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The Figure Skating Grand Prix Series, Skate America.
A stylish singles skater with supreme beauty suffered ultimate defeat by coming tenth out of twelve people.
Of course that's me, and at official interviews and whatnot, there's no way I would be prepared. But now, I'm surrounded by a crowd of people and I hate it.
Almost everyone is j.a.panese. Normally, I wouldn't even notice them, these reporters for the sports section of the common press. Up until last year, they wouldn't have even thought of gathering at the ice arena in Colorado.
Once every four years, such a phenomenon is born, or so I hear. "Olympic Season" is basically what you'd call this coming winter.
"Sakurano-senshu, a word about the results of this compet.i.tion."
"It's a pity that I'm unable to advance to the finals. After all, I wanted to win."
The reporters' reactions were just as I had expected.: "I don't really understand, but whatever." That was the expression on most of their faces.
"And what about your result - tenth out of twelve?"
"It is just as I said a moment ago."
These reporters don't even have the guts to ask me simply, "What are the finals?" When I glanced around surrept.i.tiously, they guy who had just asked me the question turned to the fellow next to him and whispered, "Forgive me for asking, but what are the finals?"
Even if you try to be discreet, I can totally hear you. I scoffed.
"How is the effect on the Olympic selection?"
"There's someone who has been disadvantaged for the selection."
Answers that were even more careless and irresponsible than I had imagined. There's definitely someone who's being disadvantaged.
"s.h.i.tou-senshu will be partic.i.p.ating in the German compet.i.tion. Does that bother you?"
"No, since I prefer to focus on myself."
Ah, I screwed up. I said such a typical thing, and now I'm being lumped with the dull inside of the vehicle that is before my eyes.
"But it surely must bother you. Or perhaps you only think it doesn't?"
The scolding face of General Manager Mishiro floated into a corner of my mind. And not to mention Coach Takashima's perplexed face.
It doesn't matter in terms of the former, but in terms of the latter, I'll have to think of some excuse. Maybe that I was in the worst mood I've ever been in in my life. Well, in reality, it did turn out like this, so let's say that I wasn't feeling well.l.
"In today's free program, you had four misses. Any thoughts on that?"
"You can't do anything about a fall that already happened. In order to not drag out such a thing, you just have to overcome your own heart. Also, I had five misses, not just four."
When I answered the question once, the atmosphere of the moment became rather dangerous.
But there's nothing I could have done. I wanted to hurry back to my hotel, forget about everything, and just sleep, but in that dim pa.s.sageway, it was like I was a celebrity who had been caught having an affair. Can't you ask more sensible questions, at least?
"What was the reason for your crushing defeat?"
...Thank you very much. Finally, you're being sensible and not beating around the bush.
"I do not think there was one specific reason for my defeat. I suppose today was just an unlucky one. I do think that it echoed my late start in the short yesterday, though."
"I believe things turned out the same way during last season's World Championships. Are you doing any sort of mental training?"
Well, you made me think of something really boring. You seem to have done some preliminary research, at least.
"I don't do anything special. I don't think you can get efforts from mental preparation, either..."
Ah, suddenly this became really annoying. Once I answer the next question, I'm going to cut the interview short. I'll go back to the hotel, take a shower, and go right to sleep.
"I have heard this before, but you never smile during a performance. Why?"
"...Because technically I guess I'm inexperienced. Skating while smiling is so much harder than you think it is."
To be honest......that's not quite how I truly feel.