“I want to make my presence felt and be a bit of an annoying old man.” Nobunari Oda jokes about his comeback after 9 years of retirement at the age of 36

Posted on 2023-10-22 • No comments yet


Translation of Nobunari Oda’s comment about returning to competitions at the age of 36.

original source: number.bunshun.jp dd. 3d October 2023 by Takaomi Matsubara

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Here’s the translation of Nobunari Oda’s comments posted in a interview on Sports Graphic Number Web.

Nobunari Oda (36), Japanese single skater, was 7th at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and was a medalist at the Grand Prix Final four times. He announced his retirement in December of 2013. Since then, he had been active as a professional figure skater while also making his presence felt in roles such as TV commentary.

Last summer he surprised everyone by submitting an application to return to active competition. His goal was set on participating in the Japanese Nationals.

This season he competed in the Kinki Figure Skating Championships, earning the total score of 230.90 points. At the age of 36 Nobunari successfully landed quadruple toe loop and triple axel.

“I may not be young anymore, but I thought, if I want to challenge, it should be now. I have this strong feeling of challenging myself. Staying in ice shows won’t cut it; you fall behind. I want to regain my pride and the spirit of being a skater, so I’m gradually getting it back,” said Nobunari revealing his emotions that led him to return to competitions.

Speaking of the difference between training being 20 years old and now Nobunari said “Even today, I had official practice starting in the early morning, but mornings in your 20s and 30s are completely different. I try to wake up as early as possible, and my warm-up period has become longer to keep my body warm.”

“I consider everyone a competitor, regardless of age. There are many fantastic skaters in Japan now, and I expect to continue competing with various top athletes. So, I want to make my presence felt properly and be a bit of an annoying old man (laughs).

I was born in 1987, skaters participating in this tournament were born when I made my senior debut, so I think I’m that old…Takeru Amine Kataise (third-place finisher at this event) said, ‘You look like a college student.’ So, I’d like to carry that comment with me all the way to the Japanese Nationals,” said Oda about how is it feels to compete with younger skaters.


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