Sad Farewell: Akiko Suzuki

To start off, I thought I’d share this picture from this tweet:

otsukare akiko

The writing on the dessert plate says, “Otsukaresama deshita,” (pronounce it as if it were Spanish) an expression in Japanese said usually after the work day is done. It means something along the lines of, “It’s been a long and tiring day, Thank you for the hard work!” It has been a long career for Akiko Suzuki and I wish she never had to go. She simply gets better with age.

I actually have a bit of a personal story about Akiko, which I’ll include in this farewell. I attended Skate Canada 2009 where she competed and while I was waiting for one of the competitions to start, Akiko was literally two metres in front of me. I had just started paying attention to figure skating and though my friend (and reader), Ay-sa, suggested that I take a picture of her and get her autograph, I shrugged it off, a little shy to use my Japanese and also thinking that she was likely going to be a B-list skater for the season. Akiko didn’t do well at Skate Canada but lo and behold, she won her next Grand Prix assignment in the Cup of China. Once the GPF came around, I finally started to appreciate her West Side Story LP from that season and from then on, I have regretted, to this day, that I didn’t take a picture with her or get her autograph.

Season to season, she has dazzled me with her love of skating and she’s one of those rare skaters who will sell a program even if there are mistakes. I loved seeing her grow and I’m glad that she has a World medal in one of her accolades though we all know that bronze should’ve been a silver. As for the video for this post, I’ll leave you with my absolute favourite Akiko program, wonderfully choreographed and skated with absolute joy.

What will you miss about Akiko? Let me know in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe



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