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Japan Skates » Interview with Yasuharu Nanri – Skate Canada International, Ottawa
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Interview with Yasuharu Nanri – Skate Canada International, Ottawa

At the 2008 Skate Canada International, Gregg, Gigi and I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Yasuharu Nanri. Yasu was (and is) a dynamic skater who had his sights on the Vancouver Olympics.

I had first seen Yasu skate live at the 2006 Four Continents Championships in Colorado Springs. He was a two-time All-Japan bronze medallist, and had made his World Championships debut the previous April. Yasu had finished 8th at Skate Canada.

It has taken us a long time to post this interview… Indeed, it had been “forgotten” in the archives until a chance meeting with a Yasuharu fan at the All-Japan Championships in Osaka back in December! We hope that you enjoy meeting this soft-spoken skater, who is still a force in Japanese skating in 2010.

JS: Japan Skates

YN: Yasuharu Nanri

JS: Welcome, Yasuharu. Thank you for doing the interview. Congratulations on your placement in the free skate of Skate Canada. Are you happy with the results this weekend?

YN: So so.

JS: Were your scores as high as you thought they would be? Were they perhaps lower than what you thought they would be?

YN: Of course, I wanted higher points, but I made mistakes in the short program… and also in the free skate I couldn’t do the jumps - the triple Sal, and some other mistakes, so of course I think I could have earned more points, but this time…

JS: Would you say that the scores were fair?

YN: Yes.

JS: Good! I enjoyed your footwork; I thought it was very fluid. Would you agree that the step sequence is one of your strengths?

YN: The step sequence is, of course, one part of the program. When practicing with the music, I feel pleasure with my step sequence.

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

YN: A few years ago, I liked soundtrack music for movies - not classical music but modern music. But two years ago I used “Carmen” in the free skate, and now I think that classical music is my favourite.

JS: What aspect of your skating do you want to improve most this season?

YN: I want to make sure to work on all the jumps so that I don’t make a mistake in the jumps… but I want to do more artistic skating.

JS: Is there a quad planned for the free skate sometime this year?

YN: I’m now practicing a quad, and if I can do so, I want to try the quad in the free skate this season - but I don’t know now if I can do so.

JS: What is your favourite element?

YN: The step sequence!

JS: Is there a least favourite?

YN: The triple loop.

JS: Really, I thought it was good, though! You’re 23 years old. Are you a university student, or do you have career?

YN: I’m now a regular employee of a company.

JS: In your future, do you see an involvement with skating… perhaps in coaching, judging?

YN: Nothing right now… I’m thinking only of the Vancouver Olympics! Beyond that, I’m not thinking of anything.

JS: You have been working on choreography with Pasquale Camerlengo. What has Pasquale added to your skating?

YN: With Pasquale, now I think not only of jumping, but also the presentation side of skating. I think that is a contribution from Camerlengo.

JS: Would you consider training and living abroad for an entire year, or are you satisfied with your training situation right now?

YN: I don’t know… but I have had great time training in Detroit and Toronto.

JS: What are some your hobbies and interests outside of figure skating?

YN: Listening to music and watching movies!

JS: Figure skaters are so popular in Japan. How do you deal with all the media attention in Japan? Are you comfortable with cameras surrounding you?

YN: In practice, when I see cameras coming, I feel pressure to show off and end up making mistakes… but gradually I’m able to ignore the presence of the cameras. Today, it didn’t bother me. As for interviews, I’m really not fond of them… not just in English, but in Japanese too!

JS: Do a lot of girls like you because you’re a top figure skater?

YN: (laughs) Well, I’d rather that they pay me attention than not notice me! In Japan, some girls come to me and say “Gabatte Kudasai” or such things, and it’s great!!!

JS: Who are some of your favourite skaters?

YN: I like many types of skaters; for example, Stephane Lambiel’s “Flamenco” (from the previous year). And in Japan…Daisuke Takahashi’s fast steps in his “Swan Lake” program. I want to be a “super skater” and combine the good points of all of the skaters.

JS: Were you happy for Takahiko Kozuka winning Skate America last week?

YN: Yes, I was very happy for him.

JS: Who are some of your best friends in skating?

YN: Daisuke Takahashi,

JS: Some people think you look like Daisuke! Do you think so? Same hair, maybe?

YN: No, I don’t think so! (laughing)

JS: Do you have a message for the fans from Japan, America or Canada who’ll be reading this interview?

YN: I will do my best to compete at the international level. And I would like to thank my fans for all their support! Ganbatte!

Yasuharu would go on to finish fourth at the Japan Nationals in 2008/09 and would be named to the Four Continents Team. He had hip surgery in April of 2009 following the skating season and spent a month in rehabilitation. He was named to the national team for 2009-10 and competed at Skate America.

Japan Skates would like to thank Yasuharu for his time and we wish him all the best with his future plans. Special thanks to Yumi, a Yashuharu fan who waited such a long time for this interview to be posted, and who helped immensely in its translation.

Competition photos © 2008 Japan Skates (G. Hsueh).

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