The designs may be boring, generic, and some times strange, but I do like the sleek look Vera gives him. I think it makes his posture and line look better than that vest costume for the SP did and at least it's not the typical North American button down with black pants, sweater with black pants (ok Canadians only), or tunic with black pants look.
I understand what you are trying to say, but Nathan has always been a complete skater since way before he began focusing more on the jumps. He's a musician, so he understands music, and he is also a former dancer. That doesn't mean he's a perfect skater, as everyone can continue to improve and to work on weaknesses. However, Nathan trained as a ballet dancer and he was excellent in that endeavor as well. He was offered a scholarship to continue as a ballet dancer, but lucky for the sport of skating, Nathan loved skating and jumping on ice, so he chose figure skating instead of a professional career as a dancer. The biggest key to Nathan's success has been his mastery of jump technique, since the sport today is so heavily weighted on acrobatic jumping prowess. In any case, good blade skills are an important part of good jump technique, in addition to proper form in the air, etc.
Go back and take a look at Nathan's Junior Worlds performance in 2015 -- check it out earlier in this fan thread with the comments of Kurt Browning and another Canadian commentator. Nathan is truly in a class by himself as a skater and an artist on ice. A lot of people aren't familiar with Nathan's junior career, and with the fact that he had to struggle with a lot of growing pains and injuries which is part of the reason he never won junior worlds. He does have a world junior bronze medal. In 2015, if not for a poor short program, he skated such an excellent fp, he could have won that year.
FYI: Nathan made the decision to beef up his jumps in his first senior season in order to make a push for podium recognition. He did that because it was what the sport was rewarding and because he could do it! But simply because he focused on mastering all the quad revolutions for the basic jumps and he ended up making history in that regard, does not mean he couldn't or can't do everything else. Yes, focusing heavily on multiple quads can take something away from the rest of a performance, as we have seen happen to numerous skaters. So Nathan experimented with quads and he made the effort, and he changed things in a big way. As a result, the sport's honchos realized the importance of not just jumping, but quality landings and aesthetics. So they changed the rules again in an effort to ensure that the sport holds onto to at least some semblance of maintaining other important aspects of skating (including blade skills) that help make it all worth watching.
Nathan is still breaking it all down and melding it and bringing together all of his talents in a build-up to the next Olympics. Going to school, so far, has not been a drawback. It has been a boon in his development, which perhaps has aided his focus, his discipline, and his organizational abilities.
Great article. Two tiny things she could have added. Nathan not only moved up to 5th at Olympics - he also won the free skate. Also, the Nationals Free Skate was the most perfect piece of skating many people have every seen - a sea of green boxes.
^^ Thanks for adding the post here. That's a neat article with some food for thought about Nathan's unique personality, as well as his smarts. I am glad that Nathan listens to the beat of a different drummer. People who never conform to conventional notions of what others expect of them, are usually the people who create something new in the world or show us all something different. Nathan has already done that, and he's still on his journey!
I particularly like the fact that Raf indicates how he trains his students to be able to solve problems for themselves, which is an important quality to be able to develop. I wonder how much Raf was on board at first with Nathan attending Yale though? I suppose that Raf is pleased at this point with how things are working out for Nathan. And indeed, Raf did not apparently put up any stumbling blocks. He understands Nathan's individualistic approach and his solid talent and his brilliant ability to adapt, so Raf is probably not surprised how well things have been working out so far. It's cool that Yale has also been obliging and accommodating in assisting Nathan's goals.
I didn't realize that the one of the winners of the Academy award for the Period documentary attends Yale, so that's interesting.
Above all, I like that the journalist keeps the hype on a low burner, and broaches the need for all athletes to put their athletic lives and their personal lives into perspective. This ending quote by Raf says a lot: “I know Olympic champions whose gold medal didn’t help their lives.” And that thought was echoed by Nathan's observation, and I paraphrase: 'What happens after that moment of glory of winning an Olympic gold medal?'
In my understanding, it all boils down to what I learned as a long time fan of Michelle Kwan, over the course of her competitive career, and I've said this often, and it's been repeated often: "It's about the journey, not the destination." As an athlete, and as a human being, if you understand that it's about the journey, then managing the destination's aftermath may not be quite as difficult. And then there are those who can't seem to let go of the arena in which reaching for the triumph of victory and attempting to avoid the agony of defeat has become everything.