[ENG TRANSLATION] Yuzuru Hanyu Japanese Nationals Open Practice – Towards the success of the 4A: Without throwing away this dream and without giving up – 20211223

Photo by Kogaito, Sponichi

All articles originally published 23 December 2021

Part 1 | Part 2

Translation: @axelsandwich & @shinjistarxx
Proofreading: @yuzueco & @tsukihoshi14

PART 1

Towards the success of the 4A: ‘Without throwing away this dream and without giving up.’

 ――4回転半に着氷(後で本人が回転不足、両足着氷と説明)していたが、手応えは

Q: You landed the 4A (Yuzuru himself later explained it was under-rotated and two-footed), what are your thoughts?

 「いやあ、ほんと、まあ、今日は自分の中で軸作りが一番大事だと思ってたんで。あの、回転はそんなかけてないです。なので、まあ、あの、今日やるべきことは、やれたかなっていう。まあ、なんかいつも言ってますけど、今日やるべきことを、やってたなっていうくらいの感触です。まだ、自分の中では回転を、あの10割でかけている状態ではないので。あの、とにかく、今日は氷の感触を確かめながら、とりあえず、この氷でしっかり軸をつくるってことを試していました」

Yuzuru (Y): Ah well, truly… today, I think the most important thing for today was to stabilise my axis. I wasn’t focusing too much on my rotations. Therefore…well, I think I was able to do what I needed to do today. Well, it seems like I always say this, but that’s how I’m feeling today. I’m still not in the condition to give 100% on my rotations. Nevertheless, I was able to properly stabilise my axis on ice while confirming the feel of the ice today.

 ――これまでの練習では4回転半はどうだったか

Q: How has the 4A been in practice until now?

 「えっとー、まあ、あんな感じの着氷になる場合と、あれは軸がうまくいったパターンで。あともう一個は、あの、回転を10割で、まあ10割っていうか、11割というか。そんなぐらいの力で回して、まあ、アンダー、ぎり1/4足んないかな、『q』がつくかなっていうくらいのアクセルでこけるみたいなことはあります。やっぱり、ちょっとまだ、練習の段階では両方とも両立したものはちょっと、やっぱ難しいです、はい」

Y: U~m… well, the times where I was able to land with that feeling [today] are when I could maintain a good axis. The other thing is that there are times when I rotate with a lot of power, putting 100%, well perhaps 110% of my power into the rotation, I felt like falling on Axels that were around the ‘q’ mark (1/4 underrotated). After all, that’s something [I haven’t mastered]… balancing both of them (axis and power) in practice is still difficult as expected, yes. 

 ――練習ではクリーンな成功は

Q: The number of Axels you’ve landed clean in practice is…

「そうですね、ないですね、はい」

Y: Uhm, none. That’s right. 

 ――北京五輪への思いは

Q: What are your thoughts towards the Beijing Olympics?

 「うれしそう、ふふふふふっ。えっと、まあ、正直言って、一昨日の段階で、えー、アクセルが決められなかったら、もうオリンピックまで、頑張るしかないのかなとかって思いながらやってました。あの、ほんとは、自分の中で、これくらいのアクセルでもいいんじゃないかっていう思いもありますし。まあ、形として、あの、まあ、なんですかね。まあ、クリーンな判定ではないと思いますし、GOEもプラスつかないかもしれないですけど、でも形として4Aにはなってるんで。だから、『まあ、よく頑張ったんじゃない?』って。もう、4Aに向かって3年、まあ特にここの2年間ですかね、かなり練習をして、向き合ってきた中で、このくらいなので。だから、『もういいんじゃない?』っていうふうに思う気持ちもあるんですけど。でも、最後の練習の時になんか、ぎりぎりまで踏ん張って1時間半くらいずっとアクセルを跳んだ上で、跳べなかった時に、ああせっかくここまで来たのになっていう思いと、疲れたなって思いと、いろいろぐちゃぐちゃになりながら、いや、でも、やっぱり、うーん。なんか、僕だけのジャンプじゃないなっていう。まあ、僕、跳ぶのは僕なんですけど。結局、言い出したのも僕なんですけど。でも、皆さんが、僕にしかできないって言ってくださるのであれば、それを全うするのが、なんか僕の使命なのかなって思いました」

Y: You seem happy fufufufufu. Um. Well. To be honest, the day before yesterday, I was [practising the 4A] thinking that if I couldn’t land it, I would have to keep trying until the Olympics. The truth is, personally, I’ve thought that an Axel around this level should be okay. Well, in terms of the form… how do I put it? I don’t think it will be called clean and it may not get a positive GOE, but in its form, it has become a 4A. So it’s like ‘well, have you done your best?’ I’ve been pursuing the 4A for 3 years already – well, I’ve focused on it especially for the last two years. I’ve really practised and faced it head-on, and it’s gotten to this level. So I did feel like ‘isn’t it already enough?’. But in my last practice [before coming to JNats], I was just holding on, and jumping the Axel nonstop for one and a half hours. And when I couldn’t do it, I was thinking ‘ah, I’ve come all this way’, ‘ah I’m tired’, and while really being all over the place in various ways… But, somehow, it’s not just my jump alone. Well, the person jumping [the 4A] is me, and indeed I was the one who said [I would do it]. But everyone…if everyone is saying that it’s only something that I can do, I thought of accomplishing it as a sort of mission.

 ――目指すでいいのか

Q: Is it okay to aim for the Olympics?

 「うんとー、まあ、わかんないっすよ。ここで、ここで降りちゃったら、満足するのかもしれないですし。それは諦めてはないんです。ここで降りることを自体を。だから、今日も、今日、今日できること、今日やるべきことを積み重ねたと思ってますし。また、明日、明日はショートなんで、アクセルの練習をする気はないですけど。また、あの、ショートの後の日の練習だとか、フリーの当日だとか、本番で降りるかもしれないですし。望みを捨てずに、諦めずに、しっかりやっていきたいなとは思います。ただ、延長線上に北京はあるかもしれないなっていうことを腹をくくって、ここまで来ました。はい」

Y: Um~ Well, I don’t know. If I can land it here, maybe I’ll be satisfied. I haven’t given up on the thought of landing it here. Therefore, today as well, I tried to accumulate what I could and needed to do today. Tomorrow is the Short Program so I don’t have intentions of practising the Axel then. But in the practice the day after the SP, on the day of the FS, I may land it in my performance. I’d like to attempt it properly without throwing away this dream and without giving up. But I’ve come here accepting that the Beijing Olympics may be the extension to this journey. Yes.

Photo by Kogaito, Sponichi

Part 2

 ――最後の4回転半は両足で、回転も若干足りなかったという解釈でいいのか。4回転半はフリーでやるのか

Q: Is it correct to say the last quad Axel you did was two-footed and slightly under-rotated? Are you going to do the quad Axel in your free program?

 「はい。えっと、両方とも、えっと、答えは『はい』です。えー、そうですね、回転も自分の中で感触的に足りないですし。あの、まあ両足でしっかり軸を作りながら降りてきてるっていうような感じはあります。あの、ただ、まあ先ほども、えー、先ほどの質問にもあったように、やっぱり、今日は回転をかける日ではなかったので。自分の中では。だから、あれでOKだなっていうふうに思ってます。あの、あとは、えっとフリーでまあ、あの入り方、今日ちょっと曲が違って、提出した音源がちょっと違ってて後半途中でやめちゃったんですけど。なんですけど、まあでも、あの、まあ前半あの入り方で、アクセル入れてっていうような形にしたいと思っています」

Y: Yes. Um, the answer to both questions is ‘yes.’ Uhm, the rotations seemed lacking to me as well. Well, I do feel that I landed it with both feet while creating a proper axis. But, as I said in reply to the question just now, today wasn’t a day for me to work on rotation, personally. That’s why I think (what I did today) was ok. Also, as for putting it into the free, well, today the music was a little off, and the music I submitted was the wrong one, so I gave up on it halfway through the later half. But, well, I think I want to do it with the Axel in the first half of the program.

 ――今日、アクセルに入る時、スピードを若干落として入っていたか。つかんだコツなどはあるか

Q: Today, when you were going for the (quad) Axel, did you enter it by slowing down a little? Did you learn any sort of trick for it?

 「まあ、結局、軸取れないと回転も早くならないので。あの、まあ、もちろん、いろんな戦略はあるんですけど。あの、ただガムシャラにぶん回して跳べるんであれば、もう、たぶん、去年のうちに降りてると思うので。いろんなことを考えて、まあ、なんですかね、詳しく話しても、たぶん伝わりきらないんで、どうしようもないんですけど。でも、あの、意図としてはまず、ちゃんと軸を作る。で、軸がちゃんと早く作れれば、回転も早く回れるっていうような意味で、あの、前よりは落としてます。はい」


Y: Well, ultimately if you can’t grasp the axis, the rotations won’t be fast either. Um, of course there are various strategies to it. Um, if it were as simple as going for the jump recklessly jumping and just rotating, well, maybe I could have landed it sometime last year. I’ve thought about a lot of things, and well, how to put it, even if I talk about it in detail, I don’t think what I want to say will come across, so there’s not much I can say. But, my intention is to first make an axis. Then, if I can grasp the axis quickly and properly, then I can do the rotations quickly as well, so in that sense, it’s more controlled now in speed compared to before (past 4A attempts).

 ――右足首に不安はない?

Q: Are there no worries about your right ankle?

 「そうですね。はい」

Y: Yes, that’s correct.

 ――SPは何にするのか、選んだ理由は。怪我した状況や経過は

Q: What will you do for the SP, and why did you choose it? And what is the condition and progress on your injury?

 「えっと、えっと~、何から話せばいいのかな。あ、ショートからですね。ショートの選曲の理由は、まずかなり悩んで。えっと、自分でも言ったことを覚えてなかったんですけど、あの、前回、前々回ですかね、四大陸選手権で優勝させていただいた時に、バラードに戻した時にも言っていたみたいなんですけど、ピアノ曲をすごく探してきて。で、自分の中で羽生結弦っぽい表現、羽生結弦でしかできない表現のあるショートプログラムがどんなものがあるのかなと思ってずっと探していました。で、なかなかやっぱり見つけられなくて。これだなって気持ちが踊るようなものがなかなか見つからずに、そのうちに自分が昔からやりたいなと思っていた『ロンド・カプリチオーソ』って曲がちょっと出てきて。で、その中で『これ滑りたいな』と思うのであれば、ピアノのバージョンで滑ったら、より自分らしくなるかなって思って。で、また、その、ただピアノの普通の既存のバージョンでやるのではなくて、えー、僕がその、先シーズン、すごい心が折れてつらかった時期に、えー、滑らせていただいて、ほんとに生きる活力と滑る活力をいただいた清塚さんのピアノにしたら、もっと自分も気持ち良く滑れるのではないか、もっと気持ち良く、気持ちを込めて滑ることができるんじゃないかなっていうふうに思ったので、清塚さんに頼んで、作曲してもらって。作曲っていうか、編曲してもらって。で、オリジナルのバージョンを作っていただきました」

Y: Um… um… What should I start with? Ah, let’s start with the short program. The reason I picked the short… First, I was quite troubled thinking about it. Um, I myself don’t even remember what exactly I said last time, or rather, it was the time before that, but like I said when I won 4CC [2020] and when I returned to Ballade No.1, I have been seriously searching for a piano piece. And so, I was looking for a piece while constantly thinking about what a short program with a “Yuzuru Hanyu”-like expression would be, and what would be something that only “Yuzuru Hanyu” could convey. And, well, I couldn’t really find anything for a while. I wasn’t able to find something that I could say “that’s it,” something that would make my heart pound, and during that time, I came across “Rondo Capriccioso”, a song that I had wanted to try from way back. And so, I felt that if I wanted to skate to this, if I skated to the piano version, I thought it would perhaps become more “me-like.” But, instead of using the already existing regular piano version, I thought of how last season, during the time I was going through a really difficult period of being really down, skating with Mr. Kiyotsuka’s* music really gave me the energy to live on and keep skating, and so I thought that if I did my program this time to Mr. Kiyotsuka’s piano, maybe I would be able to skate it with better spirits as well, and I would perhaps be able to skate it with more of my emotion put into it. So I requested Mr. Kiyotsuka to compose the music this time. Not compose, but rather arrange. So I’m using an original version of the piece.

*T/N: Referring to pianist Shinya Kiyotsuka, the artist of “Haru Yo Koi,” to which Yuzuru did an exhibition program previously

 「で、足首は、えっと、フリーのえー、通し練習かな。フリーの頭からやった通し練習の時にアクセル、4回転半のアクセルをやって、で、そのまま次のサルコーにいった時に、あの、エッジが氷に絡まってってしまって。ちょうど、エッジを研磨してもらったばっかだったんですよ。で、感覚違うなって思いながらやってたんですけど。あの、まあしょうがないと思ってやってて、あの、ほんとにエッジが氷にとられてしまって、本当だったら抜けるはずだったんだけど抜けなくて、バキッっていきました。だから、直接的な要因はサルコーなんですけど、ただ、あの、単純に単発のサルコーを跳ぶんだったら問題はなくて。やっぱり、4Aっていうものをやったっていうことと、プラスアルファ、エッジのメンテナンスをちゃんとしきれなかったっていうか。あの、そんな感じで。結果的に捻挫になってしまいました」

Y: And then, as for my ankle, um… it happened during the run-through of the free program. During the run-through, from the beginning of the free program, I attempted a 4A, and when I went straight into the next Salchow, um, the edge (of the skate blade) got stuck in the ice. And I had just had the edges sharpened, so I was skating while thinking that something felt wrong. Um, well, I thought it couldn’t be helped, the edge really was caught in the ice, and I should have been able to pull it out but I couldn’t, and my ankle cracked. So, the direct cause of my sprained ankle was the Salchow, and if I had been jumping just the Salchow alone, there would have been no problem. Ultimately, I think it was because I was practicing the 4A as well, and plus the fact I wasn’t keeping up with maintenance of my edges properly. Um, something like that, and as a result I ended up getting a sprain.

 「まあ、あの、経過はなんて言えばいいのかな。まあ、捻挫をすごいもう、右足の捻挫に関しては知り尽くしているので、どうやったら早く治せるかっていうことをひたすら考えつつ、加圧のトレーニングというか、加圧で、まあ治療促進したりとか、あとは超音波使ったりとか。低周波使った加圧のトレーニングというか、、いろいろやりながら、まあ、仙台でできることは自分の中では限られてはいるので、そうやって治していきました。はい。ありがとうございます。すみません、長くなっちゃって」

Y: Um, what should I say about the progress. Well, since I already know a lot about sprains of the right foot, so I was intently thinking of just how to heal it quickly, and so I did things like KAATSU* training, using it to give pressure (to the muscle) to promote healing, and I also used ultrasounds, and low frequency waves, just a variety of things, since well, what I can do (while in) Sendai by myself is limited. So by doing all that, I worked towards healing it. Yes. Thank you, and I’m sorry this became so long.

*T/N: We are not 100% sure what kind of training and treatments he is speaking about in this answer, but this one seems to refer to a training called “kaatsu” which uses training bands to put pressure & restrict blood flow as a form of physical therapy and to help speed up recovery.

 「ありがとうございました~、また本番お願いします」

Y: Thank you~ I’ll see you again during the actual event.

 ※その後の代表者による確認作業で

 ※The following is obtained through his representative confirming

 ――北京は目指す明言でいいのか

Q: Is it a declaration that you’re aiming for Beijing [Olympics]?

 「腹くくった。覚悟はしたよって感じですかね、自分の中で。目指す明言で。うん」

Y: I have made up my mind. I feel I’m ready for it. And so, yes, it’s a declaration that I’m aiming for it.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s