Daisuke Takahashi is returning to the competitive arena for the 2018-2019 season. His final season (2013-2014) was marred by injuries, which prevented him from training and preparing for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games the way he needed to. The 32-year-old left the competitive arena following his experiences in Sochi and moved into new careers as a stage dancer and television commentator.
But, the hunger and desire to complete his career on his own terms was always close to the surface and following the 2018 All Japanese Championships, Takahashi made the decision to return to the competitive ranks one last time. ″To have a comeback, you have to have a setback,″ he said with respect to his disappointing finish at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. When the 32-year-old announced his comeback late last spring, the sceptics took to their soapboxes. Takahashi proved them all wrong.
For the five-time national champion, it was a dream come true to compete at the 2018 Japanese Championships. At the press conference following the short program, Takahashi said it was his best performance of the season. “I was filled with nerves from the start, but they vanished after I landed the triple Axel at the beginning of the program. “The long program is going to be the real thing. I want to give it my all without worrying about success or failure.”
Though he struggled to hold on to the landing of most of his jumps in his “Pale Green Ghosts” free skate, the audience did not care. As Takahashi closed out the program, the crowd leapt to its feet in unison, cheering and applauding before he had finished his final spin. With the fourth best performance of the evening he finished the competition with 239.62 points and, much to his surprise, placed second overall. It was his ninth medal at a Japanese Championships.
A look back at one of the Japanese star′s all-time classic programs ″Blues for Kook″ from the 2012 Grand Prix Final in Sochi, Russia.