Daisuke Takahashi + Akiko Suzuki Feature Before JO 2012 English Subtitles

Uploaded by izayukam on 12.10.2012

And in this event leading Team Japan are Mr Daisuke Takahashi and Ms Akiko Suzuki.
In their age of 27 and 26 they've reached to be called seasoned athletes in figure skating,
and yet, they keep getting evolved to a higher stage.
In fact there's a surprising connection between them since back in their earliest years.
[About each other]
Seeing her I can feel that she really loves skating, not out of stoic efforts.
She practices like mad not care about looking cool, giving all out.
She inspires me with the way she is.
When I see him doing a great performance I get a bit of feeling that he has beaten me.
I feel frustrated and motivated to do better.
There's a part of my heart keeps saying that I try hard because he tries hard.
The two old soldiers who are holding up figure skate powerhouse Japan.
Daisuke Takahashi, 26.
Akiko Suzuki, 27.
"Dai-chan", "Akko-chan", they call each other.
It started 13 years ago
When I saw her for the first time she was skating to "Libertango".
It was startling.
Takahashi was a 7th grader.
Suzuki was a year older who had won 2 back-to-back titles of the All-regions Nationals.
He got absorbed in her performance.
I thought "who is that!?" It was such a cool program.
I think I had it recorded on a video. So I watched it over,
memorized the whole thing.
Later when I went to an overseas competition for the first time, I saw her there.
I went over to her and said "Aren't you Ms Suzuki?"
"I like your program too much I've memorized the whole thing."
It seems that he had noticed me seeing my "Libertango"
thinking my expression was great though we were only a year apart.
Now Mr Takahashi is considered one of the best in the world in artistic expression,
back then, he wasn't particularly a dancer. But I think he was interested in that side.
The shocking encounter awakened the sleeping talents.
[2002 The World Junior Champion 2005-2007 3 bk-to-bk Japan Nationals Titles]
Daisuke Takahashi's strongest weapon; Expressiveness.
He eventually became Japan's undisputed ace skater.
On the other hand, though she gained attention as a child skater, also progressed well into senior level,
[2000-01 Japan Nationals 4th place 2002 Jr. GPF Champion]
she had a period of time she couldn't skate due to her health problems.
[2007 Japan Nationals 5th place] (winning prize for the first time in 6 years)
But her spirit refused to give up and came back to the place she loves deeply.
While she was away from the skating scenes, what kept her up was Dai-chan's achievements.
I always felt that I'd try my hardest because he was trying his
when I saw him doing well on TV, or read about him.
And her single-hearted devotion gave Takahashi great motivation.
She overcame her hardship and returned to skate.
She is a year older, you know.
I sometimes get to feel that I can't go on anymore, but
When I see her practices I say to myself, "Oh, I should never feel that I can't."
Pleased with Akko-chan's comeback as much as his own matter,
one day Takahashi said this:
"I want to see your tango."
And his wish came true.
"Libertango", that brought them to see each other, came back to life.
[2008-09 Exhibition, "Libertango"]
"Clap to up-tempo beat from the audience."
It was the moment to prove that Akko-chan came back to the ice
with even more brilliancy.
Year of 2010
Both of them stood the great stage and showed their presence.
In her first Olympics she had a great prize of 8th place.
I did it telling myself "I've got to do it for I only have this once.”
So I felt really great that I could skate to my fullest till the end.
And Takahashi in his second Olympics,
Japan's men's long time yearning; Olympic Bronze medal.
followed by the top of the podium in World Championships.
Takahashi was 23, then.
He couldn't help thinking about his time of the end.
For the time being I don't plan to compete four years from now.
I thought I was going to quit after Olympics But I decided to continue till Tokyo Worlds.
He set his final goal in World Championships to be held in Tokyo next year.
He wanted to put a successful conclusion of his career In Japan.
But facing the last stage his spirit was wavering.
If it wasn't going to be held in Tokyo I probably wouldn't have continued.
I was to and fro like "I should have quit after the last year",
or, "but I want to do a little more."
I was half-hearted and kept swaying.
One day an e-mail with those torn apart feelings
was sent to Suzuki.
[Till when are you going to skate?]
Well, it's "what are you gonna do?"
I think I asked what Akko-chan was going to do.
I thought, "oh, even Dai-chan feels unsure like that.”
At that time Takahashi was 24 and Suzuki, 25.
[Torino Gold medalist Shizuka Arakawa – retired at age 24]
They reached to the age that skaters who used to represent Japan retired.
[2002-03 Worlds bronze medalist Takeshi Honda – retired at age 24]
She understood Dai-chan's anxiety painfully well.
Yet, she couldn't help replying this;
RE: I want to see Dai-chan's skating for a little longer.
Due to the earthquake the Worlds was held in Russia.
Takahashi finished in the 5th place.
But this result ignited a fire again in the heart of a wavering man.
I feel terrible to leave it this way.
I don't know if I can even go to Sochi,
but I keep that hope and work toward a medal in Sochi.
And they both are still fighting.
For the first time in 5 years Takahashi took Nikolai Morozov into his team.
He aims just one goal, the big stage for the 3rd time.
This year Akiko Suzuki stood on the podium of the Worlds in her age of 27.
[2011 Japan Nationals 2nd place 2012 Worlds bronze medal]
Age has nothing to do with the feeling to want to be better.
[in the challenge of Triple Flip – Triple Toe]
Now she continues intense practices calling for a higher stage
always at her own pace.
Right now, rather than thinking about farther down the road
I am more focused to work hard to the full scale this one season.
But Dai-chan who has been competing with her all through the time
doesn't seem to be satisfied with that.
I ask her like, "Akko-cnan, you’re gonna do it, aren't you?"
I insist that she'll do it. She's got to do it.
These days I keep telling her, "You're going to do it, right?" "You will. OK?"
[Their thoughts to each other]
It is great that I can continue to compete looking at his back.
It's such a feeling like you grew up together or we are comrades-in-arms.
I feel lucky that having such a friend.
More than anything, such as techniques or others,
You would feel that she really loves skating, enjoys it.
I want to keep seeing such skating of hers.
Whether they set the same goal or have the time of the end differently,
they don't know it yet themselves.
Dai-chan and Akko-chan.
Their precious season will start in a short while.