“I’ve never lifted a person, and I’ve never seen a woman fall from the sky, so of course I was scared of the pair’s elements at first.” Interview with Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara

Posted on 2023-01-22 • No comments yet


answered questions from the fans about pair skating.

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A post shared by Riku Miura (@riku9111)

source: Nikkansports dd. 12th January 2023

Riku and Ryuichi, “Rikuryu”, have contributed greatly to increasing the attention from Japanese fans to pair skating by winning the Grand Prix (GP) Final for the first time in the history of Japanese figure skating. After the GP Final, Nikkan Sports Premium solicited questions from their subscribers for the guys. 

I’m 10 years old, and I’m doing figure skating. Aren’t you scared of Kihara anymore? 

Ryuichi Kihara: Hmm… let’s trust each other! (laughter). I was more afraid of catching twists and lifts than throws. I was scared of the pair’s elements at first. I’ve never lifted a person and rotated, and I’ve never seen a woman fall from the sky, so of course I was scared. However, I believe that we can overcome such difficulties by accumulating our daily efforts. If you practice well every day, your trusting relationship will grow stronger and stronger, so I think you’ll be able to get rid of that fear.

Riku Miura: (to the person who asked) Are you interested in pair skating? I’m so happy.

If you were asked to switch the male and female roles in a pair, which elements would you like to try regardless of whether you could do it or not?

Ryuichi Kihara: I would try throws. I want to fly.

Riku Miura: Lifts are absolutely exhausting, so I hate them (laughs). I might want to try death spiral!

Ryuichi Kihara: Well, in the second half of the program, I don’t feel my legs…

Riku Miura: It’s also hard for those who are doing it (female partner)! I want to try it in a male role!

What is the difference in difficulty between double and triple twists and throws? The Harusumi pair (Haruna Murakami and Sumishi Moriguchi) are still doing doubles. Are women’s fears different?

Ryuichi Kihara: I think the triple twist depends on the team. If you want to do a triple, you will need a certain height, and the difficulty of catching will increase. If you do a triple twist that doesn’t have a height, there is also a possibility that an “elbow iron” will happen. So I think it will be difficult to do triple twists until you get the necessary height. However, I think that competing in pairs takes time, so if you take things step by step, I don’t think experienced athletes will have any problems. Throw is…

Riku Miura: Throw (women’s sense of fear) is completely different. After all, the height and the flight time are longer than I thought, so when it comes to 3 rotations, well, the bruises when falling are amazing. When you start doing triples, when you try to jump, you’re scared and give up, and you’re going round and round. I think every pair has such a period. It took me about four years to really get settled.

Ryuichi Kihara: (Going from double to triple twist) It took us two or three days because we were already experienced. It happened within a week.

Riku Miura: Throw was also quick.

Ryuichi Kihara: Throw took 10 days.

Riku Miura: Lutz was quick!

Ryuichi Kihara: Lutz took 2 days. Salchow 10 days, loop…

Riku Miura: Loop was pretty fast too.

Ryuichi Kihara: We did it as soon as we resumed practice after the coronavirus period. Loop took 2-3 days.

Riku Miura: Meagan (Duhamel) said, “If you do it, I’ll buy you a tiramisu,” (laughs) and I did from the second attempt.

The sight of the two of you circling around with a smile at the end of the 6-minute warm-up left a deep impression on me. What does it mean for you two to spend this time together without checking your techniques, and what kind of things do you talk about?

Ryuichi Kihara: There is basically no time during the 6-minute warm-up, so I try not to do lifts. The aim is to do jumps, twists, and sharp movements to warm up the body. After doing that, I had time left over, so it’s just that I have time and it’s boring (laughs). I’m bored; I have nothing to do…

Riku Miura: It’s the short (program) that has a lot of extra time, but before it started, I said, “Time competition! Who can finish faster!”

Ryuichi Kihara: That’s not true (laughs). I’m giving it to Riku-chan (laughs). Even though I was in a jumping position first, Riku-chan came. If I don’t respond, Riku-chan will get angry later (laughs).

Riku Miura: Because Ryuichi can jump anywhere!

Ryuichi Kihara: That’s why I have a big handicap (laughs). I definitely finished the jumps faster, but I’ll make a pattern for Riku-chan.


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