The winning team kept it simple. They were strategic, synchronized, focused, efficient, and effective. And I love how they have girls on their team! Cute and impressive! It may seem like they took the game way too seriously than their opponents. But I don’t think so. People of all ages just play differently. Some could be a bit intense, but that doesn’t mean they’re not having fun. It could be that for them seriously going at it and giving their best may be their idea of fun.
Well-played, both teams!
I was not a figure skating fan before. But stumbling upon a video of Yuzuru Hanyu’s nearly flawless performance in a pre-Sochi Olympics competition instantly made me a huge fan of the young athlete from Japan. The initial admiration for his talent was quickly transformed into deep respect and awe as I learned more about his journey. I always look forward to his performances. Win or lose, I find that he unfailingly leaves a mark — often subtly but powerfully imparting life lessons worth learning.
This article is just one of the many about him that I find truly inspiring. I teared up reading it.
花燃ゆ(Hanamoyu; Burning Flower)
One of my most memorable experiences in Japan was the shuttle bus trip from Narita airport to Tokyo. I am having a hard time recalling which shuttle we used since everything was arranged by the travel agents assigned to our group. All I remember was how my friend Ani and I were so thrilled taking in the sights the entire time that we did not notice how far we had to travel to get to our hotel in Shinagawa. Good times.
Most tourists to Japan will come in and out through Tokyo’s Narita Airport. But like many international airports, Narita is not exactly on the doorstep of a major destination city, and travellers headed for Tokyo will usually make the 60-kilometer (36-mile) journey to the metropolis via the Narita Express, a high-speed rail service with a single-trip fare of 3020 yen (US $25.34).
What’s perhaps less well-known is there are two budget bus services that take you from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station for as little as 900 yen. Tokyo Shuttle and The Access Narita seem to offer similar airport shuttle services, but which is the better option? And can they match the Narita Express in comfort and convenience? We sent one of our Japanese reporters to test out both services and find out!
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東京スカーレット～警視庁NS係 (Tokyo Sukaretto – Keishicho NS Gakari/Tokyo Scarlet)
問題のあるレストラン (Mondai no Aru Restaurant/A Restaurant With Many Problems)
I am one of the newest yet biggest fans of 2014 Winter Olympics Men’s Figure Skating Champion Yuzuru Hanyu. Unlike his other fans who have followed him since he was a child, I have only found out about him a few months before the Sochi Olympiad. I learned about him while following the news about our country’s sole bet to the Games – another talented teen who has shown a lot of potential in his performances during the Olympic qualifying events.
The first Hanyu performance I watched was nearly flawless to my uninitiated eyes. It was a mesmerizing display of skill and grace. It looked like a perfect execution of a routine that must have taken a lot of time and hard work to master. It was awe-inspiring to say the least. Since then, I try to watch figure skating events or check uploaded videos of his performances.
Yuzuru Hanyu delivered as expected during the SP at the Sochi Olympics. His FS was not as good as it could have been, but he pulled it off well enough to secure the top spot. He accomplished what many other Asian figure skating men before him were unable to do – win an Olympic Gold.
Last November, he was involved in an accident during the free skate warmup at the Cup of China in Shanghai. He collided with the China top skater Yan Han. It was what Yuzu did after that made me admire him even more. It may have been risky given the impact and effects of the collision, but it reminded me that it takes a lot of determination to do what he does and accomplish what he has already achieved. He went on to win the ISU Grand Prix Final in Barcelona only a month after the COC warmup incident and the All-Japan Championships last December 27 (see vids below).
I fancy myself doing the exact same thing he did if it were me out there. But at the back of my mind, the question remains, “Will I really be able to step up like he did?”. It takes plenty of guts and steadfast grit to carry on. Falling down and getting back up to continue performing is not easy even without any injury. Imagine how hard it would be to continue on bloodied and all.
To quickly pick yourself up if and when you fall. To keep moving forward regardless of the roadblocks. To drown out the distractions. To deal with the mistakes by pushing on harder than ever. These are just some of the reasons why I am deeply drawn to this young athlete. I have seen him perform at his best and at his worst in the months since the Olympics. Regardless of the results, he serves as an inspiration and a reminder of how far guts and grit can take anyone who embrace challenges like treasured friends.
Usually cats don’t show much appreciation for anything other than food and the warmth of a good heater in winter. So it came as a complete surprise when a pet owner in Japan noticed their cat had developed an obsession with ice skating world champion Yuzuru Hanyū.
While it’s not clear if the excited feline secretly harbours a desire to glide gracefully across the ice, there’s no doubt that Hanyū is the object of this cat’s attention, with its paws and eyes continually following the skater all around the screen.
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