羽生結弦 世界選手権 英語ニュース

東日本大地震により世界選手権開催地変更 Figure Skating Venue Changes, but Thoughts Stay on Japan《NEWS#2011-4-26》

投稿日:2019年4月26日 更新日:

羽生結弦選手のthe New York Times で取り上げられた一番古い記事は、東日本大地震によって世界選手権の開催地を変更する内容のニュースでした。ちょうど8年前の記事です。


Figure Skating Venue Changes, but Thoughts Stay on Japan

the nyTimesより


MOSCOW — The world figure skating championships were supposed to be long over: the programs completed, the boots discarded, the champions crowned in Tokyo.

モスクワーー  フィギュアスケートの世界選手権は終わっているはずだった。プログラムは終了し、ブーツは脱ぎ、チャンピオンは東京で王位についているはずだった。

But Japan’s natural disaster and national tragedy altered that timeline, which is why — despite no sign of winter in sunny, relatively balmy Moscow — the world’s best skaters find themselves in the Russian capital this week instead.



“In exceptional circumstances, you have to take exceptional decisions,” Ottavio Cinquanta, the president of the International Skating Union, said as he toured the Megasport Arena with a delegation of Russian officials on Monday.

「例外的な状況だから、特別な決定を取らないといけない」ISUの代表、Ottavio Cinquantaは月曜日、ロシア公式の代表団とメガスポーツアリーナへ訪れたときにこう言った。

It has been little more than a month since the I.S.U. announced — after drawing criticism for reacting too slowly — that Moscow would replace Tokyo as the host city for the championships, originally scheduled for the end of March.

little more than:そこそこ


The delay and the continental shift in venue were a burden to some skaters, who were obliged to cancel vacations and exhibition appearances, tape or stitch up their overworked boots and, in some cases, search for ice after their training rinks were closed.



Florent Amodio, the European men’s champion from France, had to leave Japan after the quake, arriving early to prepare for the championships.


The Canadian Shawn Sawyer, in his final competitive season, even decided to skip the event altogether and honor professional tour commitments.


Others viewed the delay as an opportunity, such as star ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, who used the unexpected break to make up for training time lost to Virtue’s injuries.


“It feels like both the end of the season and sort of the beginning of the next season at the same time,” said Charlie White, the American ice dancer.



But the change has been most wrenching and poignant for the home team that is no longer the home team.



Figure skating is particularly popular in Japan,


and as the first Japanese skater, Takahiko Kozuka, took to the ice in a nearly empty arena on Monday for the men’s preliminary round with only a few Japanese flags in evidence,



it was difficult not to imagine how different the scene and reception might have been if he had been skating in front of his public.


Not that Kozuka was detached from his public.


“I wanted to deliver courage to my fans who were affected by the catastrophe,”


he said after finishing first and qualifying with ease (and grace) for the main men’s competition that begins on Wednesday, when the championships start in earnest.


Japan has 10 skaters here, none of whom comes from the area of the northeast that suffered most in the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that caused widespread destruction and thousands of deaths.


But the Japanese skating community, like so many Japanese communities, has been deeply affected.


Yuzuru Hanyu, the 2010 world junior champion who was first alternate for the men’s team here, lives in Sendai, the major city hit hardest by the disaster.



He was training in a Sendai ice rink when the earthquake struck and, according to Japanese news reports, ran out of the rink still wearing his skates.


He later was housed in an evacuation center.


Miki Ando, the Japanese skater who won the women’s world title in 2007, said she had initially been uncertain whether she would have the will to compete.


“After what happened in Japan, I felt I wasn’t comfortable to even skate, because so many people were dying and so many people couldn’t have a normal life like before,” she said after a practice session on Monday.


“I know how hard and sad it is. I did not experience the tsunami or something like this, but I can understand some families because my father died when I was young.


“So I felt really not comfortable to skate, and I couldn’t push to skate, but after that so many people were telling me, ‘Go forward. I want to see your performance, to see you still trying for us.’ So that was really helpful for me.”


Ando and her compatriot, the defending world champion, Mao Asada, are expected to pose the greatest challenge here to Kim Yu-na, the South Korean who elicited comparisons to the sport’s all-time greats on her elegant way to the gold medal at the Olympics last year in Vancouver.



But Kim, after changing coaches, has not competed in more than a year, with her last appearance coming at the 2010 world championships, where she finished second to Asada.


The Japanese men, led by the reigning world champion, Daisuke Takahashi, should also challenge for gold here, although Patrick Chan of Canada, newly at ease with the quadruple jump, has had the most impressive results this season.


But figure skating still has a subjective, even sentimental element, despite the current scoring system’s dogged attempts to quantify and assign a point value to every shake and spin.



The Japanese skaters, even in Russia, will clearly have considerable support.


Ando’s coach, Nikolai Morozov, is Russian, and she sometimes trains in Moscow. “Russia is kind of like my second country,” she said.


One former Japanese skater now feels even more at home. Yuko Kavaguti, born Yuko Kavaguchi, now skates in pairs for Russia with partner Alexander Smirnov, and they are Russia’s only legitimate, if outside, chance for a gold medal in Moscow.



The Japanese skaters are wearing patches on their warm-up suits here that read “Rebirth Japan” and “We are always with you.”

「日本のスケーターたちはウォームアップスーツに“Rebirth Japan” や“We are always with you.”と書かれたものを身につけている。」

Though crowds were sparse on Monday and Tuesday for qualifying, Megasport Arena, with a capacity of just less than 12,000 for this event, is expected to be close to full for the four days of main competition that end Saturday and for the exhibition gala Sunday.




Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, has closely followed the preparations and is expected to attend the opening ceremony Wednesday.


Putin, who remains Russia’s most powerful politician, has been a driving force in the country’s recent winning streak in securing major sporting events, including the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 World Cup of soccer.

winning streak:連勝、勝利の連続、稼ぎ時



These championships did not require nearly the same lobbying muscle, but Cinquanta said Moscow had been selected over bids from the United States, Canada, Austria, Croatia and Finland.



The availability of Megasport Arena was a factor in a world where major venues in major cities are difficult to secure on such short notice.


The fact that the bidding team included those who had successfully organized the 2005 world figure skating championships in Moscow did not hurt either.


But governmental support was critical, and Alexander Polinskiy, general director of the organizing committee, said about €5 million, or about $7.3 million, had been spent on the championships, which appear to be in fine preliminary working order despite some complaints about high ticket resale prices and concerns of several skaters that the temperature in the arena was too high.


“The most important reason to do this on such short notice is to test ourselves before the Olympics in Sochi,” Polinskiy said through an interpreter.


“The second reason is that it’s something really Russian to try to do something heroic and then to have lots of difficulties and go through them and to be proud of ourselves.


And the third reason to have these championships is that we have lots of young athletes who will probably participate in the Sochi Games, and we wanted them to have the experience to try to compete at home, to feel the ice, to have that opportunity.


And for sure we view it is as something we could do for Japan to help after this awful tragedy. It’s kind of a gesture from Russia to Japan. Maybe it’s not quite help but a way to show how we feel.”


The Russians plan to honor Japan during the opening ceremony, and Japanese skaters have been invited to go into the stands during the weekend sessions and collect messages of goodwill from Russian fans.


It will not be nearly the same as skating in an arena filled with their own fans, but then so much has changed so quickly for the Japanese, and at least they and their rivals will have a forum for their finely tuned, finely balanced talents.


“Now I feel like I have to go out and do it for Japan,” Ando said.









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