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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by ioana View Post
    I need to share my Akiko sap story and this seems like the right place to do it.

    I'm an adult skater and managed to tear my ACL, MCL and meniscus while skiing on Xmas eve in 2010. It took a while before I came to terms with how long I'd need to be off ice and even that it might never happen again. This made it harder to watch all events that happened in early 2011, even more so since Akiko was one of my favorite skaters and she ended up not making the Worlds team that year. And then, I saw this exhibition she did in Nagoya http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTJV00JXerI#t=9m56s. Knowing she must have been disappointed not to go to Worlds and not having the best season, she still came out and radiated pure joy. She somehow transcends PCS requirements even in her competitive programs sometimes (not an easy feat), but seeing that happen at a time when I wasn't even sure I could watch skating for a while served as a perfect reminder that the right performance could make you fall in love with skating all over again. And she's been the IT skater in ladies since then as far as I'm concerned.
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

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    I had seen Akiko skate live at a JGP in 2002 and loved her. She was ckearly the best in the field. She won that competition, and had a solid Jr. level career but she seemed to disappear for a while. I did a wikipedia search and found that she had some eating disorders around age 18. She has fought back. It is so nice to see her doing so well! I hope she continues to skate past Sochi because she seems to clearly love being on the ice.

    Here is the Wikipedia link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akiko_Suzuki

  3. #83

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    The only two times I've rooted so hard for a skater to make the Olympic team was Matt Savoie in 2006 and Akiko in 2010. It's amazing how far Akiko has come since her bursting on the scene in 2009. She's a real gem of a skater.

  4. #84
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    Akiko said she was retiring after this season but I wouldnt be surprised if she changes her mind. How can you retire when you are still getting better, love what you are doing so much, and the opportunities for success seem to only be growing. Plus with Mao retiring after this season she would become the clear Japanese number 1 and get the boost and push from one of the sports most powerful and influential federations in a way she never has before.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Akiko said she was retiring after this season but I wouldnt be surprised if she changes her mind. How can you retire when you are still getting better, love what you are doing so much, and the opportunities for success seem to only be growing. Plus with Mao retiring after this season she would become the clear Japanese number 1 and get the boost and push from one of the sports most powerful and influential federations in a way she never has before.
    ITA it is very hard to leave when she just keeps getting better and better! I tend to think that at 28 (29 this March), she will likely want to leave after this season to pursue show skating, choreography, and perhaps living a life that includes starting a family (maybe?). This was her THIRTEENTH trip to Senior Nationals in Japan, and 13 years ago she was 4th in Japan! What a journey it has been since then, falling down and then reaching new heights. She's been skating her entire life, she deserves to go out at her best and to pursue whatever she chooses. If that is continuing then I will be ECSTATIC, if that is pursuing other interests, then I will miss her dearly but be happy for her and the love of skating she has re-instilled in me. I have witnessed perfection in ladies skating this past weekend. I never thought a lady could usurp Michelle Kwan in my eyes, but Akiko has done it for me, I am honoured to have watched her skate.

    I never thought after last year that Akiko would be National champion, considering Mao's dominance this season. In Japan being the ladies champ is an extraordinary feat, especially against the tough and esteemed field she competed against. Further, she received the highest FS and total score of any Japanese Ladies champion since COP was introduced! Retiring at this point should leave her and all of her fans satisfied, but she now has the opportunity to skate at Worlds and the Olympics in her best season ever. No matter how they go, this season will be memorable and she can retire in the best form she's ever been in her skating career. How many years at Nationals do you think Akiko has dreamed about one day standing on top of the podium? At 28 I imagine she's spent a loooooong time dreaming of what she has now accomplished.

    In short, I think retiring is the best choice, but Akiko has said time after time that she will retire when she reaches the potential that she feels she has inside of her. If that means continuing, then that is wonderful , but I have a feeling Akiko will reach her true potential this season and leave on her terms, the best she's ever been!

  6. #86
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    Great subtitled video to share: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np8f9nhBprc Not exactly new (June), but I hadn't seen it with subtitles. Here are some of the details:

    Starts off with some videos of Akiko skating when she was little, then Akiko says that when she was little her peers called her a sumo wrestler because she was "so fat", apparently shrinking down considerably after starting skating. Possibly a root for her later struggles with anorexia . She talks about how she thought her skating career would be at its peak at age 20 for the Torino Olympics in 2006, and that those were the ones she always thought she'd try to qualify for. Then she says that the eating disorder made that impossible. Akiko lost a staggering 33 lbs compared to her current weight (I can't even imagine her losing 5 pounds at her size ). She says she became scared of eating altogether, and her skating got the the point of no strength to do 3 turns or mohawks without falling due to lack of muscle. It took a year to recover.

    Then she briefly talks about relationships and the plan of retiring after this season. Then she talks about her and Daisuke Takahashi being childhood friends and how they had the same first International assignment 15 years ago. The interviewers proceed to read out some answers Takahashi gave regarding Akiko, and then she talks about her friendship with Mao and Kanako. Very nice overall!

    Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Btsz1Ds-Tso Touching piece about Daisuke and Akiko and their friendship / how they feel about each others' skating. Seems they both really motivate each other, as the "old dogs" in figure skating.
    Last edited by cbd1235; 12-27-2013 at 04:01 AM.

  7. #87

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    ^those clips are wonderful! I bet everyone is shipping Dai and Akiko and pressing them to create a new generation of great Japanese skaters
    BARK LESS. WAG MORE.

  8. #88
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    http://youtu.be/LBQ4OmHECzA

    Absolutely beautiful... I could watch Akiko skate repeatedly and never get bored.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbd1235 View Post
    Great subtitled video to share: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np8f9nhBprc Not exactly new (June), but I hadn't seen it with subtitles. Here are some of the details:

    Starts off with some videos of Akiko skating when she was little, then Akiko says that when she was little her peers called her a sumo wrestler because she was "so fat", apparently shrinking down considerably after starting skating. Possibly a root for her later struggles with anorexia . She talks about how she thought her skating career would be at its peak at age 20 for the Torino Olympics in 2006, and that those were the ones she always thought she'd try to qualify for. Then she says that the eating disorder made that impossible. Akiko lost a staggering 33 lbs compared to her current weight (I can't even imagine her losing 5 pounds at her size ). She says she became scared of eating altogether, and her skating got the the point of no strength to do 3 turns or mohawks without falling due to lack of muscle. It took a year to recover.

    Then she briefly talks about relationships and the plan of retiring after this season. Then she talks about her and Daisuke Takahashi being childhood friends and how they had the same first International assignment 15 years ago. The interviewers proceed to read out some answers Takahashi gave regarding Akiko, and then she talks about her friendship with Mao and Kanako. Very nice overall!

    Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Btsz1Ds-Tso Touching piece about Daisuke and Akiko and their friendship / how they feel about each others' skating. Seems they both really motivate each other, as the "old dogs" in figure skating.
    Awwwww, two of my favourite skaters are good friends! Okay, I ship it. And whisper it quietly, but it would be the best possible result for me if they both medalled in Sochi. (The cheesy editing of the piece is killing me, though.)

    ETA: By the way, here you can see Akiko and Daisuke talking and hugging right after his inclusion in the Olympic team was announced, starting around the 4:30 mark:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6bfSdpDRR8
    Last edited by Holy Headband; 12-31-2013 at 10:18 AM.

  10. #90
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    Thank you so much cbd1235!

    I wonder if Shizuka and Akiko are friends? I remember seeing a documentary in Japan after Torino - in it, Akiko and her coach were filmed watching Shizuka and crying as she won (Suzuki's coach used to coach Arakawa) Also, Dai and Shiz are very close and long-time friends, so maybe Akiko is too?

  11. #91

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    It seems Shizuka is friends with everybody (except Suguri).
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  12. #92
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    I remember Shizuka designing at least one dress for Akiko in the 2010 season, it's very likely they are friends. Akiko has also said that Shizuka's WC win inspired her to fight back from anorexia and love skating again.

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    I love everything about Akiko and would be thrilled if she could win an olympic medal. It will be a sad day for me when she moves on from competitive amateur skating. I like to see her with her coach in the K&C - they look so together - great or not so good results. I can't see how anyone can face the challenges of skating on the world stage without that kind of coaching relationship. All the very best - Akiko!
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  14. #94
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    Really nice interview with Akiko Suzuki (English voiceovers) where she explains the story she's telling in the SP to "Hymne a l'Amour" and also talks about her goals at the Olympics where she just wants to touch viewers and inspire

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD-l46An0E0

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    today's official practice photos
    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bf22meVCEAA9JQK.jpg
    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bf22ZMQCAAAfo4u.jpg

    She looks in good shape. Best wishes for her!

  16. #96

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    LOVE Akiko and can't wait to see her skate. I hope she gves us one or two of those great "Olympic moments" where the whole world can see what is so unique and gracious about her.

  17. #97

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    Loved seeing Akiko with the Japanese team yesterday!
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
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  18. #98
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    Go Akiko!!! The first program of hers I remember was West Side Story. I fell in love with her beautiful skating and the sheer joy she expresses on the ice. Over the last 4 years she has had some of my favorite ladies programs and costumes. I hope that she has the Olympics of her dreams and makes it to the podium.

  19. #99

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    Will Akiko skate the LP for Japan if they make it to the Team final?

  20. #100
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    Akiko was named as the Team Event Japan Team leader , I suspect she will skate the FS if they qualify for it.

    I am hoping Akiko skates 2 or 3 programs this Olympics that she can be proud of. I'm just overjoyed at the opportunity to witness her skating at the Olympics again, and as a contender this time.

    Wish her the best Skate from the heart as always!!

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