By MARK STEPHENS
Tom Graham Arena, Richmond Hill, Ont. February 9, 2012
EX "Girls on the Dance Floor" @ 2011 DOI
JS: Thanks for making it! This is the third year in a row that we've been able to say hello to you.
FS: Thank you. Yeah!
JS: We had a number of questions that we wanted to ask you. Let's talk about your thoughts about this season and about your boot problems.
FS: Yeah, last year. That was very hard. I tried two pairs of skates and a different company as well, but I think I was just unlucky. I started to compete and got through the year, but now it's getting better. I got a new pair, which is very good, so I will cross my fingers for this year.
JS: Is it with the same company?
FS: Actually I tried Harlick and others… all kinds, but finally I decided to go with (Klingbeil), which is a U.S. company, because they could adapt my last pair, which is the good part. They tried so hard.
JS: What was the main problem with the boots after so many years that fit correctly?
FS: Actually, the last time, I had I used them for three years, which was very good. So I tried a few and the first time I changed to the new boots I thought "OK, I was wearing the same boots for three years so I'm sure it's going to feel different", but then the problems started.
JS: Your free program for this year… Is it going to be "Adios Nonino"?
FS: Yes. Actually, we just liked the music and I think it was the best choice from Lori. I don't know if she was set deeply or not, but that choice was very good for my age. Not everyone can do that kind of program, because nowadays the girls are very young, and can't do the tango. It doesn't look too old, but it still demands maturity, so I think that was a good choice. And I will stay with that next year.
JS: A question about the Eastern Sectionals(Fumie finished in 12th). You could have skipped the Eastern Sectionals perhaps, with the excuse of injury, but you didn't. What did you think of the entire event?
FS: First of all, if I have to go to Nationals, I have to do it, by rules. But that's why I said I have to compete in it. I could say "OK, I'll take a rest for this season", but I also had a sponsor, so I have to go to the Nationals… I really wanted to go myself, not only because of the sponsor, but I really wanted to go to the Nationals. So if I wanted to go to the Nationals I have to do the competition.
It was very difficult, really tough. I already knew I was not training well, and the boots felt very uncomfortable. I knew that my timing was wrong. So I had pain from that too. But I decided that I had to try, you know… whatever happened to me.
JS: Next season you're back in Japan to train. Is it going to be with a different coach?
FS: It's the same coach, Noriko Sato. I think I've travelled too much recently! The problem in Japan is that the ice situation is not very good. But I have a ballet coach there, physio, cross trainer there, so we'll be fine.
JS: Really? So would you ever come back to North America to train full-time? That was a fan's question.
FS: I think during the summertime I have to find a place to train, because it's very busy in Japan, and very difficult; so I believe in the summertime I will go somewhere.
JS: You had a quote on Twitter… "I will continue until I make my performance". What does that mean?
FS: Because I think… my choreographer, Lori, and I started when I was 16, so almost 15 years. She has always tried to create a good program, and recently I think I really care about my programs. I have more interest in my programs themselves, like giving a quality performance and so on.
I've had this goal for many years, so I have to… it's like my life goal. I think that's my life theme!
JS: Do you have any goals for next season?
FS: This coming year… Nationals, second or first, I have to…I really need to, for my Olympic season in two years.
JS: So the Olympics in Sochi are still the goal?
FS: Yeah, so at Nationals I need second or first.
FS "Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor" @ 2005 All-Japan placed 1st
JS: Our last question was about the new programs. We have an answer for the free skate. Do you have a new short program?
FS: The long program is the same, just a couple of fixes, like the first, beginning music we changed a little bit, and also the choreography as well. But the program itself is kind of the same. And the short program we decided… very different. I can't say right now, but I invited a street dancer to help us. And actually last week (February 2012) we did meet with him and my choreographer, Lori… we had so much fun. And she enjoyed very much, she liked him so much.. and so much fun. New ideas, yeah!
JS: So we'll look forward to that. So you have a mature program, your long program, and the short program might be…
FS: Yeah, more contemporary… kind of like street dancing.
JS: Well, we'll look forward to that!
FS: Yeah, I will tell you when we can announce. We did not talk with my agent about when we can announce that, but it's very cool. The dancer…the street dancer… is very famous as well in the world.
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