You hear all sorts of things on the web these days about Hanyu-senshuu and his troubled road to Worlds.
At this time I would like to offer my humble yet opinionated opinion.
Well if we’ve learned anything from the CoC last year then it is that if Hanyu-senshuu wants to compete he will, full stop. And if he’s going to compete, he’ll automatically want to win, because this is his mindset (bless him).
If we’ve learned anything from Hanyu-senshuu’s career so far it is that he may be a beautiful, otherworldly skater, but mostly he’s a tough guy. Therefore unless there’s some major physical problem immediately before or during official practice, we’re up for some ice skating next week.
He needs to do Shanghai you know. It’s like with the horses. When you fall down from a horse you must get back on quickly otherwise they will think they can buck you off whenever they want, and also if you wait too much then your fear will settle and maybe later you won’t be able to brush it off completely. That’s why Hanyu-senshuu skated the FS at the CoC in the face of common sense and despite all the blood. That’s why he shone bright at the GPF. Now he needs to finish this.
At this point I would rule out a major physical problem anyway. Call me cynical, but no Fuji TV executive would have ordered a 28.5 meters tall Hanyu-senshuu billboard to be installed on the Sony building in Ginza without some reassurance from the JSF about the subject’s general health.
If Hanyu-senshuu does withdraw in the end I will be sorry for him of course, but also for the Fuji TV executives who will have to disembowel themselves with very shiny katanas. Not to mention the situation in the Tokyo underground, where the commuters are constantly being observed from multiple angles by Hanyu-senshuu’s dark eyes. They will feel very lonely indeed, he he doesn’t show up on Fuji TV next week.
Today Kobayashi-san from JSF said that the amount of pressure on him is immeasurable and that’s certainly true. I agree with the JSF that he needs to be protected. At the same time we all know that Yuzuru-senshuu loves a good crowd cheering for him. So I trust he will be able to turn the pressure into pure energy. Kikuchi-san will help, and also that hypnotic Peak Performance app of Orser’s certainly will. As for the ankle injury, I’m afraid it will mean painkillers, like it happened in the past.
The single most disturbing detail of this frustrating situation is that there seems to have been poor communication between Brian Orser and Kobayashi-san. This has improved already, but I’m worried it may affect Yuzuru-senshuu anyway.
Next week is going to be a huge test, both physically and mentally. The ankle is wonky, the abs were cut, the solar plexus was hit, the chin was slashed, the choreography is unfinished, the rink is triggery, Brian Orser will be jetlagged.
So if you’re a fan you know what you have to do.