Yuzuru Hanyu and I at the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships

Finally, it’s been over a week now, I am ready to discuss Yuzu and everything that happened during the Men’s event in Boston. I’ve briefly touched on this topic in my other two Worlds wrap up posts: My Top 10 Performances and My Emotions at the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships.

After last week, Javier Fernandez’s FS has surpassed Patrick Chan’s FS from 2011 Nationals as the best FS I’ve ever seen live. But it’s not the best FS that’s ever been. I still award that title to Yuzuru Hanyu at the GPF, perhaps even Yuzu at NHK. I will be watching these programs for years to come. Because of the emotions I felt during Javi’s FS in Boston, I don’t know when I’ll be able to make myself watch that one again.

Javi was amazing last week. His World title was well deserved. He has caught up to Yuzu and Patrick in terms of skating skills and transitions, plus his programs this year were his best yet. But, if both Yuzu and Javi are clean the titles will go to Yuzu, I’m almost positive. All I want is an event where both these boys skate their programs like we know they can.

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Yes I am heartbroken for Yuzu. We all know how much he wanted this title. I think that is the fact that made me most upset. It’s taken me a few days to try and understand why I felt like this, beyond of course the fact that I’m just overly emotional. He wanted this title and it was his for the taking. He simply couldn’t grab it. This is what breaks my heart.Β Yuzu seemed happy and smiling the couple times we saw him afterwards. He put on a smile but we know he was hurting inside, at least initially.

My week in Boston was the third event where I’ve seen Yuzu skate live. Each time I find something new to be amazed by. I could watch Yuzu practice every day. This was a great privilege, from the first day to the last. His basic stroking is beautiful as is every single one of his jumps. His 3A is everything 😍😍. His quads in practice looked so solid. It’s amazing to see live. TV is impressive, but being there live and almost at ice level is everything. It makes you appreciate things a little bit more. That first practice Yuzu did a clean FS run through. At that time he looked unbeatable. I will always have that – even with the turn of events later in the week.

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I ran out of words to describe Chopin Ballade No 1 months ago. This program is exquisite. I saw it live at Skate Canada (which was a disaster) and was thrilled to be able to see it again here. This time skated to its potential. This program is a masterpiece from beginning to end. The spread eagles on either side of the 4S 😍😍. The leaps and toe steps at the beginning of the footwork 😍😍. The spins, the 3A out of no where 😍😍. I love everything so much and am so happy I got to see it performed at this level. The footwork brought tears to my eyes. And his intensity as soon as he finished is everything I expect and more of Yuzu. The moment he finished was one of my biggest highs of the week.

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But then came the FS. It seems I witnessed live the 2 worst performances this season of both Yuzu’s programs. Ugh. I was so excited to see Seimei skated like we all knew it could be. The audience was buzzing with excitement and anticipation. But four and a half minutes later I think a large percentage of the audience was devastated. What had just happened? Where was the Yuzu we saw just the other day?? I remember putting my head in my hands after the second 3A, so many missed points. I remember, already knowing it was over, yelling at him to not fall on his 3Lz at the end. I remember others in my group looking at me during the performance to see how I was reacting. I remember seeing the scores come up and even though his technical score was so low, it was the 92 in PCS that hurt the most. What had happened? I was heartbroken. I have almost no memory of Boyang’s FS that followed. I was too shocked to care. And then came Javi. When Javi landed that first 4T, right in front of where I was sitting I knew. I knew Javi was going to win. I knew that Yuzu would be second yet again and I started to cry. The tears started and I did nothing to try and stop them. I am thrilled for Javi. He skated so well. But more than remembering that flawless performance I remember my heartbreak and the tears streaming down my face.

The main positive I can take from that night is how the Yuzuru Hanyu fandom banded together. I had messages from friends in Japan and multiple conversations with other fans online through discussion boards and twitter. We all felt the same way, all had the same reaction and I’m glad we were able to be there for each other. Thank you to all those people ❀️.

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The next day was hard. I was sad. My emotions shifted when Duhamel & Radford skated the program of their lives to defend their World title. I remember saying, ‘please, I need this after last night’ when they began. This moment and the Men’s small medal ceremony I was able to see a few hours later worked wonders. But I was still sad when the exhibition began the next day. Yuzu took to the ice and the tears started again. He skated Requiem freely with so much emotion. It was brilliant. This is my final memory of Yuzu that week, and it was everything I could have asked for.

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Javi would not be world champion right now if it wasn’t for Yuzu. I don’t mean because Yuzu faltered and Javi won by default. Javi won because Yuzu pushes him every day to be better. Javi increased the technical difficulty in his programs this season because of Yuzu. He added that second quad in the SP and second 3A in the FS because of Yuzu. If he hadn’t he likely wouldn’t have won. Javi knew he had to be clean to have a chance at beating Yuzu, even if he knew he was relying on Yuzu making mistakes. To give himself the best chance at gold he had to be clean. So he was. He skated the program of his life because of Yuzu. Because of Yuzu’s accomplishments this season.

I jumped off the Patrick Chan bandwagon a while back but I can appreciate what Patrick has done for the sport. Yuzu won the Olympics in Sochi because of Patrick. And this week I feel Javi won because of Yuzu. However, unlike Patrick at the Olympics – I don’t think we’ve yet seen everything Yuzu has to offer.

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I don’t want to discuss what went wrong with Yuzu this week. The internet is filled with ideas and theories. Yuzu is young. Yuzu is strong. Yuzu is a fighter. Let’s not forget what he gave us this season. Already that’s more than I could have ever asked for.

I wish these next 6 months is for Yuzu to take the time he needs to heal properly. No more injuries please. I wish him to come back with stellar new programs for next season. I wish him to reevaluate how he trains and train smarter moving forward. I want him to channel his Worlds frustration into becoming stronger; both physically and mentally. But mostly, I wish him all the best. I want to see a happy Yuzu when I see him next.

My trip to Boston was filled with so many ups and downs, just in regards to Yuzu. Even through it all I am so happy I was able to make the trip. I want to see Yuzu skate live as many times as I can in the next couple years. While in Boston there was definitely talk of Finland 2017, will I see any of you there?

Thanks everyone for readying. I was very thankful to talk to some of you during my time in Boston.
– Justine Alyssa

7 Responses

  1. I attended the ladies free skate live and watched the men on TV at the hotel. But I did get to see Yuzu and Javier while they filmed an interview at the TD Garden before the ladies event began. I am a fan of both skaters– and a longtime fan of Brian Orser– so I’m glad when either one wins.

    • Justine Alyssa

      Thanks for the comment. The ladies event was fantastic, as was the Yuzu & Javi interview before that! I love both those boys and if Yuzu isn’t going to be the one to win I am very glad it was Javi.

  2. Thank you Justine for writing about Yuzu. We, fans of Yuzu, all were spoiled by his miracle performances at NHK and GPF, which were equivalent to the olympic gold medal.

    I love to watch Yuzu skating when it is perfect and when not perfect… I love to feel and enjoy him through figure skating.

    If Yuzu ever retires in the future, my interest to figure skating will retire.

    I always wish the bestest luck for Yuzu who provide us so much joy under any circumstances!!!!

    • Justine Alyssa

      Thank you again for commenting! I feel the same way about Yuzu. I’ve followed figure skating for many years now and while I’ll be sad when Yuzu eventually retires, I know there will be someone new to follow. There are a number of other skaters I have loved greatly in the past.

  3. Hello Princessbeany
    I was at World 2016 in Boston last month. I also went to Skate Canada 2015 in Lethbridge like you. Since 2013, I went to see Yuzuru skate when I can, after seeing him on TV at World 2012 in Nice. I was not a skating fan before. Yuzuru is the reason I watch skating now. I also think I will stop following skating when he will retire from competition. Thank you for sharing your emotions with us. I have the same feelings like yours. I was so happy on the night of Men’s SP and I was so sad and devastated on the night of the FP. The emotions were so strong that I did not fully watch the others skaters’ programs, including Javi. I think Javi won the gold medal because of Yuzuru’s mistakes. This has happened like last World 2015, because of Yuzuru’s conditions. This happened twice in a row. Will this happen again next year I don’t know. I also think that Yuzuru will win the competition if he skates two clean programs. Javi never skate two clean programs.
    Maybe Yuzuru will win Olympics gold medal in 2018 and others skaters will win at World.
    I think also that Yuzuru’ skating is like Yuna’s with great technique, flow, speed, beautiful jumps, passion, beauty, grace, elegance.
    Thank you for your reports.

    • Justine Alyssa

      Thank you for your comment! I’m happy you got to see Yuzu skate live more than once this season also! I’m also glad that because of Yuzu you have become a skating fan. I know it’s going to be hard, but I hope you continue to watch once he retires. Here’s hoping we see a different Yuzu at Worlds next year, I want to see two clean programs to win. It’s bound to happen at some point at Worlds!! And I agree, Yuna and Yuzu are very similar, I like the way you describe both of them.

  4. i get this info/gossip from china skating forum.

    if Hanyu won gold, she may be able to get back her old post. i don’t know who, but she was fired due to corruption.

    Maybe that’s why Hanyu & Uno were so stressed. Both of them belong to different faction.

    Maybe that’s why she stated in the interview she should have stop him practicing. (seems to me, Orser was not allow to interfere?)

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