[ENG TRANSLATION] Yuzuru Hanyu Japanese Nationals Post-FS Interview – 20211226

Photo by Kogaito, Sponichi

All articles originally published 26 December 2021

Part 1 | Part 2

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

Part 1

 ――フリーを振り返って

Q: Please reflect on your free program.

 「疲れました。あの、ただ4A込みで、えー、通す練習、まあ完全な通しではないですけど、えー、昨年同様の練習がある程度まで、まあ自分の中では6割程度、60%くらいので達成度で練習はできてこられてはいたので、なんとかもったかなっていうような印象です。ただ、やっぱり、ループとは比べものにならないくらい、体力の消耗はありました」

Yuzuru: I was tired. Um, with the 4A included, my run-through, well, even though it wasn’t a complete run-through, I was able to practice to the same extent as last year, I think personally I’ve completed about 60% of the training, so I feel like it wasn’t up to par. But as expected, [the 4A] puts a burden on the body to the point where you can’t really compare it to the 4Lo. 

――初めて4回転アクセルに挑戦した

Q: You challenged the 4A for the first time

 「まあ今日の朝の練習で、まあ自分の中では、回せることを期待はしていなくて。とにかく、本番が一番大事なので。本番に回しきれるようにって思って練習はしていました。ただ、あまりにも跳べなさすぎて。若干、失望してて。あの、本番いくまでにかなり精神がグジャグジャになってたんですけど。まあ、そういうとこも含めて、やっぱり4回転半、まだ自分自身が成功しきれてないジャンプを本番で使用するっていうのは、うーん、そういうことも含めて難しいんだなっていうのを、改めて感じさせてもらえたなって思います」

Y: Well, in the morning practice, I wasn’t really expecting that I could rotate it. In any case, the actual competition was most important. I practised with the intent to rotate it properly there. However, I was really unable to jump it, so I was somewhat despairing. Um, up until the actual competition, I was really frazzled. Well, with all those things in mind, I felt once again that it’s really difficult to be trying a jump in competition that I hadn’t landed decisively yet.  

 ――今回の4回転半の出来は

Q: How good was the quad Axel this time?

 「まあ、頑張ったなって感じです。あの、初日のあのアクセルを、皆さん初日で見ていて、『あ、羽生、めちゃくちゃアクセル上手になったじゃん』って思われたと思うんですけど。あれができるようになったのが、ほんとまだ、ここ2週間くらいなんですね。それまではずっと、ぶっ飛ばして跳んでて、軸がつくれなくて、回転ももっともっと足りなくて。何回も何回も体を打ちつけて、ほんとに死ににいくようなジャンプをずっーとしてたんですけど。なんか、やっとああいうふうになり始めて。でも、それが毎日できるわけじゃないんですね。だから、みなさんが、みなさんの中で『これは跳べるんじゃないか』みたいな感じで思っていただけたと思うんですけど、正直結構まだいっぱいいっぱいです、あそこまででも。軸をつくるっていうことが、どれだけ大変なのかっていうことと、で、その軸をつくりきれる自信ができて、それからその100%で回しきるっていうことをやっていかないとダメなので。まあ、試合の中であれだけできたら、まだ今の自分にとっては、妥協できるところにいるんじゃないかなとは思います。悔しいですけどね」

Y: Well, I think I did what I could. On the first day, when everyone saw that Axel, they were probably thinking ‘Ah, Hanyu’s Axel has really improved’. Actually, it was only able to improve to that extent in the last two weeks. Until that point, I was just constantly throwing myself into it, couldn’t create my axis and the rotations were also getting more and more insufficient. I was slamming my body against the ice over and over again, and doing jumps that seemed like they were going to kill me. Somehow, the jump eventually came to take shape. But it’s not something I can do every day. Therefore, while I think everyone might be feeling something like ‘oh, he’s almost landing it, isn’t he?’, the truth is that there’s still a lot to do, even to get there. How tough it is to create the axis, to have the confidence to create the proper axis, then you know it’s impossible unless you rotate the thing 100%. Well, if I were to be able to do that in competition, right now, I think there are places I can compromise on [for those considerations]. Even though I’m frustrated/kuyashii about it. 

 ――五輪でも挑戦は続けるのか

Q: Will you continue to work on it for the Olympics?

 「正直言っちゃうと、NHK杯前に、これよりももっと悪い出来でしたけど、やっと立てるようになったのがNHK前で。で、立てたなと思ったら次の次の日あたりに捻挫して。で、捻挫したらストレスとかいろいろ溜まって、食道炎になって熱が出てみたいなのがいろいろあって。1カ月全然、何もできなかったんですけど。その時点で、辞めちゃおうかなと思ったんですよ。ここまで来られたし。形になったし。こけなくなったしなって思って。だから、あの、この全日本に来るまでも、まあNHK杯よりもうまくなってしまってしまいましたけど、なんて言えばいいんですかね。正直、これで良いんじゃないかなと思ったんですよね、自分の中で。これで辞めても良いかなって」

Y: To tell you the truth, the output was worse before the NHK Trophy, but I was finally able to land the jump without falling before the NHK Trophy. And then, just as I thought ‘oh, I can stand on it’, I sprained my ankle the next day. With the sprain, various kinds of stress piled up and then I developed esophagitis, a fever and various other things. I was truly unable to do anything at all for a whole month. During that time, I thought maybe I should give up. I’d gotten this far. It had taken form. I wasn’t falling on it anymore. Therefore, even before arriving at these Japanese Nationals, although [the jump] got better than [before] the NHK Trophy,… how to best put it. Honestly, I thought this should probably be okay, that maybe it would be okay even if I gave up at this point. 

 「あの、すごくみなさんに『羽生さんにしかできないですよ』とか『羽生ならできるよ』と言ってもらえるのは、すごくうれしいんですけど、自分の中ですごく限界を感じたんですよね。だからもう、これでいいじゃんと思ったんですけど。すごい悩んで悩んで苦しんで。もうちょっとだけ、せっかくここまで来たんだったら、やっぱ『降りたい』って言っている自分がいるんで。まあ、めちゃくちゃみなさんに迷惑かけるかもしれないですけど、もうちょっとだけ頑張ります」

Y: Um, I was really happy to receive so many comments from everyone like ‘this is something only Hanyu can do’ and ‘if it’s Hanyu, he can do it’, but I really felt inside that I was at my limit. So I was feeling like well, this is fine as it is. I worried and agonised about it a lot. There’s a part of me that says “Just a little more… since I’ve come this far, I do want to land it!’. So, well, I may cause a great deal of worry or bother for everyone, but I will push myself just a little bit more.

Photo by Kogaito, Sponichi

Part 2

――2週間前までぶっ飛ばしていて、ここまで来るのにきっかけがあったのか

Q: You were throwing yourself at the jump until about 2 weeks ago, did getting to this point serve as a catalyst in any way?

 「練習方法がちょっとずつ確立されてきて、自分の中で。で、何か、このためにはこの練習するべきなんだなとか、このためにはこの練習をすべきなんだなっていうのが、いろいろできてきて。やっと、その子たちがちょっとずつ実になってきたって感じですね。やっぱり、分かったといって、ぱっとやってそれができるわけではないので。やっぱり3Aとはまったく違いますし。もっともっと積み重ねていかないといけないなって、これからも思っています」

Y: I’ve been establishing a training method little by little. I was able to do various things, for example: realizing I need to train a certain way for this particular purpose, and another way for a different purpose. I feel like finally, these little ones* are solidifying little by little. After all, even if you understand something, it’s not something you can do immediately, just like that. As I thought, it’s completely different from the 3A. I think I have to keep gathering more and more information, even from here on out. 

*T/N: Affectionate way he refers to his jumps as his “children” or “little ones” 

 ――辞めちゃおうと思ってから、ここまで戻ってくるきっかけは

Q: What was the thing that made you return from thoughts of quitting? 

 「長くなりますけど、大丈夫ですか?短めに?まあ正直、自分の中でも結構焦っていて。早く跳ばないと体どんどん衰えていくのも分かりますし。ただ、うん、自分が設定した期限よりも明らかに遅れていっているので。何でこんなに跳べないんだろうっていう苦しさはあるんですけど。まあ、そういう意味での苦しさと、自分の中でなんか、こんなにやっているのにできないのに、やる必要あるのかなみたいな。なんか諦めみたいなものとか、だいぶ出たんですけど。やっぱり全日本に来る最後の日の練習で本気で締めて、『q』判定されるようなところで、4発くらいこけてて。で、その時にいろいろ考えた結果、この全日本では辞められないな。せっかくここまで来たんだったら、みんなの夢だから、みなさんが僕に懸けてくれている夢だから、みなさんのために、自分のためにももちろんあるんですけど、みなさんのためにも、かなえてあげたいなって思いました」

Y: This will be a long answer, is that okay? Shall I shorten it? Well, to be honest, I am indeed a little frantic. I know there’s the fact that if I don’t jump it soon, my body is going to decline gradually. But there’s no doubt I’m behind the time limit that I set for myself, so there’s also the pain of wondering why I’m this far from jumping it. And along with that kind of pain is the question of ‘well, if I’ve done this much and still can’t do it, is there the need to do it?’, that kind of thing. There were definitely things that tempted me to give up. But ultimately, on the last day of training before coming to the Japanese Nationals, I jumped and fell on about 4 attempts that would be judged as ‘q’. At the time, after giving much consideration, I realized that I didn’t want to give up on it at Nationals. Since I’ve come this far, since it’s everyone’s dream, the dream that everyone is betting on me for, I thought I want to fulfil it for everyone — well of course for myself, but also for everyone. 

 ――死ににいくような練習とは、今はどれくらいの本数を跳んでいるのか

Q: When you speak of practice that feels like it’s going to kill you, how many jumps do you think you’ve attempted now? 

 「どれくらい跳んでいるんですかね。自分で考えたことないですけど。でも、1日に今、本数制限はしています。ただ、4回転半にトライするという本数制限をしているだけで、4回転半に行き着くためのトリプルアクセルだったり、シングルアクセルだったりっていう、まあ今回公式練習で何度かやってましたけど。ああいう練習をひたすら、何十本もやっています。あとはそうですね、えっと、何か、精神的にっていうことが強いですけど、誰も跳んだことないんですよ。で、誰もできる気がしないと言っているんですよ。それをできるようにするまでの過程って、ほんとにひたすら暗闇を歩いているだけなんですよ。だから、毎回、頭打って、脳しんとうで倒れて死んじゃうんじゃないかとかって思いながら練習はしていました、はい。(取材の順番を待っていた宇野に)昌磨、ごめんね」

Y: I wonder how many. I haven’t thought about it myself. But I do currently limit my attempts per day. However, even though I limit the number of times I try the 4A, I jump the triple Axel and single Axel as practice for the quad Axel…well, I jumped them many times in the public practice this time. I’ve done those kinds of practices single-mindedly dozens of times. And then… the mental aspect plays a huge part in this but no one has jumped this jump before, and you could also say it feels like no one is even capable of doing it. So in order to find the process to be able to accomplish it, it truly is like you’re walking intently alone in the dark. Therefore, each time, I’m practicing [so intensely] while thinking I might hit my head, fall over, and die from a concussion or something*, yes.

[To Shoma Uno who was waiting for his turn to be interviewed]  —  Shoma, sorry!

*T/N: Our interpretation is that this is Yuzu expanding on his answer in Part 1 where he was talking about the toll it took on him to be falling on the jump over and over again; it’s his way of describing the difficulty of training the 4A and a fear he had, rather than a real incident.

 

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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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