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Posted by Kinakinw | --:-- | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | スポンサー広告

10 2012

Figure Skating as Student Sports

higashiyamato skatecenter

Last month, I went to the figure skating championships for university students in the Kanto region in which 90 skaters, from beginners to those in most significant class, who belong to universities’ clubs participated. Though the competition for the beginners started early in the morning, I only watched 25 male & female superordinate including few well-known skaters appeared in the afternoon. I never thought I would follow small competitions, but I tentatively went there because I actually enjoyed Lily Cup held before it.

The atmosphere was just like that of minor college sports: audience was skaters and some their family, and competitors called out and cheered up their club mates. It taught me a renewed recognition of figure skating as student sports.

Many student skaters belong to their school’s skating club in case a university or high school has it. In other words, competent ones, even at the local level, enter those schools through the recommendation system. This kind of competition (including interscholastic athletic competitions and regional preliminary rounds) is one of main scenes of their activities for them even for the superordinate I saw that day.

An exception is that few top Japanese skaters who constantly participate in ISU senior competitions. Besides Miki Ando and Akiko Suzuki, though these skaters are also students, they don’t compete the one like this.

However, majority of the contestant population is made up of person unknown to fame like skaters in the championships. They usually retire from competitions on graduation from university, which is the same as players of other sports.

In Japan, the circumstances surrounding top figure skaters are quite distorted: a small number of top skaters come under the spotlight and are played for just like idol personalities by TV. That causes misunderstanding among people as if they were choreographed TV talents. Even though those top skaters are above the clouds relative to ordinary student skaters, they are an extension of the no-names. I mean, if someone supports them, they basically decide what kind of skate they perform on their own (including a coach, choreographer, costume and so on).

If some disjointed things happen to the big names, for example Mao’s costume (^_^;), I think it’s better than the case in which the grown folk produce a perfect skater as a package because, without exception, an aim of the folk is basically their own business. If one cannot deal with that situation, it ruins one’s skate. Even if one can, it’s risky in the long run as we can see an example of the results in the neighboring country.


Posted by Kinakinw | 20:27 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Figure Skating

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