This is old news by now but I needed time to mull over things and form my opinion. In any case, we all know now that Daisuke Takahashi is going back to Nikolai Morozov who will be his assistant coach/advisor. (Thanks, Rino!) I’m weeping in my heart, just a little because first Lori and now the Morozombie. Aunt Joyce has expressed his opinion in this post and is not too concerned about the move because of these programs:
I, on the other hand, reasons that those programs are 4 years old and Morozov may have burnt out completely by now. When I think of Morozov, all I can think of is this fuckery:
I think I lose brain cells every time I look at that costume, let alone watch the entire program.
I really don’t have much else to say. Anyone else have comments?
Moving on to Yuzuru, it’s also really old news that he’s now training with Brian Orser and David Wilson. This new combination took a little more time to really settle into my brain. On one hand, Yuzuru’s relationship with his former coach, Nanami Abe was super sweet. I love how she always held his Pooh Bear tissue box and how he would put his medals around her neck. The Romeo and Juliet LP she choreographed this season was quite extraordinary and suited him perfectly – his age, his flair for drama and his ability to emote. Absolutely glorious.
On the other hand, Yuzuru needs his quads steady and his stamina built up if he wants to be a contender for the Olympics. At his age, he can go to two but at the same time, with a World bronze medal on his neck, he has the potential to go far at Sochi. I’m not too worried about Brian Orser’s commitments to Yuzuru despite the fact that Orser is also in charge of Javier. The difference between Javier and Yuzuru is that little Yuzuru has a skating federation with money and who cares a little more despite the fact that Yuzuru’s only the #3 man in Japan. I don’t doubt that he’ll rise further up in the ranks very soon despite Oda coming back and Takahiko working on a comeback. He already seems to be getting more fans than Takahiko and Oda probably still hasn’t passed Counting 101. I’m also pleased with the fact that Yuzuru will probably be working with David Wilson for choreography and I love how Wilson makes programs that play up each skater’s strengths while downplaying their weaknesses.
Case and point? Yuna and her terrible extension. (Face it Yunabots, she’s not totally perfect – just like any other skater – and she really only improved this aspect of her skating after she left Orser.) Wilson made several programs that made that weakness a moot point while emphasizing her ability to be dramatic or flirty.
Nonetheless, my issue with Yuzuru’s coaching situation is mainly, Brian Orser. At this point, I’m doubting his abilities as a coach. Yes, there was Yuna Kim but here are some of his other “big name” students: Christina Gao who, like Yuna has poor extension and turnout, lacks confidence and star power and has gotten accepted at Harvard. The last point is not a detriment to her character but a potential reason for retirement, of course. There’s also Adam Rippon who does the most gorgeous Rippon Lutzes, was touted to be the next star in American men’s figure skating but barely has a quad or a triple axel at this point in his career. That is something that he should be very worried about if he wants to be competitive in the World stage right now. He seems to be worried since he left Orser. The latest pupil, Javier Fernandez had a promising start this season – two silvers in his GP events and then a bronze in the final but then something fell loose – 6th at the European Championships and then 9th at Worlds. He was good enough to win bronze but did not even break the top 5. Maybe my expectations were too high but the way this guy started his season was a breath of fresh air. Oh well, time will tell.
In any case, I will not forgive Orser if he turns Yuzuru into a “has been” skater. Yuna, her unexpected success and her popularity was what made Orser into the superstar coach he is now. Yes, Yuna was good and Orser made her better but she was also from South Korea, a place where competitive figure skating is unusual and a country that embraces their celebrities very ardently. If Yuna were from France, where there is a decent history of competitive figure skating and a strong union to back up their skaters, she would not have the underdog story which will make her even more famous that she was for winning things and beating the Japanese and she would not have opened up a new market to figure skating for the ISU. Part of Yuna’s superstardom, I may argue derives from her country of origin but the main point is that Orser also became a superstar with Yuna’s success. In some ways, I feel that Yuna made Orser into a larger than life coach than he actually was and his more recent students, I feel that there is validity in my worries over Yuzuru’s skating career. Then again, like everything else, time will tell.
Opinions? Please share!
~The Rinkside Cafe