The ice skating world is cut throat, at least that is what Ice Princess taught me as a kid. The battle isn’t really out on the ice but in the mind!
As a kid I didn’t totally get this. I mean I understood but I didn’t get it. But as I watched Yuri on Ice (yes I have only just watched it… where’s season two at?) it really hit home.
I didn’t realise ice skaters performed the same two routines throughout a season. I thought they switched it up between competitions but nope, they don’t. Then I thought, isn’t that boring? You’re essentially watching the same routine over and over again… but no, it’s not boring because each performance is different!
You can practise all you want and have the jumps down but what you do on the night of the competition that is what matters.
Anyway let’s take a look at JJ and Yuri.
Yuri can get lost in his head. He has low self-esteem and low confidence in his abilities when really he’s an amazing skater who inspired young skaters like Minami.
Whenever he has too much on his mind or the pressure gets to him he messes up his jumps and loses points. In ice skating you have to get up right away after you fall and I feel like at the beginning of the series Yuri was still on the ice not getting up. But as the series progresses we watch him steadily get stronger and get up off the ice to skate away into our hearts.
It was a journey honestly. I got so invested. When he did his first perfect routine on the Love: Eros (right, it was Eros…) performance I lost it and then when he nailed his free programme at the final… dude! I was so proud of him for conquering his inner demons.
With JJ he was confident from the moment we met him and I honestly thought he was going to win. I contemplated not watching his routines as I thought, “He’s going to ace it anyway and I’ve seen it before” but then he didn’t ace it, a triple turned into a single and I was like, “What’s going on?”
The pressure got to him and he found it very hard to claw his way back up. I was sad for him but you know what he refused to stay down. Even though he’d messed up he still kept on going.
Through YoI (Yuri on Ice) we can see how even the most confident and outwardly strong people can fall and need help sometimes.
So who are the ones who win? The ones who conquer their inner demons and have a positive mind. A positive mind is key, because every time Yuri let the negativity in it messed him up.
It’s a lesson to us all. And I know it’s easier said than done, I mean even YoI shows us that. Yuri gains confidence and then doubts himself and then he eventually conquers them for good. It’s a constant battle but one that is worth fighting.