I’m back to my one post for each of Yuzu’s program’s schedule. Because seriously, how could I not blog about today!
Also, I realized that I never did a full NHK Trophy recap. Yes I blogged excessively about Yuzu, but never mentioned another discipline. Oops. I have 4 reasons for this:
- I kinda forgot there were other events than Men’s at NHK Trophy. Fabulous skates and world records erased the other events from my mind. I’m still watching Yuzu’s performances from that weekend but I barely even watched any other events when they happened. I’ll fix that for GPF.
- On Monday it was Yuzu’s birthday! And obviously I decided to blog about that instead. Happy Birthday Yuzu! I see they gave you a cake already in Barcelona 🙂
- On Tuesday I successfully defended my MSc thesis! Woot! Woot! Preparing for that took up most of my time in the past few weeks. I said in my recent NHK Yuzu post that “I was probably more nervous [during Yuzu’s SP] than I’ll be during my thesis defense.” I thought that was ridiculous when I wrote it, but I still think it was true. My heart was pounding pretty good during the first minute of his SP two weeks ago (and even again today) but I was able to stay quite calm during my thesis defense. Why? Because I was able to prepare myself and control how that went. Unfortunately I have no control over how Yuzu skates and as a result he continues to make me nervous, even with this recent consistency.
- This past weekend was the Skate Canada Challenge (qualifying event for Nationals) and as it was happening in my city I took study breaks and watched a handful of events. While the events themselves had some excellent skating, the highlight of Challenge was Brian Orser! I did some pretty good fangirling! I was quite surprised he was there, but then he did have a number of skaters competing. At one point we turned a corner and he just walked right by and even looked our way. I wanted to ask for a photo, but as he was always with a skater there was never a good time. Instead I just stared in awe. I couldn’t believe he was in Japan one weekend, my city the next and then flew off to Barcelona. Brian Orser is my hero ❤️.
And now on to Yuzu today! Because goodness. Not only did Yuzu break another World Record, he flew past it with grace and admirable sportsmanship.
I still got nervous as he took to the ice today. But today I think it was largely because I didn’t know how Yuzu was going to skate after experiencing such a high at NHK just two weeks ago. I was not expecting greatness. A mistake, perhaps a stumble or two. I was expecting something to not work, but nope. Not only did he skate cleanly, he skated better than NHK. There was a small margin of improvement after NHK and he grasped it and never let go.
There was not a foot wrong or a wobble or anything that wasn’t perfection. Everything was textbook perfect. How he was able to regroup and focus and deliver again is amazing. I think I’ve finally reached a point where I’m out of words here. He hasn’t missed a 4S this season, the 4T3T is fantastic and while I do still get nervous when his program starts, that disappears entirely once the first two jumps are done. There’s no way he’s going to miss that 3A! Today both the 4S and 4T3T received +3’s across the board.
At NHK my favourite moment of the program was his sit spin before the footwork. Today it was the final combo spin where he clasps his fists right on the beat. And then he ends the program with a happy smile on his face (because he read he looked too frightening after the SP at NHK). I also really loved how much arm flailing and leaping there was during the footwork. I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched this program in the past year and a half, it’s a program I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of.
Online a number of people were complaining (as usual) about PCS. Everyone has something to say, good or bad, about at least one of the men here. I don’t want to get in the argument but I will say a couple things about Yuzu’s scores. Yuzu received 22 perfect 10.00’s in PCS, his Performance/Execution score was 10.00. The only skaters to receive more 10’s in a single event was Davis and White’s FD at the Olympics. For those who say Yuzu didn’t deserve these 10’s, I want to know what you’re saving them for? What more do you want? I don’t think a 10 should be an unattainable score. This should be given when a fabulous skater skates a clean program full of choreography and transitions and performs it to perfection. I’m not necessarily saying this was just Yuzu today, but if anyone else skates this I think they also should be able to get 10’s. I think today Yuzu deserved those 10’s. After NHK I read that a number of the judges regreted not giving Yuzu 10’s for his FS. I don’t think many of the judges are regretting their choices tonight. And with that 49.14 PCS Yuzu took the one world record he didn’t already have, the previous world record PCS SP score was 47.18, Patrick Chan at the Olympics.
But some of my favourite moments happened once Yuzu got off the ice.
First, he was cheering for Javi in the Kiss n’Cry:
Then he told the audience to quiet down after his marks came up:
Then he cheered when Javi took the ice:
Finally, he then stayed by the boards and watched Javi skate (even when they tried to get him to come backstage).
This all amazes me. He just skated the best SP of his career and posted a new world record score, but he was still cheering for his teammate and being the most supportive friend. I missed these two together so much ❤️ . So supportive and also such good friends.
Also, Yuzu’s reaction in the Kiss n’Cry was quite excellent. I think he was a little excited.
And finally, my favourite moment just might be when Yuzu said that he was unhappy with his level 3 step sequence and that he needs to work harder to make it better. “I got level 3 on my step sequence so I want to practice.” Like seriously, he just broke the world record and he’s already thinking how he can improve!
Right now Yuzu is in a class of his own. If he keeps this up no one can even come close. Now please repeat this in Boston. Pretty please 🙏😊!
Is this a new consistent Yuzuru Hanyu? Can he repeat a clean Seimei? Can he continue to improve? Do we need a new Hanyu scoring system as he pretty much maxed out this one? Has he peaked too soon? Can he keep this up for Worlds? What does he do between now and 2018? So many questions that I can’t wait to find out the answers to!
In the meantime, congrats Yuzu for continuously amazing me and congrats Brian Orser for coaching the top 2 cuties. I’ll likely be back with more after the FS!
– Justine Alyssa