Yuka Sato: a puzzling career

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by krenseby, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Active Member

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    Yuka is such a fantastic skater, but as a competitor she wasn't that strong. Despite her amazing skills, she always came up short in the biggest competitions, except at 1994 Worlds. So I think when she won there, it was just a good, natural place to end her career. It gave her the chance to keep skating and making money as a pro while not having to deal with the stress of amateur competition, which she didn't enjoy anyway. Jeff Buttle, another amazing skater who didn't enjoy competition, made the same choice after winning 2008 Worlds.
  2. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    The rules of that event were different and unique. The first mark was not even based on difficult jumps but how the technical moves affected the inpretation of the program, and the second mark was all about doing as unique and interpretive a program as possible. Kwan did a traditional pretty routine which was well suited to any event but that one, so I understand how Josee with a fall beat her. Of course it wouldnt have happened in any other style of event.

    As for Hughes, many top skaters have won over her going clean with their own flawed performances over the years. Especialy Kwan and Slutskaya.
  3. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    As for Yuka had the state of professional skating been like today I think she would have stayed in, maybe even for 98, and seen how things went and how far her career could have progressed. I honestly think before her surprise World title that was her plan all along. It was her unexpected win and the pro boom at the time that made the move to pros inevitable. As a World Champion she now had marketing power and could get invited to all the big Championships. She even got invited to the World Pros her very first year despite that she didnt even skate well her first year as a pro (except the Challenge of Champions where she finished 2nd over Yamaguchi and barely losing to a clean Ito with a clean triple axel by .1). Had she won even the silver behind Bonaly I think she wouldnt have gone pro at that point, as she wouldnt have the clout to get invited to as many of the big events yet. As it was though the likely rewards staying in were not high enough to offset the chance to take ful advantage of the pro boom going on.

    As for her prospects if she stayed in it is always hard to say. She would have had a chance to defend her World title in 95 as Chen won the gold with only 5 triples and being only 3rd in the short program. I think after that things would have gotten more difficult unless her jumping and consistency in competition continued to improve, which seem unlikely given that she was never a super talented jumper (for top amateur standards, as a pro she was one of the best jumpers) or a super strong competitor in the amateur ranks. I agree with the poster who said she probably would have had only a chance for the bronze by the 98 Olympics, and that wouldnt have been worthwhile staying in that long and missing out on all she got to experience as a pro for.
  4. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Listening to her Manleywoman interview, Yuka said her goal was always to do Stars on Ice or do some sort of elite professional tour. Her father told her that in order even be considered, you have to be a World Champion. So, once she got a World Title, she got to live her dream of being a pro skater. I love that interview because they discussed her philosophy of skating. Yuka said she always knew the type of skater she wanted to be and what she felt were important aspects to develop, such as edges and ease of movement among other things. It's great to hear that a skater already had an idea of what kind of skater he or she wanted to be even from an early stage. It probably helped that her parents were elite Japanese skaters who practically raised her on skates as well.

    That is not to say she didn't have some sort of competitive edge, though, as she obviously does. She also mentioned that she still remembers her SP mistake in Lillehammer like it was yesterday, but she laughed as she said that.
  5. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

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    I agree about Chouinard being overrated. She had moments of greatness, but it never lasted beyond a short program or occassionally skating well at Canadian Nationals. As I said before she was the 90s version of Cohen IMO. Even Cohen though at her peak was at least podiuming at alot of big competitions .Chouinard looked better than ever when she came back to Amateur competition after turning pro, and taking advantages of top skaters having lackluster skates in the GP series (including even Kwan), but at Canadians she went back to her old habits and bombed. i think at worlds she would have done the same or similar.
  6. Jessica

    Jessica Active Member

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    Slightly OT--Did I read somewhere that her and Jason split up? If so, that's a disappointment as I thought they made such a cute couple. If they did split, do they still coach together?
  7. leapfrogonice

    leapfrogonice Active Member

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    I actually enjoyed this interview. It was almost funny to see Jenny and Dave dial down their snark in a meaningful way. It was as if Yuka's classy quiet elegance would have made their normal clowning around seem so grotesquely unprofessional and ... well... clown-like.

    Yuka truly developed in many wonderful ways as a professional Her triple loop was a think of beauty - not risk or worry. Her musicality was so enjoyable.
  8. itoaxel

    itoaxel Member

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    Cohen atleast won medals at big events even though she dissapointed people by never winning and usually not skating cleanly. Josee couldnt even do that. Not only could she not skate clean and win Olympic and World golds, but she couldnt limit her mistakes to just a couple like Sasha and win silver and bronze medals in World events. She was a great skater though. I wish she had the tough competitive mind of say a Kristi Yamaguchi.