Chapter 22: 2013 Finlandia Trophy and Skate Canada

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Yuzuru, David Wilson, and I were at the Finland for the 2013 Finlandia Trophy. Brian couldn’t make it so he sent David. I was to make sure that Yuzuru’s skating was alright. We would meet the Japanese Skating Federation officials there. Apparently, they take really good care of him even his diet. 

It was the day of the short program. Yuzuru was stretching and preparing for his turn on the ice. David, Japanese Skating Federation officials, and I were watching him very closely. I noticed something in his eyes.

{Something is wrong…}

I walked up to him. He looked up at me. “Your stomach hurt?” I asked him. He gave me a nod. {He’s too nervous.} I walked over to the bench and got him his water bottle. “Take a few sips,” I told him. He gave me a nod and took a few sips.

It was quite normal for skaters to get stomach pains due to nervousness or stress. I really hated seeing anyone in pain in general. Yuzuru continued with his stretches and focused on his choreography while he listened to his music.

Later on, he went out to do his six minute warm-up with a group of male skaters. I made sure that he wasn’t falling on his jumps. On occasions, I told him that he was too into the step sequence and was losing speed.

After the six minute warmup, it was time for the competition to begin. Soon, it was Yuzuru’s turn to be on the ice. “Hold Pooh-san for me,” he told me. I gave him a nod and held Pooh-san for him. Yuzuru took a sip of his water and gave his skate guards to David. He shook David’s hand as his ritual and gave his hand out to me.

I gave him my hand. He just squeezed my hand a bit and got himself ready. He let go my hand and squat down. Then, he slammed his hands on the rink edge and pushed himself away from the ice. David leaned over to me. “He should be alright,” he told me. I just nodded my head.

Yuzuru started out strong until he messed up on is triple axel. single. His combination jump was alright but, it wasn’t perfect. Overall, people loved his performance. Looking at Yuzuru’s face, he wasn’t very happy about it.

He skated towards us after bowing to everyone. David gave Yuzuru the skate guards. After Yuzuru put his skate guards on, we walked towards the Kiss & Cry. David and Yuzuru sat down in the chairs that was provided.

Yuzuru gestured me to sit in the chair next to him. I shook my head because I didn’t want to be in the spotlight. David gestured me over too. So, I ended up sitting in the chair next to Yuzuru. I placed Pooh-san on the table. Yuzuru gave me a few bouquets to hold. The little skaters kept piling the flowers on the table in front of us.

“Too many,” Yuzuru realized and accepted more bouquets. “Oh boy,” David said. I tried to stack the flowers and gifts onto the table and the chair. I felt a smile grow on my face. There were just too many stuff. The little girls were adorable though.

“Kiitos [Thank you in Finnish],” I said to the little girls. David and Yuzuru thanked them too. “Great Program. Beautiful single axel,” David told Yuzuru. “Yeah,” Yuzuru said with a smile. I sat quietly in my chair waiting for the scores.

Yuzuru looked at me with a smile. “What do you think?” he asked me curiously. “I think it’s good for a start of the season,”  I told him. “Honto [Really in Japanese]?” he said to me. I gave him a nod. “You still have room to improve,” I told him. He gave me a nod.

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