Kazuki Tomono: “Japanese Nationals were a competition that really made me feel that I am supported by many people.”
Interview with Kazuki Tomono. About Japanese Nationals, “Ice Explosion” show and New Year.
source: nonno.hpplus.jp 14 January 2022
Kazuki Tomono: The Japanese Nationals has ended safely this season! I was able to finish on the podium for the first time in my 10th appearance at the Nationals, and was selected to participate in the World Championships.
Japanese Nationals has a special tension, but this time I feel more calm and prepared than ever before. The reason why I was able to keep making adjustments until the actual performance without losing my focus was because of my past experiences. I think that’s what led to this medal.
It’s been a few weeks since the Japanese Nationals, and now my focus is on the World Championships in March. The New Year’s Ice Show has just finished, so I’m thinking about what kind of practice I’m going to do, and I’d like to slowly improve things I didn’t succeed at the Nationals.
After finishing the short program in 4th place and finishing the free program, I honestly felt that it would be impossible for me to win a medal. I knew what Sota (Yamamoto), who was going to skate next, was capapble of and above all, I felt frustrated that I couldn’t jump the second quadruple toe loop.
On the other hand, everyone around was very happy. The coach also said, “You did a great job!” It felt a little strange.
But that’s probably because the people around me were watching my practice more than I thought. It was a conpetition that really made me feel that I am supported by many people.
This time, Misha (Ge) came from America to support us. I don’t have any particular background, but Misha told me that he was coming, so I was like, “Great!”
I was able to polish the choreography before the performance, and I thought that having one more person cheering for me would be a source of strength for me… In fact, it was really reassuring.
Looking back, the last time Misha came to Japan (2019), I was able to perform very well. With those memories, I also felt that it would be better if he stayed with me. He’s not my god of victory, but… Misha is that kind of person.
Nationals, where it’s decided who will go to the World Championships, is a big event for me. That’s why I practiced so hard for this competitions.
As a result, I was able to stand on the podium for the first time, and I was very happy to be selected for the World Championships. But was I satisfied with the content? No, I wasn’t.
Of course, I was happy, but once it was over, I realized that podium at Nationals wasn’t the goal, it was just a passing point on a long road. By the time it was over, my mind was already heading towards the next goal – World Championships.
About ice shows
Kazuki Tomono: But to be honest, the feeling of exhaustion from the fact that Nationals are over was overwhelming. Mentally, I was a little tired. I was motivated, but I felt like my heart was empty for a while.
I was really grateful that the appearance of “Ice Explosion” show was waiting for me after New Year’s. I was very happy to be invited by Daisuke-san, and being able to participate in this show helped me to reignite the passion I had used up Nationals. I want to practice well and perform better. I really wanted to do my best again.
The “Ice Explosion” was the best show in my life, and I felt that my world as a skater had expanded.
There were many new things that overturned the usual perceprion, such as the transition between performances, and there were many professional skaters, so there was a sense of creating the stage ourselves.
In a sense, this ice show is a gathering of skaters who specialize in shows.
When I looked at figure skating from a perspective different from “competition,” I learned how amazing this peope are.
Of course, the color of the medals is also important, and the athletes who stand at the top in terms of results are amazing and truly wonderful. But other skaters also have their own big “weapons.”
Figure skating has this aspect, and I think that’s why it’s stronger. I want to be a skater who can do both, and figure skating is fun! I was able to fall in love with this sport again.
About New Year’s Eve
Kazuki Tomono: As for my New Year’s Eve…For the second year in a row, I spent it at my favorite Kobe sauna.
I went with my skating buddies, and the number of people who like saunas has increased considerably, so there were a lot of people. At the moment of the countdown, the manager handed out drinks, welcoming the new year in a homely atmosphere.
After that, we went to nearby Ikuta Shrine for New Year’s visit, exactly the same course as last year. I felt refreshed and motivated to do my best again this year.
! Please take into account that interview was translated via machine translation so it may not be completely accurate or conveying all the details and nuances. !
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