Press conference of Japanese Olympic medalists upon arrival in Japan, 26 Feb 2018. Translation of YUZURU’S PART:
Interviewer (I) Next, figure skate men’s single gold medalist, Yuzuru Hanyu. Please.
Yuzu “Thank you. I received so much support and encouragement. The fans who have supported me since my childhood time, junior age, or since Sochi. And of course those who saw my performance for the first time in this Olympics. Those people who watched me live, on TV, on radio or even who didn’t watch. They sent me so much of their heart. Winning two consecutive Olympic golds was tough, but the support from all the fans raised the value of this medal.
The voices and messages of celebration from many people keep coming in, since the moment of the gold medal and even now. Their voices become my happiness. I really hope my happiness will become their happiness too.
The future is not planned yet, but I would like to challenge many things so that I can make you happy and smile with my skate. Thank you very much.”
(I) Mr Hanyu, how about becoming the captain of the next Olympic team?
Yuzu “Um… um… um.. I didn’t mean that when I said challenge, so now I am a bit lost. (laughter) But if I am asked to take that position in the next Olympics, it is a great honour of course. I understand that you would not get that offer without solid achievements. Now I am feeling that I should strive for building that up first.. or let’s say I am feeling like the fire is set on my back.
(I) Please tell us if you were impressed by other Japanese team mates.
Yuzu “First of all, as a skater myself, I am proud that we won many medals in the skate events. I am happy that I could get one of the medals too.
Also, on the hill Mr Hirao took his second silver medal. Ms Takanashi got a medal too. The curling team got their first medal. There were so many ‘first-times’.
Our ‘captain’ (Ms Kodaira of women’s speed skating) got her gold medal too.
For Mr Kasai, it is his 8th Olympics. We, figure skaters, could get gold and silver together that is the first time too.
It was like all the hard work of team Japan was getting paid off gradually, and it was very impressive and encouraging. There are many athletes who are senior to me and many people were watching many events. A lot of courage and emotions came over me by watching them as just one of those spectators.”
(I) What are the most memorable things to you during this Olympics? Such as the food you liked, events you enjoyed watching.
Yuzu “I would not comment on food, I am not very interested in food and cuisine so my comments would be quite boring. As for events I enjoyed watching…. um… curling, short track, team pursuit, ski jump, mogul, and half pipe.”
(I) I saw you were doing speed skating? (t/n. having fun during gala rehearsal)
Yuzu “That was short track”
(I) May I ask why you were doing it?
Yuzu “Well I know some people would say don’t do such things when I am injured… but during the training time by taking painkillers I couldn’t do anything fun. I had to restrict myself to heal my ankle. And although I felt certain happiness for being able to do jumps again, I wanted to simply enjoy skating itself. When I watched the short track, I felt ‘oh I want to do this!’…that’s why I did it.”
(I) You just mentioned that there was nothing fun during your training time. But from now how do you like to reward yourself or do you have things in your mind you want to resume again?
Yuzu “This gold medal is good enough as my reward. Since I could win this gold medal, people celebrated it for me, being happy for me, and I am here now….they are all my rewards. I am not expecting anything more.
But I have to focus on my rehab now. It will surely be a tough time. And I may feel down sometimes by thinking about things I can’t do. But I hope to move forward by overcoming all those rough times. ”
Translated by Rena Moriguchi of YHIFG [do not use or re-post without permission]
Thanks to YZP for the video.