|Fumie Suguri performing her Free Skate at the NHK 2005 (Photo: Itsuo Inouye)|
Fumie Suguri was born on December 31, 1980, making today her 31st birthday!!!
By figure skating standards, she's working way past retirement age, and, although she hasn't stood on the podium for a while, her competitive spirit keeps her on the ice, focusing on artistic elements to make up for loses in athletic ability. Facing girls nearly half her age, Fumie maintains the dignity and poise of a four-time Japanese National Champion and frequent medalist at international events.
I adore her.
Sometimes fate stacks the deck against people, denying them the ability to reach the rewards of their full potential. Giving into depression and letting go of the spirit to persevere, such behavior is understandable when, no matter how hard you try and regardless of your considerable accomplishments, somebody else outperforms you. Yet, the true measure of a champion isn't the shiny medal or record book notation, but, rather, the willingness to press on, addressing their flaws, sharpening their talents, and face the competition with honor and authenticity.
|Fumie Suguri performing her Free Skate at Skate America 2009 (Photo: Christinne Muschi)|
And that's why Fumie Suguri will always be one of my favorite skaters. Happy Birthday, Fumie!!!
Let's look at some vids:
2001 Goodwill Games, Free Skate
2006 Torino Winter Olympics, Free Skate
2006 World Championships, Short Program
2003 World Championships, Free Skate