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 Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)

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Calliope
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PostSubject: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:44 pm

There was a long interview with Daisuke in the Asahi Shinbun today. I only have the first part translated so far and I'm not sure when I can get the rest done, but I'll just post what I have so far.

http://www.asahi.com/sports/column/TKY200911170351.html

Daisuke Takahashi, Great Movement Towards a Complete Comeback
Written by Emi Takeuchi

Japan's ace has returned to the ice. Overcoming a serious injury and surgery, he should be able to show us a magnificent, strong performance at Vancouver.

(Picture caption: "I like cooking. When I'm cutting vegetables, I don't have to think about anything.")

---

Takeuchi: One year has passed since you injured your ACL. What kind of year was it?

Takahashi: There were a lot of good things and a lot of bad things, I think.

Takeuchi: Four years ago, after the Torino Olypmics, when you imagined yourself four years later you said, "I might be injured." Do you remember that?

Takahashi: Yes. I didn't think that would become reality, though.

Takeuchi: What did you think of the time from Torino until now?

Takahashi: I had many ups, and also many downs. There were no meaningless experiences. I don't think anything will be meaningless in the remaining 3 months before the Olympics either, so I want to accomplish what I can during that time.

Takeuchi: Why did you decide to have the surgery?

Takahashi: Because I was told that if I just continued the way I was, I wouldn't be 100%. If I had the surgery I was told that depending on the rehab, I could return to my condition before the injury and make a complete recovery, so I decided accordingly.

Takeuchi: Have you had a major surgery before?

Takahashi: No. This was my first.

Takeuchi: You must have been scared.

Takahashi: No, I wasn't that scared, because I was told that it would heal. I was optimistic up until the surgery, but when I started rehab two days later, I wondered how it would turn out.

Takeuchi: Did you know that there haven't been any skaters who've made a complete recovery from that surgery?

Takahashi: I've never heard of any among top-ranked skaters. But there are many athletes in rugby and other contact sports who have made comebacks from it, so it didn't really bother me.

Takeuchi: What did you think after seeing your knee after the surgery?

Takahashi: My leg became smaller, I couldn't bend or stretch my knee, and it hurt to move it. I wondered if it could really go back to to normal. It seemed more difficult than I thought it would be.

Takeuchi: How was the rehab?

Takahashi: I was hospitalized for a month and did rehab for 8-9 hours a day. It was really tough. I was never restrained for that long even in skating practice, and I was doing really simple things. Repeating the same thing over and over again. There was no feeling of completion, so it was hard emotionally.

Takeuchi: It must have hurt considerably.

Takahashi: My body wasn't flexible, so it hurt. First I had to loosen the inside of the muscle and make it softer, then try to move it in the proper direction, then do the training again.

Takeuchi: There was also a time when you abandoned the rehab.

Takahashi: I boycotted it once for awhile. It was like I suddenly snapped. When I'm absorbed in doing something I'm really interested in or something I have to do, sometimes I cannot control myself. So while steadily doing the rehab I got a little tired without realizing it. Even though I thought "I should go to rehab today," I couldn't get the will to go.

Takeuchi: People must have been worried about you.

Takahashi: My coach, rehab doctor, and the staff at the hospital wondered, "What happened all of a sudden?" For 1-2 weeks, I didn't answer the phone at all, and just did what I wanted to.

Takeuchi: What did you do?

Takahashi: I stayed at home and watched TV, or aimlessly got on the Shinkansen and went somewhere. I didn't make any preparations or have any clothes to wear, I just went.

Takeuchi: What did you go see?

Takahashi: I didn't see anything. I just went. I don't really remember what I did.

Takeuchi: What were you thinking during that time?

Takahashi: I was just filled with self-hatred. I thought I was shameful for causing trouble to those around me with my selfishness. They were completely wasted days. It was a meaningless lifestyle; it's not like I had a new change of feelings, I just ran away for two weeks. If that hadn't happened I might have been able to return to the ice sooner.

Takeuchi: Why did you decide to return to rehab?

Takahashi: I thought that if I continued to not go, I wouldn't be able to return anymore. I apologized to the doctor and said, "I'm sorry. Please look after me again," and they treated me normally.

---

I'll try to finish the rest of the article in the next few days. If anyone else has time and wants to help out though, please feel free. Smile


Last edited by Calliope on Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:27 pm

Thank you Calliope!

It's hard to understand what Dai went through and it's quite amazing that he's back in the fight for the Olympics... I really admire him, because I know that I would have given up.
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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:40 pm

Thank you so much for the translation, Calliope!!

Calliope wrote:
Takahashi: I boycotted it once for awhile. It was like I suddenly snapped. I'm a セーブがきかない type of person (NOTE: I have no idea what セーブがきかない means, so I'd really appreciate it if a native speaker could tell me!), so while steadily doing the rehab I got a little tired without realizing it. Even though I thought "I should go to rehab today," I couldn't get the will to go.

I boycotted it once for awhile. It was like I suddenly snapped. When I'm absorbed in doing something I'm really interested in or I have to, sometimes I cannot control myself. So while steadily doing the rehab I got a little tired without realizing it. Even though I thought "I should go to rehab today," I couldn't get the will to go.

*****************************************
Well, how about this? I guess his Japanese is sometimes difficult to explain it.

MissC wrote:
It's hard to understand what Dai went through and it's quite amazing that he's back in the fight for the Olympics... I really admire him, because I know that I would have given up.
According to this interview, Daisuke seems that he got a something after NHK trophy and now he has a confidence.

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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:20 am

Thanks so much, Leode! I'll edit the post. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:44 pm

Thanks, Calliope!! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:07 pm

Here's the rest of the interview. Please let me know if there are any parts that I interpreted incorrectly; there were some parts where I thought Daisuke's response was kind of vague and I wasn't entirely sure what he was referring to.

---

A Body That Sticks to the Ice

Takeuchi: How did you feel when you returned to the ice?

Takahashi: Before I went to sleep, I was filled with anticipation and uncertainty. I was wondering if I would fall again, or if my ligament would get severed again. I was scared at first, but once I started skating, I was able to skate with a better feeling than I imagined. The moment I stepped onto the ice, I realized that my body had changed due to the rehab. I thought, "Oh, maybe I can do this," and began to see hope.

Takeuchi: What kind of feeling was it?

Takahashi: It was a feeling of gripping the ice. Starting from my feet, it felt like my whole body was really able to stick to the ice. I didn't really have that feeling before my injury, so it felt like my range of abilities increased and I was able to do more.

Takeuchi: Did your feelings toward skating change?

Takahashi: I felt the joy of just being able to skate normally. I think it's really a blessing to be able to show myself and skate in front of people. Receiving cheers is not something that everyone is able to do. I felt that after not being able to perform in competitions. That's why I became able to see distinctly what I can do. I feel like I've become able to see my goals very clearly, one by one.

Takeuchi: How has your skating changed from the rehab?

Takahashi: My skating has changed a lot. I'm able to do much bigger movements in steps and spins. I can do better spins in practice than before I got injured. I can also do steps much more grandly. However, if I use the edges too deeply it's harder to control. Other issues have arisen, such as not being able to make fast movements if I'm not aware of my level of control.

Takeuchi: What were the results of restructuring your body through the rehab?

Takahashi: The lower half of my body, such as my knees and ankles, has a wider mobility range now. I feel like they're completely different movements than before. Since becoming able to use the lower half of my body, the upper half has gotten more flexible as well.

Takeuchi: You fell during your steps at the NHK Trophy. Did the changes in your body have an effect on that?

Takahashi: I think my body got more tired than I thought it would during the program from the tension of trying to appeal to the audience. Then I lost my balance slightly. Since I have a wider mobility range now, I need to use more stamina. My movements are bigger now, so if I lose my balance slightly I can't regain it right away. I think I probably fell because I went too far but didn't have the strength to regain my balance.

A Greater "Dancing Spirit"

Takeuchi: So you're not used to your own body.

Takahashi: I'm mostly okay in practice, but when I'm nervous during competition, I can't control it well. So I just need to practice more. I'm going through my programs many times in practice so that even if I lose my balance I can recover. Even though my mobility range increased through the rehab, my body was built up through skating, so when I skate it tries to go back to how it was before. Compared to right after the rehab, my mobility range has gotten smaller, so I need to have more control in order to not lose the increase in range.

Takeuchi: Do you feel that you can still make progress?

Takahashi: I think that it'll get better, or rather I think that I have to make it better. It's hard to express in numbers, but I'm about 50% to my ideal level.

Takeuchi: Now that NHK Trophy is over, what are you going to work on towards Skate Canada on the 20th?

Takahashi: While I was trying to control my movements, I lost my "dancing spirit". People tell me, "You used to dance more before," and I think that's probably true; I'm trying to get points right now. I want to be able to dance according to my feeling from listening to the music. But I also want to be careful to control myself while dancing. For jumps, I'll gain confidence from landing the quad in practice. It's important to have confidence from landing it consistently in practice. But Canada won't be the last competition, so I don't want to rush.

Takeuchi: What did you think of the three competitions before NHK Trophy?

Takahashi: Plushenko hasn't been in competition for years, but his quad is already normal and it doesn't seem like he'll make a mistake on his jumps at all. To be honest, it made me a little depressed to think that he's so different. I wondered, is he a monster? He was so relaxed and could appeal to the audience so well that I wondered if he was really in a competition. I thought that must be the difference between a king and an average person, but I want to have that kind of confidence as well. Watching the Grand Prix this season, sometimes people in first place ended up in seventh place, so you don't know who's going to win. And it's not just jumps, there are a lot of skaters who have other high-level elements, so I think it'll be a really tough competition. But the tougher it is, the more worthwhile it is, so I'm looking forward to it.

Takeuchi: You've had a nutritionist since September, right?

Takahashi: Well, she pretty much says it's okay to eat anything. I'm enjoying making my own bento (lunch boxes).

Takeuchi: Bento?

Takahashi: I make it for lunch. I make the preparations the night before. Packing it is quite fun, and I like being able to think "Today I made it well." I put in things like broccoli, paprika, and tomatoes. Also hijiki (a type of seaweed), meat, and rice. It looks tastier if it's colorful.

Takeuchi: What kind of food are you good at making?

Takahashi: The curry I made in America was surprisingly tasty. Especially when I put in lots of ginger.

Takeuchi: What kind of food do you eat before competitions?

Takahashi: I eat capsaicin. During the competitions I did well in, I ate Korean food every night. Like kimchi and chige. It gives me power and lets me lose weight. Maybe it's because Korean food suits me, but even if I eat the same amount of another type of food, it's always easier to lose weight with Korean food.

Takeuchi: So you do worry about your weight.

Takahashi: Yes. I can't do the quad if I'm 62 kilograms or more. 59 kg is the best, and 61 kg is the max at which I can still do it.

Takeuchi: By the way, do you have a dream?

Takahashi: My goal is to win the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics. That's been my goal since four years ago. I've never had a goal for that long before.

Takeuchi: What kind of stage was the Torino Olympics?

Takahashi: I don't remember anything except being nervous, so it's like I wasn't really there. I was nervous, but I also wanted to do well. I wasn't calm.

Takeuchi: Can you imagine yourself one year from now?

Takahashi: I don't know. It depends on the Olympics. I might still be skating, or I might not be.

---

Apparently this interview will be aired on TV on the 20th, so I hope everyone in Japan gets to see it! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:20 pm

Thank you so much for the translation, Calliope!!
It is hard to believe that Daisuke got a injury a year ago and we never know how he straggled with his rehab. However he is back!! Hope to see that his dream come true at Vancouver!!

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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:51 pm

Yes, thanks a lot, Calliope! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:28 pm

Thank you so much for the translation, Calliope flower sunny
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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:17 pm

Thank you so much for the translation, Calliope. It really is so appreciated! Very Happy flower

To me it gives the same feeling that the documentary did - I'm so amazed of all he had to go through after the injury. I admire him a lot for not giving up.

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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:25 am

Thanks for translating this, Calliope! It's a great interview.

Calliope wrote:
Takeuchi: There was also a time when you abandoned the rehab.

Takahashi: I boycotted it once for awhile. It was like I suddenly snapped. When I'm absorbed in doing something I'm really interested in or something I have to do, sometimes I cannot control myself. So while steadily doing the rehab I got a little tired without realizing it. Even though I thought "I should go to rehab today," I couldn't get the will to go.

This definitely puts how hard the injury was for him to deal with into perspective. My respect and admiration for him has increased so much. I didn't picture Daisuke to be the type to lose all motivation and drive but knowing that he had that "lapse" if you will, I feel like I can relate to him more. I'm actually struggling with sort of the same thing right now. Instead of returning to the ice after knee surgery, it's finishing my bachelor's degree. It's my final year and this semester, I've struggled to find the motivation to do the work in a certain class. I understand how he felt during those two weeks. You know you should but you feel like you just can't. I'm so happy that he was able to overcome that and get to where he is now because I missed his skating.

I really hope he skates great this weekend! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:04 am

Thanks a lot, Calliope!
Dai-kun is never giving up. I really hope his dream come true at Vancouver!
Wish Daisuke good luck and great performance at Skate Canada
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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:17 am

sanseki wrote:
Wish Daisuke good luck and great performance at Skate Canada

Well put, sanseki! flower I wish him the same cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Asahi Shinbun interview (2009.11.17)   Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:02 pm

I'm glad everyone enjoyed the interview. Smile I really enjoyed it as well. It gave a lot of insight into what Daisuke has been through the past year, and I also admire him all the more for it.

You can see the TV version of the interview now here. The contents are mostly the same, just much shorter. At the end you can see some scenes from his practices at Skate Canada.
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