[ENG TRANSLATION] Yuzuru Hanyu Exhibition Gala Interview, World Team Trophy – 210418

Photo by Yoshiki Kogaito, Sponichi

All articles originally published 18 April 2021

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Translation: @yuzueco & @axelsandwich 
Proofreading: @shinjistarxx

男子の羽生結弦(ANA)がエキシビション出演前にオンライン取材に応じた。今季最後の試合を終え、約10分語った一問一答は以下の通り。

Men’s single skater Yuzuru Hanyu (ANA) gave an online interview before his exhibition appearance. After his last competition of the season, he spoke for about 10 minutes and answered each question as follows.

  ――今季、得たもの。今季を終えて感じた課題は。

「えっと…抽象的な話になるかもしれないんですけど。えー、僕が世界選手権で初めて3位になった時の年が、ちょうどもう9年も前のことになりますけど。その時思ったことと同じようなことを10年の節目ということもあって改めて思いました。というのも、まあ今回、自粛期間だったり、または試合を辞退したり。そういったことをしている中で。えー、ニュースや報道を見て、コロナというのがどれほど大変なのか、または、それとどうやって向き合っていくのか。それぞれの方がどのように苦しんでいるのか。いろんなことを考えながら過ごしていました。何か、そこから…。うーん。それと付き合っていくには、やっぱり、できればゼロになることが一番だとは思うんですけど。それでも、進んでいかなくてはいけないですし、立ち向かっていかなくてはいけないですし、いろんなことに…。ある意味、僕の4Aじゃないですけど、挑戦しながら、最大の対策を練っていく必要があるんだなということを感じていて。ちょっと話がくどくなるんですけど。えっと…。そういう中で、この震災10年というものを迎えて、自分自身、コメントを考える時に。どれほど苦しいのか。どんな苦しさがあるのか。または、それを本当に思い出してほしいと思っている人がどれほどいるのか。思い出したくない人もいるだろう、そんなことを、いろんなことを考えて。それって、今のコロナの状況と変わらないんじゃないかなというふうに僕は思いました。で、最終的に、震災のシーズンも、震災が終わったシーズンもそうでしたけれども。僕は、あの時は、もっともっとなんか若くて。被災地代表は嫌だ、日本代表で自分の力で獲った派遣なんだから、被災地代表と言われたくないという気持ちももちろんありましたし。自分自身でいろんなものを勝ち取りたいって強く思っていたんですけど。最終的に感謝の気持ちが凄く出てきて、応援されているんだ、僕が応援している立場じゃなくて応援されているんだっていうことだとか。そういったものがまた今回、凄く感じられたので。なんか、うん。全然、取り留めもない話になっちゃってますけど。結果として、自分も滑っていいのかなと。自分が滑ることによって、何かの意味をちゃんと見出していければ、それは自分が存在していい証なのかなというふうにちょっと思いました」

―What did you gain/learn this season? And what do you still need to work on now that the season is over?

Yuzuru: Hmm… this might become a little abstract. Well, the first time I came in third place at the World Championships was just about nine years ago now. Once again, I was thinking the same kind of things I thought at the time, as it is the 10 year anniversary of 3.11 now. The reason for this is that this time, there were things like the period of self-isolation [because of the pandemic], and also I withdrew from competitions. While I was doing those things, and watching the news, I felt how bad the COVID situation is, and I spent the time wondering about various things like, how we are supposed to confront it, and how people are each suffering in different ways during this time. Somehow, from there… Hmm. I still think the best way to deal with it is to have zero cases if possible, after all. But, (since that’s not possible), we have to keep going, and we have to face and deal with many things. In a way, for me, it’s not about my 4A, but that I feel I need to challenge myself and that I need to put together the best plan of action. Ah, my answer is becoming a little hard to follow. Let me see… In this context, I think about when I was coming up with my own comments on the 10th anniversary of 3.11. How painful was it? What kind of pain was it? Or, how many really want to remember it? Surely there are those who don’t want to be reminded of it, and I was thinking about all these various things. And I thought to myself, “Isn’t this the same as the current situation with COVID?,” and so ultimately, I came to a conclusion, in the season that 3.11 happened, and the season after it as well. I was much, much younger at the time. I didn’t want to be a representative of the disaster-stricken area, and I didn’t want to be labelled as such because I was a member of the Japanese national team, and I had won the spot with my own abilities. I was thinking strongly then, that I wanted to win various things on my own. But in the end, I began to feel a great sense of gratitude, and I realized that I was the one who was being supported by the people, and that I was not in a position to support them, but rather they were supporting me. I was able to feel those things again this time. Somehow…hm. This became a bit of a rambling answer. As a result of everything, I felt that maybe it’s okay for me to keep skating. If I can find some kind of meaning in my skating, I think that’s a sign that it’s okay for me to exist.

Photo by Yoshiki Kogaito, Sponichi

Part 2

――4回転半ジャンプの練習をした意義や手応え

「お客さん入っているとは全く思ってなかったんですけど。フリーが終わった段階で体がそんなに疲れてなかったというのもあって。試合の場所でやることに意義はあるかなと。あとは、また1人で練習することになると思うので、そういう中でやっぱ刺激が少ない中でやるよりも刺激がある凄い上手な選手がいる中でやった方が自分のイメージも固まりやすいかなというような意味を持っていました。ただ、実際やってみたら全然、良い時のジャンプに全然ならなくて、非常に悔しかったんですけど。もっと良いです、本当は!本当はもっと近くなっていると思いますし。あの、そうですね、はっきり言って、めちゃくちゃ悔しかったんで、良いジャンプが全然できなかったんで。この悔しさをバネに、若い時みたいですけど、本当にがむしゃらさも備えつつ、冷静にいろんなことを分析して、本当に自分の限界に挑み続けたいなと思っています」

―What was the significance of practising your 4A in practice and your response? 

Yuzuru: I totally didn’t expect the audience to be there. After the Free Skate, there was the fact my body wasn’t that tired. I thought maybe it would be worthwhile to do it at the competition venue. The other reason is that I think I’ll be going back to training alone and I think it’s easier to get a better mental picture jumping it when you’re motivated by the presence of other really talented athletes. But when I actually tried it, the jump was nowhere near my best attempts so I’m really frustrated. I have better ones, really! Truthfully I think I’m closer [that that]. But um, to tell you the truth I’m really really frustrated because I couldn’t do a good jump. So using that frustration as a springboard, though it looks like it’ll be a tough period ahead, I’ll really make intense preparations and analyse various things with a cooler head, and I want to keep pushing past my limits. 

 ――昨日の練習終盤でダブルアクセルが両足着氷になり「それでいいんだよ」と言っていたが。

 「あの、最初から昨日浮かなかったんですね、ジャンプが。全然回転が足りなかったので、自分にとってはかなり感触の悪い4回転をずっと跳んでいて。最後ダブルアクセルでパンクあたりから、やっと氷をつかみ始めたかなって思っていた。やっと高さが出せ始めていたので“それで回せよ”っていう。なんかやっぱ高くなると、完全に体が拒絶反応を起こしたりとか。あとは高さと回ることの両立がかなり難しいジャンプなので、それが、そういう発言につながりました」

―During yesterday’s practice, when you two-footed the double Axel landing, you said, ‘That’s good.’

Y: From the beginning yesterday, my jumps didn’t [feel as] light. The rotations were totally insufficient and I kept jumping 4As that felt off to me. When I popped it into a double Axel at the end, I thought I was finally starting to get a feel of the ice. Finally I was getting the height so I told myself, ‘now rotate it’. After all, if it gets too high, your body instinctively tries to protect itself. It’s also a jump where it’s indeed difficult to balance both the height and rotation, so that comment I made was tied to that [fact] as well. 

 ――来季はフリーは「天と地と」になるが、SPはピアノ曲に戻すのか。

 「えーっと。率直に言うと考え中です。えっと、ピアノ曲に戻したいとか、そういうことだけじゃなくて。やはり、このプログラムはこの状況だからこそ生きると自分の中で思っている。状況だから生きる、というか、こういう中だからこそ、このプログラムをやりたいというふうに思ったものなので。この状況がどうなっていくか、または、自分自身の気持ちがどういうふうに変化していくか。また、スケートをやる上で何を表現したいかを考えながら選んでいきたいと思っています」

―Next season, your Free Skate Program will be ‘Ten to Chi to,’ but will you return to a piano piece for your Short Program?

Y: Ummm. To tell you the truth, I’m thinking about it. It’s not just about wanting to go back to a piano piece. I think this program [Let Me Entertain You] was created because of the current situation. You could say it was created precisely because I wanted to do this kind of program that suited the current circumstances. I have to consider how the circumstances will pan out and also how my own feelings will change with it. Also, beyond just doing the skating, I think I’ll pick the program thinking about what I want to express.

Photo by Yoshiki Kogaito

Part 3

――4Aは体に負担がかかるが、カナダに行けない中でどうケアしていくか。

 「まあとりあえずセルフケアを徹底してやっていって。いろいろ力をくれる方はいっぱいいますし。情報はネット上にもいろいろ転がってはいますし。自分自身、いろんな知識とかも蓄えて、最大限ケアしていきたいと思います」

―The 4A is hard on your body, so how will you take care of it while you can’t go to Canada?

Yuzuru: Well, for the time being, I am thoroughly taking care of it myself. And there are a lot of people who can help me as well. There is also a lot of information available on the Internet. I’d like to take care of myself to the best of my ability by accumulating various kinds of knowledge.

 ――来季はどういう思いで臨むか。

 「来シーズンは来シーズンでしか分からないですね。(他のことが気になる様子で)ただ、あのー。フフ…。すみません。来シーズンは来シーズンでしか分からないので、どうしようもないところはあるんですけど。あのー、うーんと。フフフ…ダメだ。意識がそっちいってしまった、一瞬…。えーっと。その時はその時で考えます。ごめんなさい!」

―What are your thoughts on the next season?

Y: We’ll only know next season when next season comes. [Seems to be distracted by something else]. Just, um… hehe…. Sorry. We’ll only know about next season when it comes, so there’s nothing I can do about it. Um, well…. Hmmm… hehehe, I can’t. I got a little distracted, for a moment. Hmmm. I’ll think about [next season] when it’s time. I’m sorry!

 ――その時はまた、お話いただく機会を設けていただきたい。

 「フフフフ、でも、そうですね。自分がまた、えー、自分のコメントが欲しいと言われた時には頑張って頭からいろんな言葉をひねり出して、出したいと思いますし。それが何か…。まあでも、僕は言葉のプロじゃなくて、どちらかと言うと、スケートで表現したいので、できればスケートで表現できる道が取れればなと思います」

―At that time, we would like to have the opportunity to speak with you again.

Y: Hehehe… But yes, I will. When I’m asked for comments again, I’ll try my best to come up with different words from my head. That’s something…. Well, I’m not a professional with words and I’d rather express myself with skating, so I hope I can find a way to do that.

 ――スケートリンクと家の往復と言っていたが、家ではどう過ごしているか。

 「えーっと。そうですね…。家にいる時間は…起きて。フフフフフ…。朝起きて、えーっと。朝起きてすぐ掃除をして。で、ご飯ができるまでにイメトレとれフォームチェックとか、いろいろして。ご飯を食べて、体をケアして。練習行って、帰ってきて、お風呂入って、ケアして、ご飯食べて寝るみたいな生活をしています」

―You said you go back and forth between the ice rink and the home, but how do you spend your time at home?

Y: Let’s see. Well… When I’m at home… (first thing) is waking up. Hehehe… I wake up in the morning, um, and then immediately clean*. Then, until food is ready, I’ll do things like image training, checking my form, and so on. After eating, I do some care for my body. I go to practice, come home, take a bath, do some care, eat, then sleep… that’s the kind of schedule I have.

*T/N: Probably referring to cleaning his room.

 ――家での娯楽は。

 「あ、でもゲームしています。今モンスターハンターにハマっています。(出たばかりのやつ?)はい、やっています。ありがとうございました。ちょっとスポーツ紙っぽいこと言えた。フフフフフ…」

 取材は終了。「ありがとうございます。またよろしくお願いします。頑張ります」

―What do you do for leisure while at home?

Y: Ah, I do play video games. I’m addicted to Monster Hunter right now. (The one that just came out?) Yes. Yes, I’m playing it. Thank you very much. I was able to say something a little like [what you’d find] in a sports magazine. Hehehe.

 (Interview over.)

Thank you very much. and I look forward to working with you again. I’ll do my best.

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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