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  1. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by NMURA View Post
    Japanese Team 2014-2015 season (official)
    http://skatingjapan.or.jp/image_data...ure_kyouka.pdf

    "Special" Athletes

    Yuzuru Hanyu
    Tatsuki Machida
    Takahiko Kozuka
    Takahito Mura

    Kanako Murakami
    Satoko Miyahara

    Narumi Takahashi/Ryuichi Kihara
    Cathy Reed/Chris Reed

    A Athletes

    Keiji Tanaka
    Shoma Uno
    Ryuju Hino

    Haruka Imai
    Rika Hongo
    Mariko Kihara
    Mai Mihara
    Yura Matsuda

    Emi Hirai/ Marien de la Asuncion

    B Athletes

    Yoji Tsuboi
    Daisuke Murakami
    Taichi Honda
    Sota Yamamoto
    Kazuki Tomono
    Sei Kawahara
    Shu Nakamura

    Miyabi Oba
    Miyu Nakashio
    Kaori Sakamoto
    Riona Kato
    Wakaba Higuchi
    Marin Honda

    Sumire Suto/Konstantin Chizhikov
    Ami Koga/Francis Boudreau-Audet


    This year's nationals will be held in Nagano (December 25-29).
    Good to see it's not in Nagoya.
    From the top names (others then those we already now are retiring or taking year off like Taka, Oda, Ando, Asada, Suzuki) only two other notable names are missing: Akio Sasaki and Saya Ueno. As they both did take part at Winter Universiade do you think they are both done too?

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by oubik View Post
    From the top names (others then those we already now are retiring or taking year off like Taka, Oda, Ando, Asada, Suzuki) only two other notable names are missing: Akio Sasaki and Saya Ueno. As they both did take part at Winter Universiade do you think they are both done too?
    I don't think they are "notable" though, Sasaki and Ueno just didn't fill any criteria. It seems that the JSF is trying to cut the funding for skaters. Only two novices are listed instead of six one year ago.

  3. #123

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    I heard Akio Sasaki retired(maybe as of today). His training rink is a very old one. It's going to be closed on June 30th for rebuilding. The rebuilding will take about a year. There was annual festival at the rink today. And they had a retirement ceremony for Akio. It seems he wanted to continue but he reconsidered based on the results in Japan Nats(he failed in being on Team Japan mainly because of it) and the closing of his rink. Wish the best for his second life.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosewood View Post
    I heard Akio Sasaki retired(maybe as of today). His training rink is a very old one. It's going to be closed on June 30th for rebuilding. The rebuilding will take about a year. There was annual festival at the rink today. And they had a retirement ceremony for Akio. It seems he wanted to continue but he reconsidered based on the results in Japan Nats(he failed in being on Team Japan mainly because of it) and the closing of his rink. Wish the best for his second life.


    I will miss him! He is such an awesome performer. His "Voodoo People" SP is one of the most unique programs I've seen (and a proof that modern music can be used to create interesting figure skating routines as long as you have the dancing ability to pull it off).

    It's too bad that his struggles with jumps made him miss the criteria for receiving the funding, and that his rink is going to be closed in such an unfortunate moment for him (I assume that without the funding it would be a struggle for him to travel to another rink). I hope he will be invited to some shows, he certainly has the ability to entertain the audience.

    I wish him the best of luck in his life to come!

    I wanted to post a link to his "Voodoo People" SP, but it seems it has been taken down. Here's one of his funniest EX numers instead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVMETeyd1gU
    The sound quality is absolutely horrible, but it features Akio's great dancing skills, 3Lz and 3F with one arm over head and... everything that happens over 2:00, including a skirt and a guest appearance from Ryuju Hino.

  5. #125

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    ^He's one of my fav Japanese skaters who are less known internationally. I enjoyed his personality on ice. Many fans including me will miss him in the next season.

    Japanese fans posted some photos taken on the retirement ceremony day. Also you can see a glimpse of his last skating(click on the video which has " TV K 2130" on the title.
    https://twitter.com/search?q=%E5%BD%...82%93&src=typd

  6. #126
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    Has there been any news on Kozuka or what his new programs for the season might be? I remember reading that he had postponed hip surgery since it was the Olympic season last year - did he elect to have it in the off season?

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by marysy View Post
    Has there been any news on Kozuka or what his new programs for the season might be? I remember reading that he had postponed hip surgery since it was the Olympic season last year - did he elect to have it in the off season?
    I've heard a rumor that one of them is Tango, but no confirmation yet. And no hint of surgery so far.

  8. #128

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    I heard that it is said in a book named "Coaching Clinic" published recently that Takahiko Kozuka met a very good physiotherapist, the physiotherapist took care of his metatarsal bones where he had serious pains especially in the second half of the last season. Kozuka was born with a shallow hip socket, and when he trained intensively, it caused various troubles. He had serious pains but he didn't know how to take care of it. I've not read the book, but according to some posts by his fans who read the book thanks to the physiotherapist he feels OK now(no serious pains), and he's able to go for jumps in his desired timing. So I assume he doesn't have any plan to have an operation at this point. Wish the best for his health. I have no information about his new programs. Finger crossed for good ones.

    Kozuka's comment on JSF's bio which is published today. http://www.skatingjapan.or.jp/nation...p?athlete_id=8
    今年も競技を続けることになりました。 もう短い競技人生なので、温かくお見守りください。
    (my rough translation)
    I've decided to continue competing in this season. Although I don't have a lot time left, it would be nice if you support me warmly.

  9. #129
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    Thank you both, midori and rosewood, for the information. I'm glad to hear that the physiotherapist has helped him and would certainly be glad to support him warmly in the upcoming season!

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosewood View Post
    I heard Akio Sasaki retired(maybe as of today). His training rink is a very old one. It's going to be closed on June 30th for rebuilding. The rebuilding will take about a year. There was annual festival at the rink today. And they had a retirement ceremony for Akio. It seems he wanted to continue but he reconsidered based on the results in Japan Nats(he failed in being on Team Japan mainly because of it) and the closing of his rink. Wish the best for his second life.
    Noooooooooooooooooo.

    He was one of the most awesome performers ever. Such a voidy and entertaining skater. He will be missed.

  11. #131

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    marysy:
    I found a glimpse of Kozuka's new program in a PR clip of THE ICE. It must be the Argentine tango but I don't know whether it's his SP or LP. Click on the youtube video on which you see Kozuka in black training wear.
    https://twitter.com/search?q=%E3%82%...A1%9A&src=typd


    Shizuka Arakawa held a wedding in Hawaii on June 21st. His husband is a surgeon. She'll give a birth to her baby around the next January.
    photo: http://www.daily.co.jp/general/2014/...07102603.shtml
    article: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/entertainm...008479900.html

    nice photos from her tweets:
    https://twitter.com/tiramisu11/statu...03763538194432
    https://twitter.com/tiramisu11/statu...11764265721856
    Last edited by rosewood; 07-05-2014 at 12:45 PM.

  12. #132

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    That is one beautiful bride. I wish her and her husband everything good!

  13. #133

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    Wow -- that picture of her seated on the grass is amazing. Just beautiful. I hope they have a long and happy life together.

    I think she's the first ladies OGM since Kristi to get married.

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosewood View Post
    marysy:
    I found a glimpse of Kozuka's new program in a PR clip of THE ICE. It must be the Argentine tango but I don't know whether it's his SP or LP. Click on the youtube video on which you see Kozuka in black training wear.
    https://twitter.com/search?q=%E3%82%...A1%9A&src=typd

    Shizuka Arakawa held a wedding in Hawaii on June 21st. His husband is a surgeon. She'll give a birth to her baby around the next January.
    photo: http://www.daily.co.jp/general/2014/...07102603.shtml
    article: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/entertainm...008479900.html

    nice photos from her tweets:
    https://twitter.com/tiramisu11/statu...03763538194432
    https://twitter.com/tiramisu11/statu...11764265721856

    Thank you for the video of Taka Kozuka's new program. I hope he does really well this season and gives Yuzuru and Tatsuki a run for their money. I love the 2 boys, so no malice intended, but I think Taka is always underrated and underscored so it would be nice to see him excel.

    Thanks also for the pictures of Shizuka's wedding. She's such a beauty and I love that the backdrop is Hawaii. Wish them all the best.

  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosewood View Post
    marysy:
    I found a glimpse of Kozuka's new program in a PR clip of THE ICE. It must be the Argentine tango but I don't know whether it's his SP or LP. Click on the youtube video on which you see Kozuka in black training wear.
    https://twitter.com/search?q=%E3%82%...A1%9A&src=typd
    Thanks so much for the link, rosewood! Nice to get a glimpse of the new program. Does he say anything about it in the interview portion?

  16. #136

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    ^In the interview he said that this is a new challenge which he's wanted to do since before, and he hopes to create a different mood in this program from those he did in the past. In the second half of the interview, he said that the real pleasure of ice shows is to enjoy together with the crowd, and he wants to make as many people as possible smile, and he concluded the interview by saying that he believes in the power of this sport.(Maybe he was asked about the ice shows and referred to them, since this is a preview video of THE ICE in Nagano.) Wishes the best for Taka in the new season!

  17. #137
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    Thanks so much for the translation, rosewood! Much appreciated

  18. #138
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    Full video of Akio Sasaki's last performance is now available here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKvJbNFXxpg

    Cannot believe he's never had a chance to compete at GPS. He'll be missed.

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by midori View Post
    Full video of Akio Sasaki's last performance is now available here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKvJbNFXxpg

    Cannot believe he's never had a chance to compete at GPS. He'll be missed.
    Thank you so much for this. He's such a performer and I would have loved to see him continue

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