do right now is to stand here, and to leave behind a performance, that can be some sort of hope for someone, or move their heart in some sort of way, really, even if it’s just for one second. It doesn’t even have to be a [whole] second. I think I’m here to put out a performance that can remain with people in some sort of way. It’s… really hard to respond to a difficult problem like this in words. However, the difficult circumstances are ultimately the same as during the 3.11 disaster, in that I am painfully aware that for everyone it’s different. There are people who are [facing] difficulties related to work, and I think also there are medical staff who are (experiencing) extraordinary fatigue, even suffering mentally, and various other things. There are those like us who are fine and able to diligently practice self-restraint but on the other hand, there are also many people who are tired of living under such restrictions.There are really a lot of different situations. But, I think I can definitely leave something behind through my performance [in these circumstances], or rather, I want to do so. I want to take the opportunity of being at this World Team Trophy to leave some sort of meaning through my programs.

 ――2大会ぶりにチームジャパンとして戦う。

 「まずは最大限、チームに貢献するためにもしっかりと演技に集中して、普通の試合以上に自分を律して、いい演技をしたいと思っています。またショートに関しては、凄くこの世の中でも何か楽しめるようなプログラムになっていると思います。少しでも、えー、少しでも何か心からわき上がるものがあったらいいなと思って滑りたいと思います」

―It’s been two World Team Trophy competitions since you last represented team Japan [at WTT 2017]

Y: First of all, I want to properly focus on my performance so as to contribute to the team as much as I can, and I want to control myself even more so than for a normal competition and put out a good performance. Also, regarding the short [program], I think it’s a program that can be enjoyed in some way, even in the current [state of] the world. Even if it’s just a little bit, I want to skate it with the hope that there’s something that can lift our spirits.

 ――4回転半はどうするか。

 「まあ、そもそもこのスケジュールでさすがにアクセルに挑むのは無理かなということを感じています。実際に試合として、先ほども言ったように、普通の試合以上にいい演技をしなくてはいけないという意気込みを強く持っているので。だからこそ、僕の気持ち優先よりも、みんなの力になれる演技をしたいなとまずは思っています」

―What will you do about the quad Axel?

Y: Well, I feel that in the first place, with this schedule [in the past few weeks], as expected it might be impossible to try challenging the [quad] Axel. As for the actual competition, as I said before, I am very eager to put out a good performance, even more so than for a normal [non-team] competition. So, rather than prioritizing my own feelings, I first and foremost want to do a performance that will be of help to everyone else [on the team]. 

 ――葛藤を持ちながら出場した世界選手権を終えて感じたものは。

 「え~、帰りになんですけど、凄く空港がガランとしていて。実際にそこで検査を受けたり、入国のいろんな手続きをしていただり。いろんなことをしている最中に、何か、結果について『おめでとうございます』とは言ってもらえなかったですけど、どれでも『演技を見て勇気をもらいました』とか、『これから頑張れます』とかそういった声をいただけたことが、何より自分へのご褒美というか報酬だったので。なんか、そういった演技が、本当に僕の演技は毎回毎回、全然違った意味を込めて、また違った気持ちで滑っているので。少しでも何か、また今回は今回ならではのものを滑りたいなという風に思います」

―What did you feel after finishing World Championships [last month], as you had a lot of conflict within you when participating?

Y: Hmm, well on the way home, the airport was really empty. I actually received a [health] inspection there, and had to do the various procedures for entering the country. While I was doing those things, I didn’t really get told “Congratulations,” about my results [at World Championships], but, rather, I was told things like “I received courage from watching your performance,” and also “I can do my best [too],” and the fact I received those words are, for me, more than anything, the prize, or reward [this time]. Somehow, in doing those kinds of performances, it really holds a totally different meaning for me each and every time, and so I skate with different feelings too. So, even if it’s only a little bit, I want to skate my performance this time as its own unique thing.

Photo by Sponichi

PART 2

 ――ゴルフの松山選手が優勝した、快挙からの刺激はあったか。

 「実は、ちょっと生で見ていて。朝早かったんですけど、ちょっと生で見ていて。最後の制覇したところはちょっちとられなかったですけど、あの、9ホールくらいですかね、毎日見させていただいて応援させていただいていました。ほんとに僕自身、仙台の方で表彰していただいたり、宮城で表彰していただいたりする時にお会いしたことがあったんですけれども。羽生結弦としてじゃなくて、ほんとに仙台市民として宮城県民として凄く凄く誇らしいですし。何よりゴルフ界で日本人でマスターズを制覇するということがどれだけ大変かということをすごくすごく分かっているので。なんかおめでとうとか、すごいですねとかそういう言葉ではなく、なんか日本ゴルフ界にほんとに松山英樹さんという方がいたという証を残したんだなと思っています」

Following the victory of golfer Hideki Matsuyama, did you draw any motivation from his brilliant feat?*

Y: To tell you the truth I actually watched a bit of it live. It was very early in the morning but I watched a little of the live broadcast. I wasn’t able to quite catch the final moment he prevailed but for about 9 holes**, I watched and cheered him on every day. Actually, as someone from Sendai, I’ve met him before when we were being acknowledged as representatives of Sendai and of Miyagi. Not as Yuzuru Hanyu but as a fellow Sendai resident and Miyagi local, I’m really, really proud. I really, really understand how difficult of a feat it must be to conquer the Masters as a Japanese person in the golfing world. More than words like ‘congratulations’ or ‘that’s amazing,’ I feel like he has truly made his mark as “Hideki Matsuyama” in the Japanese golfing world. 

*Hideki Matsuyama recently became the first-ever Japanese professional golfer to win a men’s major golf championship – the 2021 Masters Tournament

**The Masters tournament happens over 4 days with 18 holes played per day, so Yuzu watched about half the competition (not 100% clear if he did so every day of the tournament or only on the last day). Despite struggling on the last day, Matsuyama held onto his lead to prevail.

 ――競泳の池江選手も復活した。

 「僕なんかは比べものにならないくらい苦しかったと思います。もちろん、他の選手たちも努力をしてきて、それでも報われなかったって思いを持っている人もいるかもしれません。ただ、僕は平昌オリンピックの時に結構重い捻挫していて練習できなかった期間たくさんありましたけど、でも、池江選手の『努力は報われるんだな』という言葉を聞いた時に、練習やトレーニングしてる時だけが努力じゃないんだなということを改めて感じました。池江選手だからこそ感じた苦痛だったり、悲しみだったり、なんか喪失感だったり、そういったものを感じた日々は絶対に努力というものにつながっていると思うので、ぜひ自信を持ってオリンピックに挑んで欲しいな、と。オリンピック経験した身から言わせていただきます。偉そうにすいません」

The swimmer [Rikako] Ikee also made a competitive comeback

Y: I think someone like me really can’t be compared to the difficulty she experienced*. Of course, there may also be people who think that other athletes also gave their all but weren’t rewarded. I had many periods during the Pyeongchang Olympic season where I couldn’t practice due to the severe injury I had, but when I heard Ikee-senshuu say that ‘hard work and effort will be rewarded’, I felt once again that hard work doesn’t only come from practice and training. It was precisely because of Ikee’s circumstances – the pain she experienced, the sadness and that sense of loss, that I think she fought with all her might to get through those days. I would like her to have faith in herself in her challenge at the Olympics. Please permit me to say that, as someone who has experienced the Olympics. Apologies for saying so in such a commanding way. 

*Rikako Ikee was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019 and has recently qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after receiving treatment. 

 ――隔離期間の練習はどんな状況だったのか。

 「えっと、ホテルにずっといました。ホテルからリンクというものをただ往復する毎日で。それはいつもと変わらないのかもしれないですけど。あの~、うんと、自家用車でホテルからリンクに行って、で、練習が終わったらまた自家用車でリンクからホテルにという生活をしていました。えっと~、十分な練習ができたかと言われれば、そうではないというのが本音ですけれども、そうやって練習をさせていただける措置をとっていただけたことはホントに感謝していますし、そういった配慮の上で僕は今、滑れていると思うので、しっかりと僕の役割をここで果たしたいなと思っています。ありがとうございます」

What was the practice situation like during the quarantine period?

Y: Well, I was in the hotel the entire time. Basically I went back and forth between the hotel and rink every day. Though I suppose that isn’t too different from what I usually do. Um… I basically lived by going via a private car from the hotel to the rink, and then after practice going via private car from the rink back to the hotel. Um. If you asked if that was sufficient practice, I would have to truthfully say it wasn’t, but I am truly grateful they took the steps to be able to allow us to do practice in that way, and I’m skating right now because of the attention paid to those arrangements, so I would like to properly carry out my duty here. Thank you very much. 

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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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