Guys, finally for the first time in 2.5 years I was lucky enough to see Yuzuru Hanyu skate live. And it was everything I thought it’d be 😍.
When I left Lethbridge on Sunday I had two Skate Canada recap posts planned. This has since turned into 5 posts. I can’t even imagine how many there’ll be after Worlds in Boston!
Today it’s all Yuzu ❤. But just Yuzu, I’ll save the Hanyu vs Chan debate for a later day. Today it’s all about Yuzu’s official start to the 2015/2016 season, and how it DEFINITELY went better than last season!
That first practice I was so excited. I couldn’t sleep the night before and I’m guessing it was at least slightly due to how excited I was. The last time I saw Yuzu was 2013 Worlds. Yuzu struggled in the SP and was a fighter in the FS. I fell in love on the spot.
It’s so funny, I’ve seen enough videos and read enough reports that nothing he did during practice surprised me. Multiple times I said something he likes to do to the people I was sitting with right before he did it. Perhaps it means I spend too much time watching Yuzuru Hanyu videos….
Practice was filled with so many cute moments. I didn’t know how much he talks to himself and visualizes things. He is constantly waving his hands about outlining things and checking his takeoffs on the ice. He is a very visual skater. He also wore a face mask at the start of each practice. I had heard he does this and also read that he had some respiratory issues in the past few weeks. It was pretty precious seeing him skate with it on.
Both practices I watched there were some quad troubles, there were some flying limbs and there were some excellent falls. There were also gorgeous quads and gorgeous axels. Plus I had Pooh there to cheer him on 😊
Now the SP was interesting to say the least. That triple axel is a thing of beauty. I have raved about that for multiple blog posts (1, 2, 3) and I swear it’s even more perfect in person. The control on that jump is just brilliant.
As soon as he finished I was reading the discussion boards on my phone. I needed to know what people were saying. From a couple posts there I knew his score was not going to be good before it came up. Yuzu is smart. He’s made changes on the fly in the past to prevent himself from loosing jumps and combos. I can guarantee he’s not going to make that mistake again. Plus he doesn’t often pop jumps, so this just might be a freak occurrence.
There was a cute moment in the Kiss n’Cry when he got his marks and Brian explained the scores to him.
最初はジャンプ2つがノーカウントになったの気付かなかったみたいだね。 オーサーに2T、2Tと説明されて最後に「おっ！」と言ってる。 pic.twitter.com/6aQg2pSE2q
— なつみ (@hyus12nrnm) November 2, 2015
What is getting pretty funny is his lack of ability to land a 3Lz in competition. He probably couldn’t miss a 3A if he tried, but that 3Lz get’s him every time. It’s ridiculous. I don’t want to see him loosing a title in the future because of a 3Lz.
I was hoping for a clean skate before it happened. But then what happened happened and I realized I didn’t want to see him skate this program clean here. I want to see this program clean in Boston. I want this program clean at Worlds. Seeing this program live, even with the mistakes was a masterpiece. If there’s one program to make me cry in Boston it’s this one. I’m just hoping now that it happens…..though I often wonder why he can’t skate this program clean….how many times did we see a flawless Parisienne Walkways??
Practice the next day was excellent. Yuzu was determined. He didn’t have time for anyone else. I had heard he sometimes does 4L’s in practice to give him the 4S feeling and I was thrilled to see him do this. It wasn’t successful, but still amazing to see.
I was nervous for the FS. What Yuzu would we see? I had a feeling we’d see Yuzu fight but with him you never know what you’re going to get. He sure knows how to keep it exciting.
Seimei is definitely a newer program and I haven’t memorized every step…yet. But I still know it far better than I should. I am so happy I got to see it skated so well. No the program was not perfect, but it was still so excellent.
Three quads! Eeeek! I was so excited! This was only the second time he tried them and success! He did it! This boy is determined to land those jumps. He is determined to push the sport technically. This fighter just needs to show up for the rest of the season. I want to see three quads more often.
The two 3A’s weren’t the cleanest, but still so good.The fact he was able to land that second one after that stumble going in is insane. And as he went into that 3Lz, I almost knew he was going to fall on it. Yuzu, stop that!!! We all know you can land a 3Lz. It’s practically the easiest jump in the entire program.
So Hanyu scored 186+ here with a pretty excellent FS. BUT there’s still so much more he can do. There’s so much potential for this program. Numerous people are calling Seimei Yuzu’s best FS, saying this could be his signature program. I couldn’t agree more. But it’s still new.
Technically, he missed a handful of points. That missed 3T off the 3A was 4.3, that fall on the 3Lz was 4.0, the axels are usually guaranteed at least +2 GOE each. And as he becomes more familiar with the program and the technical content the GOE on some of the other elements will rise. He scored 98+ technically and I think that could go 10-15 points higher.
Skated cleanly, or by the end of the season I think his PCS could/will rise by 4 points. The scores he got here for PCS were definitely on the lower end for him. All together, this program is more than capable of reaching 200. It just needs to be skated. Yuzu just needs to stay healthy and get some good ol’ fashioned training in. We’re starting at a really good place; Yuzu builds as the season progresses. If this pattern continues, I can’t wait to see what happens. I want new World Records and clean skates. I want 3 Quads and clean 3Lzs!
Watching in the stands you don’t quite get to experience the drama that you do on screen, you lack some of the intensity and fierceness Yuzu tends to bring, and was brought here (especially during his ending pose!). But I still prefer seeing it live. That ina bauer, that footwork, that hydroblading, those crossrolls, I could watch it all day.
Yuzu’s exhibition number was fabulous. He was dramatic and fierce, this was the Yuzu that hasn’t quite been controlled by Brain Orser. It was a very touching number. Plus there was that spread eagle-3A-spread eagle again. Also, we realized during this performance just how fast his spins are! Seriously, why doesn’t he spin this fast all the time!?! Those must be some of the best spins from a competing male. He sure does have it all doesn’t he?!?
I loved in the finale that we got to see his signature lunge from Parisienne Walkways, it probably didn’t get quite the reception it does in Japan, but I know I cheered!
We didn’t make it to gala practice on Sunday morning, but there were some excellent videos to come out of it: including both 4S and 4T sandwiched by spread eagles 😍😍. Check them out if you haven’t already.
Also, just because I couldn’t cut it, Yuzu was his most adorable self at the FS press conference; they made him speak English 😍😍.
Two years ago Yuzu lost both his GP events and fell on multiple quads, and that season turned out quite excellent. A year ago we was lying bleeding on the ice and skating (and falling) with his head bandaged, and in the end that season turned out pretty well. Really, this was the best skate he’s ever had to start a season.
Now that this weekend has passed and I’ve seen him skate live again I can turn my attention to Worlds. I already can’t wait to see him again. Stay tuned, a full Skate Canada recap is still to come. Hopefully I can get it done before Cup of China officially starts.
Thanks for reading!
– Justine Alyssa
All photos and gifs from tumblr, videos are all linked. Thank you all for sharing them 😊😊