Daisuke Takahashi: “The more I do, the more I grow. To be honest, if I don’t have a problem with my right knee, I would like to continue competing”
Daisuke Takahashi about his retirement and plans for the future.
source: gendai.media dd. 18th May 2023
Daisuke Takahashi announced his retirement to Kana Muramoto after the Four Continents Championships in February, and the location was a “Yakitori” restaurant in the United States, where the training base was located.
Looking back on those days during an Instagram Live session after the press conference, Takahashi revealed, “I burst into tears when I told her, ‘I’m sorry.’ In only their third season together, they achieved Japan’s highest placement, tying for 11th place at the World Championships in March.
“The more I do, the more I grow. To be honest, if I didn’t have a problem with my right knee, I would like to continue competing,” he expressed, hinting at some regrets and leaving room for possibilities.
Their free skate performance of “The Phantom of the Opera” at the World Championships received a standing ovation from over 10,000 spectators, and the two embraced each other with overwhelming emotions, exclaiming, “Finally!” and “At last!” In the April World Team Trophy, which became their retirement competitions, they were told by multiple judges, “You’ve finally become ice dancers, haven’t you? You’re still going to continue, right?”
It was a retirement that was deeply regretted for that reason alone. However, Muramoto expressed, “I really felt that he must have gone through a lot of struggles and conflicting emotions about the injury situation and his desire to continue. I have accepted that there is no better partner than he.”
In October 2014, during the first retirement announcement, Takahashi hinted at a possible comeback, stating, “Honestly, I don’t have no regrets about my active career,” and “It’s not like all chances have completely disappeared.” In the press conference on May 2nd, he expressed his state of mind at that time:
“I had planned to compete in the 2014 World Championships but couldn’t due to an injury, and that’s how I ended up retiring. It didn’t feel truly satisfying for me internally. Especially in the two years leading up to my retirement, I had lost confidence in myself, and the retirement itself was accompanied by a feeling of dislike towards skating.”
Therefore, the five seasons since his comeback in 2018 (and his transition to ice dance in 2020) were skated without regrets. According to the regulations of the International Skating Union, it is not possible to return to active competition after retiring twice.
During the press conference on May 2nd, Takahashi expressed:
“There are things I want to do next. Retiring when I am fully prepared after having retired once. I can’t go back anymore, but I wonder if it’s okay now, if I have accomplished enough.”
In Japan, ice dance had been lagging behind singles in terms of popularity.
However, due to Takahashi’s unprecedented challenge, the awareness and popularity of ice dance significantly increased. Junior skaters started to gather at the workshops taught by Takahashi and Muramoto.
As someone who has competed at the top level in both singles and ice dance, Takahashi can bring something unique to the table. There are not many people in Japan who have experienced both disciplines, and he believes he has many elements to offer as suggestions to the upcoming generation.
“I have many elements that I can propose to the children who will come in the future,” he expressed his interest in bringing up the next generation.
On the other hand, he has no intention of ending his challenges as a performer.
“As ‘Kanadai’ and as ‘Daisuke Takahashi,’ I still want to continue doing performances and be involved in entertainment, with skating as the core,” he revealed. Takahashi believes that this commitment also contributes to promoting ice dance, where coaching and training environments may not be well-established.
The words he uttered at the end of his retirement press conference were also unforgettable.
“I’ve always wondered what I’ve been doing myself, doing something out of the ordinary, but in turn, I’ve enjoyed seeing others enjoy it. As I move forward into a new world, I hope to continue surprising people. I don’t know what will happen, but I would be happy if people continue to ride this roller coaster with me.”
Entering a new stage, Daisuke Takahashi can’t help but feel excited about how he will surprise his fans this time.
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