Transcript of JapanSkates' interview with Yukari Nakano at Skate Canada, November 3.

By Mark S., (c) JapanSkates 2007.

Click on the photos to see larger versions.

The first thing Gigi and I did after arriving at the Colisee Pepsi on Thursday, November 1 was to request interviews with the Japanese team.  As members of the press, we had the right to ask for the interviews, but needed the Japanese delegation's approval of course.  The next day, I was informed that the Japanese delegation had consented to them, and that they would take place all together on Saturday evening, after the ladies free skate and before the gala exhibition rehearsal.  We would be limited to 15 minutes each (including photos and autographs) for Yukari and Nana, and about 10 minutes for the ever-in-demand Mao.  We happily pared down the prepared interview questions to the most important ones, and looked forward to meeting the ladies.

Yukari had come off a wonderful free skate in which she landed a triple Axel, which seemed to be lost on the majority of the audience (including myself at the time), as it was rotated so quickly it really looked like a double!  Upon checking the results immediately following the competition, I learned that she had indeed landed the triple.  As she had already fielded questions from other reporters about the technical aspects of her program, I decided to move on to other questions.  I have included her statement from the press conference following the free skate at the beginning of the transcript.

We were fortunate to have Akiko, the official interpreter of the Japanese team at this event, serve as translator for all three interviews.  I have put Yukari's answers in italics when she speaks through Akiko and in regular type when she speaks English herself.

JS:  Japan Skates
YN:  Yukari Nakano

ress Conference:  Yukari was asked to make a statement about her performance in the free skate.

YN:  I really felt the pressure to get to the final since it was a Grand Prix and also I was competing for Japan so there was pressure coming in to this competition.  I was not happy about how I skated in the short program, but for the free program I think managed everything I was able to do, and learned things that I need to work on, and can feel better going into the next competition.

JS:  Thank-you for doing the interview, your second interview with us.  Congratulations on the silver medal... how do you feel about your performance in this competition?

YN:  Good, and very happy that I won the silver.

JS:  You skated after Joannie twice, in the short program and in the free skate.  There was tremendous applause for Joannie.  How did that affect you?   How did you deal with that both times?

YN:  I had a lot of pressure and was nervous.  So it was really difficult to skate after Joannie.

JS:  How do you normally deal with pressure at an event like this?

YN:  Concentration and focus.

JS:  I know that that you changed your short program to Fantaisie Impromptu?  What went into that decision?

YN:  It was difficult for me.  I think that the first program was really difficult to skate to.

JS:  Was it your decision to change the short program?

YN:  It was Mr. and Mrs. Sato's decision.

JS:  You were not very happy with your performance in the short program.  How do you recover from a poor performance and get ready for the next day?

YN:  At first, I forget the short program and I say "This is the end of the short, this is it.  It is separate."  So in the free, I have a change of mind.  After short program I just want to be focused to do best for free program.

JS:  Do you do that quickly after the short program?  How long does it take?

YN:  I just need an overnight sleep.

JS:  I saw that you received level 4 spins during the short program in this competition.  What in particular are you working on this year to improve?  You received the highest technical score in the free program.

YN:  I want to improve all five components.

JS:  Was there a low score this weekend that surprised you, that you'll now need to work on?

YN:  I was rather surprised that they were all high.  I was surprised in a good way at most of the marks.

JS:  Do you have a goal this season in terms of score or placement?

YN:  I want to reach the World Championships, rather than a score.

JS:  What is a typical day like in your training?

YN:  I start skating at 6:00 am, and I'll skate for three to four hours per day.  Also, I do floor training two days a week with a special trainer.  Then I'll go home and I'll study for school.  Listen to Yukari

JS:  Is there a special diet you follow?

YN:  I've started cooking for myself lately, and I try to have balanced meals.  Mainly Japanese food.

JS:  Let's talk about school a little bit.  I've heard that you were accepted to Waseda University graduate school.  Can you tell us what you plan on studying?

YN:  It's educational psychology.  My thesis is about motivation.

JS:  How long is the program?

YN:  It's for two years.

JS:  And how will you balance skating and school throughout this time?

YN:  I will spend the hours that I'm not skating to the studying as much as possible.

JS:  When I talked to you a year ago, the main topic was disappointment at being left off the Olympic team in Torino.  I've heard that you are now planning on continuing to the next Olympics in Vancouver.   Can you describe why you made the decision, and maybe your new perspective?

YN:  I haven't really made a formal announcement that I will continue to Vancouver but since I've been accepted into graduate school, which is going to be two more years, it seems like I'm going to continue eligible for two more years.  And it looks like so many people are having a good expectation for my skating life, so I'm hoping to reply to those good expectations!  Listen to Yukari

JS:  How have you enjoyed your trip to Quebec City?  Is this your first trip to French Canada?

YN:  I've been to Montreal before.  This is a beautiful town, and I think it's a wonderful city for tourists.

JS:  Do you have a new message for your fans?

YN:  I don't know if I can always skate a perfect program, but the support from my fans really feeds my energy and I ask that my fans continue to support my skating.

After this, we had Yukari sign autographs for us and the site, and we presented her with the official Japan Skates T-shirt and baseball cap, pictured below.  We thanked Yukari for agreeing to this second interview (joining Yoshie as the only skater to interview for us twice!)  Immediately following the session, Nana walked into the room and we began the second of our three consecutive interviews.




Home       Contact Us