NYタイムズ紙より(2)導きの光。 | まどでんきがかり。羽生結弦選手全力応援




“He gave hope for us,” Sato said. She teared up as she recounted the destruction of the earthquake. “He got the gold medal at the Olympics.”

The second week of November, Hanyu was set to compete in his second major pre-Olympic event of the season, the NHK Trophy in Osaka, Japan. Orser, his coach, had described Hanyu as being “so focused, so driven” that he was “on the verge of manic” in his determination to win a second Olympic gold medal.

Orser tried to convince Hanyu that there should be a natural ebb and flow to a long skating season. Button, the 1948 and 1952 Olympic champion, cautioned Hanyu not to overtrain. And one of Hanyu’s idols, Evgeni Plushenko of Russia, the 2006 Olympic champion, suggested that Hanyu would not need five quadruple jumps in his Olympic free skate as Chen of the United States aspired to.

Shoma Uno, a Japanese teenager who finished second to Hanyu at the 2017 world championships, was also a magnificent jumper. But Hanyu had a decided edge over other skaters in the completeness of his performance — spins, skating skills, transitions between jumps and musical interpretation, Plushenko said.

“If he has three quads and skates clean, he can win the Olympics one more time,” Plushenko said. “If he does all the things he can, he’s going to win easily.”

The biggest hurdle to his own failed attempt to repeat as Olympic champion, Plushenko said, was injury: “In my head I was ready to skate but my body is sometimes going, ‘No, wait, please, please.’”

His words were prescient. On Nov. 9, a day before the NHK Trophy began, Hanyu attempted a quadruple lutz in practice, but his legs landed in a pretzled position. More than 100 Japanese journalists turned up at a news conference that evening to learn of Hanyu’s condition.

The next day, it was announced that he had ligament damage in his right ankle but would try to compete. Instead, he withdrew. (Weeks later, it would be revealed that the ankle had also sustained tendon and bone damage.)

“I am very sorry to have everyone worried,” Hanyu said in a statement.

At Osaka’s Municipal Central Gymnasium, where the NHK Trophy went on without Hanyu, his fans were left dejected. Zeng Yuemeng, 28, an Osaka airport worker, said she had moved to Japan from China in July because of her favorite skater. She carried a Pooh keychain on her purse.
大阪市中央体育館では、羽生不在の中でNHK杯が実施されたが、彼のファンは意気消沈して去った。大阪の空港で働く28歳のZeng Yuemengは、大好きなスケーターのために7月に中国から日本に移って来たと語った。鞄にはプーのキーホルダーが下がっていた。

“Because this is his country,” Zeng said of Hanyu, “maybe I can see why he has become such a perfect human.”

Other fans took a half-hour train ride to pray for Hanyu at a Shinto shrine in Kobe, Japan. Because the shrine’s name — Yuzuruha — resembled the first name of the skater, it had become a popular place for fans to write their well-wishes to Hanyu on round wooden plaques. Hundreds of plaques hung on racks at the shrine.

Hanyu fans praying for his recovery at a Shinto shrine in Kobe, Japan. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

One visitor to the shrine affixed a drawing she made of Hanyu to a round wooden plaque. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

One visitor to the shrine affixed a drawing she made of Hanyu to a round wooden plaque. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Visitors who came to pray washed their hands at a stone basin, rang bells attached to thick ropes, bowed and clapped their hands. Ann Liu, 18, a Chinese student studying in Tokyo, carried a Pooh purse and said that Hanyu often buoyed her in difficult moments. She was trying to do the same for him.
神社に祈りに来た人は石でできたボウルで両手を洗い、太いロープに付けられた鈴を鳴らし、お辞儀をして手を叩いていた。東京で勉強している中国人の学生、18歳の Ann Liu は、プーの鞄を提げ、難しい思いをしていた時に羽生が何度も元気づけてくれたと話す。彼にも同じことをしてあげたいのだそうだ。

“He’s my guiding light,” Liu said.
「彼は私の導きの光です」とLiu は語った。

Lai Aishan, 38, who worked in a university computer center in Taiwan, said she had struggled to sleep after learning of Hanyu’s injury. She had tickets for the NHK Trophy but felt too disconsolate to watch skating on this Saturday afternoon.
台湾の大学のコンピューター・センターで働く38歳のLai Aishan は、羽生の怪我を知ってから眠れなくて苦労していると言う。NHK杯のチケットを持っていたが、この土曜日の午後はとてもやるせない気持ちがしてスケートを見られなかったということだ。

Buying a plaque in the fading light, Lai affixed a drawing she had made of Hanyu in gold ink. “I feel a little better now,” she said.