I have so many mixed thoughts on what happened at Cup of China today that I’m not even sure where to begin.
One of the first things I did when I woke up this morning was check skating results. I saw 2nd for Yuzu and 5 falls and just assumed it was a disaster and then carried on with my morning. It wasn’t until a few hours later as I was scrolling through Tumblr that the full story started to emerge. I’ve since read a lot of things on the Han Yan/Yuzuru Hanyu collision and their decision to skate and I’ve now seen the Canadian broadcast of the event.
Yuzu’s skate today made me more emotional that it should have. It reminded me of that FS in London where I first fell in love with him. Finishing that program and having the crowd rise and the mass of flowers and Pooh’s rain down, it was emotional. When his marks came up, saw he was still leading and burst into tears – I almost couldn’t handle it.
There were so many mistakes today and his power and flow and speed just died at the end. But through all of that I absolutely loved the program. If you watched close enough there were some great moments. That 3A/3S sequence was gorgeous, I loved the music choices throughout, especially the dramatic music for the 4T. I can tell already that I am going to love his Phantom of the Opera program. Plus I’m a fan of the outfit (for once)!
Should Yuzu have skated today? Probably not. But I trust Brian Orser. If Brian felt Yuzu could not skate he would not have let him. It seems Yuzu was adamant he skate today. And I can see why. Yuzu was trained and ready for the event and Yuzu is a fighter – the same fighter who competed at 2013 Worlds and fights through every program, fights through his asthma. But most importantly Yuzu knew that if he didn’t skate here he would not qualify for the GPF.
That being said, I really hope this decision did not cause more harm. I hope it wasn’t a stupid decision. His health his more important than any competition. I’ve read Brian told him he ‘doesn’t need to be a hero today’ but knowing what I do of Yuzu, I’m not surprised by his decision. Yuzu is stubborn. I know Yuzu received stitches shortly after leaving the ice, I know he did not attend the medal ceremony, I know he was being helped walking backstage, I know he’s flying to Japan tomorrow for more treatment. Yuzu does not compete again until NHK Trophy at the end of the month. I really hope he can use this time to heal properly.
I’m not entirely sure what the ISU regulations are in situations like this but I’m going to assume Yuzu and Han Yan received medical attention as soon as that collision occurred. They were assessed and given the first aid they needed. They were bandaged and cleaned up and given the ok. If they did not pass this first assessment, they would not have skated. But they would have been running on adrenaline at this point. They may have thought they could skate, but 4.5 minutes is a long time. They were in rough shape at the end of their programs and I hope more damage was not done.
On a slight side note, collisions happen quite frequently in figure skating. Figure skaters are tough. Figure skaters crash and fall down Figure skaters cut themselves on the ice. Figure skaters get up and keep going. Figure skaters do it all without padding. Figures skaters do it all with a smile. This is why I love figure skating.
Stay tuned for my Cup of China recap post: WTF! Cup of China 2014.