Mihoko Higuchi: “As a goal, Shoma mentioned ‘self-satisfaction,’ I thought it was good, but as an athlete, he doesn’t want to lose either. Being at the top, expectations are high.”

Posted on 2024-02-12 • No comments yet


Translation of Mihoko Higuchi’s comments about Shoma Uno.

original source: jbpress.ismedia.jp 11th February 2024 by Takaomi Matsubara

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Translation of the comments made by Shoma Uno’s former coach Mihoko Higuchi in an interview for JBpress.

“Shoma Uno won two World Championships in a row, however, Higuchi saw things differently.

“Admittedly, there was a perception from the public that he was continuously winning and was a champion,” she says. “But I noticed something concerning in his performances. So, after the 2022 nationals, when we met at the rink, I asked him, ‘Are you enjoying it now?'” After that, they talked for a while and she gave him some advice.

“As a goal, he mentioned ‘self-satisfaction,'” Mihoko Higuchi says. “I thought it was good, but as an athlete, he doesn’t want to lose either. There must be some conflict. Being at the top, expectations are high, and whether that’s fate or something else, I don’t know.”

She also mentioned the importance of the presence of the top skaters, “The presence of the top skater is significant,” Higuchi says. “Depending on who’s at the top, those below might feel a bit tense. Currently, it’s Shoma Uno and Kaori Sakamoto, so everyone is doing well. Sakamoto is friendly and considerate of her juniors. Uno doesn’t act superior. He even says, ‘Please don’t take me as an example’ (laughs).”

In the free skate, Uno, skating last, was seen earnestly watching Sota Yamamoto’s performance just before his own, then applauding him after finishing his own skate. This led to a discussion about the memories of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

“In the short program, Boyang Jin was in fourth place, Shoma was in third, Javier Fernandez in second, and Yuzuru Hanyu was in first. Shoma skated last in the free skate. Many skaters don’t watch other skaters’ performances until they finish their own, but he was cheering for everyone. Even when Javier, who he liked, skated just before him, he cheered for him with all his might.

“One jump popped, and he was so frustrated. Then, ‘huh,’ and I was worried. ‘Shoma, are you okay? You’re next,’ I said. ‘I’m okay. I’ll do my thing,’ he replied.”


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