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Japan Skates » Japan Skates’ exclusive interview with Eri Nishimura – Thornhill Summer Skate, August 17, 2008
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Japan Skates’ exclusive interview with Eri Nishimura – Thornhill Summer Skate, August 17, 2008

Thornhill Summer Skate is my “home event” and I look forward to it every year. Usually, Japan brings many of their senior skaters to test their programs before the season gets under way, often in conjunction with summer training in Toronto or Barrie. I had heard that this year, Japan would not be bringing a team. So it was to my surprise when I noticed that there was a junior competitor listed in the program, representing Japan. It turns out that this competitor was Eri Nishimura, a thirteen-year old elementary school student from Tokyo who trains most of the year in Barrie at the Mariposa club.


Eri was interested in interviewing, so we set Sunday afternoon following her free skate as the time to meet. She had just succeeded in winning the bronze medal in the junior division at the competition. As she has lived in Canada for a couple of years now, her English was excellent. I hope that you enjoy meeting this enthusiastic skater and student. We hope to meet more young up-and-coming Japanese skaters. One day, you may say to yourself “I first heard about her at Japan Skates!!!”

Key

JS Japan Skates

EN Eri Nishimura

JS: Nice to meet you, Eri! Your English sounds really good! How long have you

been in Canada?

EN: The first time I came was one and a half years ago, and I went back and forth between Japan and here.

JS: Do you live here in the summers, or all the time?

EN: I live here most of the time now, but last year I went back and forth.

JS: But you compete for Japan?

EN: Yeah.

JS: So what are your hometown and your club?

EN: Tokyo, and my club is Meiji Jingu.

JS: Are there any other skaters there that people might recognize?

EN: Yes there is. Like Yukina Ota!

JS: So you’re one of the stars, then?!

EN: No! (laughing)

JS: What club do you train at here in Canada?

EN: Mariposa.

JS: Who coaches you there?

EN: Doug (Leigh), Lee (Barkell), and Shane!

JS: Doug and Lee! Wow! And who coaches you in Japan?

EN: Mr. Okajima.

JS: How old are you?

EN: Thirteen.

JS: And what grade are you in at school?

EN: I’ll be in grade eight next year.

JS: Is this your first year in junior, internationally?

EN: For Japan (internationally) it’s my first year, but I competed in junior here last year.

JS: Have you gone to the National championships in Japan?

EN: Yeah!

JS: How did you do last year?

EN: Bad! (laughs) I was 24th in novice.

JS: Well, that’s very good, to make it to the Japan nationals free skate… there’s so much competition! Tell me about your family.

EN: I’m the only child!

JS: Do you have any pets?

EN: No.

JS: So do you live with your family here, or with a different family?

EN: I sometimes live with a different family, but my mom or my grandma is here most of the time.

JS: So you live with them in Barrie, near Mariposa, right?

EN: Yeah!

JS: So when did you start skating? And why did you start?

EN: I started when I was seven. I went skating for my friend’s birthday party and I had some group lessons and then I liked it so I started skating.

JS: When you first came to Canada, who decided that? The Japan Federation, or you, or your family?

EN: My coach was a friend of Lee and Doug and I was here for like, two weeks, and then I liked it so I came back the next month and then I’m still here!

Listen to Eri

JS: You must have a lot of friends at Mariposa. Have you met Jeff and Nobunari and those folks?

EN: Yes!!!

JS: What is your music for this season?

EN: My free skate is “Violin Concerto” by Tchaikovsky.

JS: What are your competitions this year? You’ve had Thornhill here, are there any other competitions you plan to go to?

EN: I’m thinking of going to one more competition before my Sectionals, but I’m not sure which one, I don’t have plans yet..

JS: How did you feel about your bronze medal here?

EN: Oh, I skated pretty bad! (laughs)

JS: So what are you trying to improve this season? What are you working on?

EN: I’m trying to make my jumps more consistent.

JS: What’s the biggest jump you’re doing right now?

EN: Triple loop.

JS: What was the first triple jump you learned?

EN: Triple Sal.

JS: And what about your favourite one?

EN: Hmmm… loop or Sal.

JS: How about your favourite other element?

EN: I like spins… working on different spins.

JS: What is your least favourite jump?

EN: Ah… Lutz! Cause mine’s inside…

JS: Do you do a double Lutz in your programs?

EN: Yeah!

JS: What kind of music do you like to skate to?

EN: I think I like classical music. I always skate to the classical music.

JS: In Japan, I know that it’s really competitive. So many girls skate, and so many of the top seniors and juniors are good. How far do you want to go in skating, in Japan? Do you want to go to the senior level?

EN: Well, I’m not thinking about it now, but I hope I’ll do much better than last year!!!

JS: Do you think you’d be really excited to compete against the top Japanese ladies? Maybe a little nervous?

EN: Oh, I don’t know! I think I’ll be excited! (giggles)

JS: In general, do you feel nervous when you compete?

EN: Yeah, I do feel nervous.

JS: Can you tell me about a day in your life? Say in October, when you’re in school and are practicing too?

EN: When I have school, I sometimes go skating in the morning before school, and then I go to school. I go back to skating after school and I do off-ice three times a week.

JS: Are you skating six days a week, Monday to Saturday?

EN: Yeah…sometimes five or six.

JS: What kind of off-ice training do you do?

EN: I do weights and running, but I also do ballet.

JS: Do you have any idea what you’d like to do when you grow up?

EN: I don’t know… But I want to go to university!

JS: Who is one of your favourite skaters?

EN: Mao Asada!

JS: Any others? Any boy skaters you like?

EN: Yeah, Jeff Buttle! I like him!

JS: What do you like about Mao’s skating?

EN: She’s good at everything. I like everything about her!

JS: Let’s have some fun questions now. What is your favourite colour?

EN: Pink! The pink I’m wearing.

JS: How about your favourite food?

EN: I like everything!

JS: How about one you don’t like?

EN: Cucumbers and celery!

JS: Favourite type of music to listen to?

EN: I like pop music!

JS: How about your favourite subject at school?

EN: Oh… physical education!

JS: How about your least favourite subject?

EN: I would say…

JS: I think you’re pretty good in school, right?

EN: Yeah I hope so.

JS: If you could meet anybody famous, who would it be?

EN: Mao Asada and Yu-Na Kim!

JS: How about outside of skating. Do you have any hobbies or things you’re interested in?

EN: Hanging around with my friends!

JS: Are your friends mainly skaters, like the ones you train with?

EN: Yes, sometimes, but it’s mainly school friends.

JS: How many times a year do you go home to Japan?

EN: Probably three or four times…for about two weeks.

JS: Do you have a message for the people who are going to read your interview at Japan Skates?

EN: Thank you for reading… I hope I’ll be a better skater!

I’d like to thank Eri for agreeing to the interview. It was so much fun to meet an enthusiastic young skater. We at Japan Skates wish her all the best in her skating career. Whatever she goes on to, we’re sure that she will be very successful!

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