They use rinks that are only half the size of international standards, but a bright and cheerful challenge proceeds under a leader who has the unique background of having competed in the roller skating world championship.
リマ市内の中心部にある遊戯施設内で、子どもたちの声が響き渡る。２０１１年に完成したという同国初の常設リンク「アイスランドパーク」だ。 Children’s voices echo in the play facilities in the center of Lima. It’s the first permanent rink in the country, Iceland Park, which was completed in 2011.
「日本から来たの？ ここでユヅル・ハニュー（羽生結弦）を知らない人はいないよ」。日本から見て地球の反対側にある国の子どもたちが口々に１４年ソチ五輪の男子金メダリストに親しみを込めていた。 “Did you come from Japan? There’s no one here who doesn’t know about Yuzuru Hanyu.” Children from countries on the other side of the globe from Japan are familiar with the 2014 Sochi Olympic men’s gold medalist.
Himena Olmaturia (17), who won the first competition, is very passionate about skating: “Peru is a nation known for being good at football or volleyball. I wanted to try a different sport. I feel like I am flying when I skate in the rink.”
However, it is difficult to say that the facility is suitable to prepare for the Olympics. It is 32 meters in length and 14 meters in width – about half of the international standard (60 meters by 30 meters), which is considered desirable for the Olympics and other competitions. Covered with a vinyl curtain, it is not a completely indoor facility. Water drips from the ceiling, hitting the ice.
Even though the government provides uniforms, it doesn’t allow the establishment of a federation because the facility is a private entity. For this reason, Peru is not a member of the International Skating Union (ISU).
Their technical skills are also similar to the level of beginners in Japan. Olmaturia, one of the top skaters, has learned to 4 single jumps out of the 6 types of jumps. More than half of the skaters have less than a year of competitive experience.
Still, they are full of passion. In the choreographic practice, while music flows, the atmosphere becomes lively like at a real competition and the skaters’ motivations rise up. An expensive apparatus for practicing jumps was handmade by a supporter.
Mr. Lois, who teaches the skaters, talked about his dream. “Practice environment, great talent, discipline – Japan has everything necessary for competition. Even if it takes 10 or 20 years, I would like my skaters to win the Olympics and world championships like Japanese skaters.”
This is Part 3 of 3 of an article from Wasedasports.com published on 24 December 2019 which is a collection of excerpts from different interviews that Yuzuru Hanyu gave after the Japanese Nationals. Part 3 is an excerpt from the press conference after announcing the Japanese representatives who will be participating in the Four Continents Championship and the World Championship. Read Part 1 and Part 2.
First of all, since I was chosen for the World Championship, it may take time to decide how much I can do from now on, and there are things that will take time and things that does not take much time , and I want to properly build on both of those and return to my strongest self for Worlds and fight.
First of all , I applied to participate in the Four Continents because I want to tackle that competition with all my might. Of course I have a strong desire to get the title and am aiming for it, but somehow I feel that as a step, participating in Four Continents might help me grow, so I submitted the request. And it’s the same for this competition as well, I experience various things through the competitions and I think I can once again absorb many experiences and become stronger from them. Also I think it would be good if I could do simulations and other competitions, and truly think about and do various things, not only just Four Continents and the World Championships. Four Continents is one of my walls. I might compete with Nathan there, but for now, there is a wall called “Shoma”, whom I lost to, so I want to prepare myself and fight fully in my best condition.
By going to the Four Continents, I would like to make it a step towards learning it. Well I don’t have to say what “it” (4A) is, you understand. I really need an absolutely strong weapon now. Of course, there’s only about one point difference with the 4Lz, so is it worth it, or is it worth doing, or is it better to do the 4Lz twice? I’ve actually considered that. But this pertains to my personal pride, after all. It is a core (desire) which supports my skating now, so I definitely want to do it. With that in mind, I thought about my approach to the Four Continents, thinking of Four Continents as a place to see how much I have been able to progress, and submitted my request to participate this time.
About the jumps that were not included in the layout in this competition, what are your thoughts about doing them in future competitions?
First of all, about the SP, the first half of the program is not set in stone, I’d like to think about how to adjust the music and how to jump in the best way to achieve the best rate of success and beauty and figure out how to jump so that it is blended in with the program. I don’t intend to do this layout for the FS at all, so I have to think about what I should prioritise from now on. If I prioritise jumping the 4Lz, I think it will certainly be more stable if I jump it as the first jump. So should I do that? Or if I really want to jump the 4A and get to the level that I can put that in the program, what should I do after the 4A? If I do the Lutz after the Axel, it would definitely be a big burden, so I have to think about those things one by one. However, I think the meaning of putting 4A in is to increase the types of quad jumps, so if I can’t make good use of it, I don’t think it’s worth doing it, and I also feel that I have to build a strong foundation in order to achieve that.
This is Part 1 of 3 of an article from Wasedasports.com published on 24 December 2019 which is a collection of excerpts from different interviews that Yuzuru Hanyu gave after the Japanese Nationals. Part 1 is an excerpt from a group interview. Parts 2 and 3 to come.
So many people were cheering me on and giving me power until the end despite my poor performance. I fell on the very last jump, but I think I gritted my teeth and did it. I can only say that I appreciate that they watched my performance until the end.
It is…I’m not sure which competition I am going to participate in yet, but I am really weak now. There is no way that I can compete well without landing the quad loop and the toe loop, and also the triple axel, there’s truly no way. I am very unsatisfied with my current self. I’m kuyashii. If there is another chance, I will work hard for the next competition.
I don’t know. I think I was doing the best I could do, I felt good until the 6 min warm up, and the feeling was not that bad. It was like I could feel the dissonance between my mental and physical condition
I made the mistake of popping the opening Lutz and then I thought of many possibilities. About where I could make my recovery jump. But I don’t think I had the physical strength to make such a recovery. Really, I was thinking it’s meaningless even if I made that kind of recovery. So I’m not sure. I can’t sort out my thinking. But now Shoma is finally back on track and to be honest, I am happy about it. This is the first time that I lost to him properly. I’m very happy about it. It’s difficult to describe what kind of happiness that is. But somehow, I feel relieved.
Is the exhaustion in your feet the reason for your mistake on the Lutz ?
Well…how can I say…what I thought about the image and..Hmm, whatever I say will sound like I’m making excuses for that mistake so I truly hate that. My honest feeling is that I don’t want to say anything.
I’ve been seeing Shoma struggling for a long time, but to see that he has finally settled down and can focus on skating makes me happy. I’d like him to keep working hard in his own way, as my junior. I want to cheer him on from the bottom of my heart.
You lost at the GPF and the Japanese Nationals, does that experience reduce the pressure on you?
It doesn’t matter that I lost to the Japanese skater or whom I lost to, I always think that I want to win no matter what. Of course I couldn’t do my best here, but I tried with all my might. So it’s not something like I was released from the pressure. I have a firm conviction in myself or something like pride in myself. I think Shoma can say that he is the “Japanese National Champion” proudly from now on. Because this year, I competed as well. So I think maybe I will chase him and threaten him a little from behind.
Were there any signs that things might not go well before FS?
The adjustment didn’t go well throughout. I felt like my body was getting worse day by day. I noticed something was strange even before the SP. But even so, I am privileged to receive support from many people and I adjusted my body condition to the best that it could be at that point, then it turned out like that. So to be honest, I think my skill and ability was not enough. But I think I gave it everything I had
――It seemed that you lost your concentration after you made a mistake, but what was the situation?
I was surprised, in my mind. Like “What’s going on?”. It was really different from what I was feeling. And it still is now. I can’t tell at all what is happening to my behavior to be honest. There are many areas where my feelings and what I am talking about feel like they’ve become separate things. But still, what I had envisioned and the sharpness of my body’s reaction is different. Maybe it was manageable when I was doing the SP and had physical strength left, but there’s nothing I can do about it and it was all shown in my performance (in FS). But if I’ll be honest, for example, swimmers do many races. Though the circumstances might be different. If I compare with those swimmers, I only participated in 3 competitions within 5 weeks. Then I only have this much physical power left. So now I’ve begun to think that I really use so much power to do my jumps and I have to be able to do a good jump in my own style while saving more energy. I didn’t give up. I really fought till the end with everything I had left. If I hadn’t, I would not have done the 3F (4T-1Eu-3F instead of 3S) at that point.