The Axel: Monthly Figure Skating Roundup

Injuries and Worlds Silver and Winnie-the-Pooh oh my! It was quite a season for TCC’s Yuzuru Hanyu last year, following his cinching consecutive Olympic golds. But as Yuzu takes to the ice for his SP today at the Autumn Classic, I figured we’d talk about everyone’s favorite pint-sized ball-of-human-chaos from Japanese men’s singles …

That’s right. I’m talking of course about Shoma Uno (Yuzu is the resident liter-sized chaos-ball).

But actually. What is going on in Shoma Uno’s offseason? After failing to make the podium at Worlds (which … yeah … ouch), Uno announced that he would be leaving his coaching team of … forever (literally, the only coaching team he’s ever had, I think). Then he said that he’d spend the summer trying out different coaching options, which further baffled everyone, since right now it seems that nobody has space in their programs. Well, except for Raf, but he’s already busy right now with staring angrily out the window in the direction of Yale.

Then Shoma announced that he was attending Eteri’s summer camp, which seemed a bit questionable. After all, Shoma has been most frequently critiqued for his jumping technique, and for all the achievements of her students, Eteri is indeed where all foot loop technique goes to die. Ah well, odd, but not too bizarre. Then it leaks from Shoma’s team that she’s in serious contention to be his next coach. Which is where it frankly starts to actually get bizarre, seeing as Eteri’s coaching style chiefly consists of starving 16-year-old girls into producing a quad lutz (oh come on you’ve heard the rumors). Which doesn’t seem to mesh particularly well with Shoma Uno’s skating style of not being a 16-year-old girl and trying to eat everything within sight.

No soup for you! (or sandwiches, or fruit, or cereal, or food in general

And now … Shoma has announced that he will compete in the next season coachless. Like at this point I’m legitimately worried that he might just fall asleep on the floor at the begin of the season and then nobody will think to wake him up until a little after four continents because he won’t have a coaching staff (I’m assuming that Shoma’s coaches spend most of their time waking him up in time for competition).

Oh no it’s already too late

Okay, what’s actually going to happen is that Shoma will keep bouncing between various coaches, trying new things out, much like he did with Eteri. The next coach he’s going to is Lambiel. I’m all for that combination for three reasons. First is that he has a much better record of not literally breaking his skaters like Eteri (emotionally and, in the case of their spinal bones, literally). Secondly Switzerland is very pretty and Shoma deserves that. And thirdly, because Lambiel is also very pretty, and Shoma deserves that too (look I ship it.

It’s actually an interesting strategy. It looks like Shoma is jeopardizing this season, but only because it’s not that important. Being sure that he makes the right choice for coach (cough not Eteri) is what really matters when it comes to 2022. It looks like this part of the plan to get Shoma to the top of the podium, along with other things, like the voodoo doll that Shoma constructed to take out Yuzu’s ankles once and for all. Now the only thing standing between him and world domination is Nathan Chen, and I wouldn’t be too worried about that if I were him. It’s only a matter of time before Nathan announces that he’s thinking about going to medical school … and Raf actually kills him.

In conclusion, Shoma Uno is a land of contrasts. Also apparently someone at TCC has landed the quad axel in practice and is now attempting quints in the harness. I wonder who it could possibly be.

Oh, Yuzu, you little liter-sized minx.