Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara: “When we just started skating together our communication was always formal, all the time. But, I think the wall has been gradually disappearing.”

Posted on 2024-04-29 • No comments yet


Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara about changes in themselves as a pair, ice shows and documentary about them.

original source: sportiva.shueisha.co.jp dd.19th April by Yamamoto Yumeko

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Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara talked about their current state, changes in themselves as a pair, young Japanese pairs and documentary about them. Here’s a translation of thier comments made in the iterview posted on Web Sportiva.

Q: I interviewed the two of you in the rink in Oakville, Canada, shortly after you formed your pair, and in an instant you became world top. Have there been any changes from the time you formed the pair until now?

Ryuichi Kihara: We never thought we would be able to reach the world top, so, of course, we’re still in the middle of the journey, but it’s hard to believe that this day would come. However, we realized again this season that we have to work harder if we want to truly become the world champions.

At first, I was the one taking the leadership, and I am still doing so now, but recently, I’ve been feeling that my position is gradually weakening (laughs).

Riku Miura: That’s not true, that’s not true (laughs). At the beginning, when we just started skating together, our communication was always formal, all the time. But, I think the wall has been gradually disappearing.

Ryuichi Kihara: At first, I was always the one saying ‘Are you okay, Rika-chan?’ (laughs).

Q: At the beginning, you were saying that Miura-san used to forget a lot of things and Kihara-san was checking them.

Ryuichi Kihara: Even this time, (Miura-san) forgot her suit in Canada when we came back.

Riku Miura: So now, I am wearing my mother’s suit (laughs).

Q: Has your awareness changed since you became the world champions last year?

Ryuichi Kihara: I want to have a competition that won’t embarrass us as the world champions, I want to show my teammates a practice that isn’t embarrassing. I always wanted to show how we should be as athletes, but it’s really hard to put into practice.

However, after returning from our injuries this season, I believe we were able to practice the way we wanted to, and the coach also told us that our attitude after the recovery was really remarkable.

Riku Miura: Since last year, our juniors (Japanese pairs) come to Canada to practice a lot, so I started skating with the feeling that I want to practice without being embarrassed as a senior.

Ryuichi Kihara: Especially when there are two junior girls (laughs).

Riku Miura: I don’t say things like ‘I’m hungry’ (laughs).

Ryuichi Kihara: Or being in a bad mood when hungry…

Riku Miura: I’m not in a bad mood! (Laughs)

Ryuichi Kihara: You’re becoming more like an older sister.

Riku Miura: After the two junior teams returned to Japan, I was told, ‘I want you to do a little better’ (laughs).

Q: I heard that in Canada, Miura-san really looks after the junior athletes. From your perspective, what is the impression of pairs Yunasumi (Yuna Nagaoka & Sumitada Moriguchi) and SaeRuka (Sae Shimizu & Lucas Tsuyoshi)?

Riku Miura: They are young and very powerful.

Ryuichi Kihara: Even though you call them young, they are still of the same generation (laughs).

Riku Miura: Ahahaha. That’s true, but their average age is… right?!

Ryuichi Kihara: I think it’s wonderful to be able to skate in a good environment with a good partner from a young age, and they’re all adorable.

Q: I heard you will be serving as special supporters for “Bloom on Ice,” which begins on April 20. Can you introduce the ice show and tell us what you’ll be doing?

Ryuichi Kihara: “Bloom on Ice” is really a homey ice show. It’s rare to witness top skaters performing at such close proximity, and there are group numbers and collaborations between skaters who don’t usually collaborate, which I think are highlights. There might also be surprise events during the intermissions!

Riku Miura: The distance to the audience is very close, so every year I’m looking forward to dancing right in front of the audience. Also, I really look forward to meeting Yuna-chan and Sae-chan, the pair girls (laughs).

Q: Could you leave a message for your fans who are looking forward to the ice show?

Ryuichi Kihara: I’m truly sorry that we won’t be able to perform this time, but as special supporters, we hope to deliver something to everyone.

Riku Miura: I am truly sorry that I cannot skate because of my injury. Like Ryuichi-kun mentioned, as special supporters, we hope that everyone will enjoy the event.

Q: The documentary show “Jounetsu Tairiku” closely followed the two of you and aired recently. How did people react?

Ryuichi Kihara: It seems like a lot of people watched it, which I’m really happy about. Just the other day when I went to renew my driver’s license, the person in charge said “I saw it” right after I put my sign [on the papers]. So, I thought, “Wow, the power of television”. I think we have to work hard so that we can be covered again.

Q: Were you able to watch the broadcast?

Ryuichi Kihara: Just before the program started, Riku texted me saying “There was a scene where we were fighting a lot during the filming, what do we do if that’s aired?” (laughs).

Riku Miura: I was truly nervous watching it.

Ryuichi Kihara: We usually get along well, but sometimes we argue. We were worried about that scene being aired, but right after the broadcast ended, Riku said “Glad it wasn’t aired.” (laughs).

Riku Miura: I was relieved it wasn’t shown (laughs).

Q: There was also a scene where Miura-san praised Kihara-san. Was Kihara-san not present when you commented about him?

Riku Miura: He wasn’t there that time. It’s harder to speak if he is around. What do you think about my comments? (laughs)

Ryuichi Kihara: I appreciated it. However, there weren’t any scenes of me praising Riku-chan. I think I spoke about it…

Q: In that case, please share now.

Ryuichi Kihara: Well, I seem to recall…

Riku Miura: What do you mean “well”? (laughs)

Ryuichi Kihara: That’s not it. I talked about what was good about Riku-chan during the TV interview, but I also talked about how she had told me to “wear sunglasses because it’s bright” while she was in the passenger seat, yet was sleeping soundly—so I think that’s why that part got cut (laughs). Truly, I did talk about the good points.

Riku Miura: Really?

Ryuichi Kihara: Yes. I don’t remember exactly what I said then, but this season I’ve caused inconvenience and when I was down, she was always encouraging and her words helped me recover, so I am truly grateful.

I am happy to skate with Riku-chan and remind myself that we can’t end here, so I want to continue working hard together.

Q: Since the time you formed the pair, you’ve been saying that you have a “good compatibility.” Every time I see you two, it really feels like compatibility is crucial.

Ryuichi Kihara: I honestly think that compatibility really matters. Even if we don’t verbalize what we each want to do, it emerges in our skating. I think we really match there.

Riku Miura: In terms of skating, I truly think compatibility is important, but in daily life, we are not compatible at all. We are completely opposite (laughs). But, maybe it’s better to be opposites.

Ryuichi Kihara: To sum it up neatly, we are supporting each other (laughs).”


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