Malaysia’s first Olympic Figure Skater trained in a Shopping Mall | Far From Home

Malaysia’s first Olympic Figure Skater trained in a Shopping Mall | Far From Home

Figure skating is a blend of
many, many things. You need the balance of a
gymnast. The elegance of a ballerina. The speed of a speed skater. Everything has to go well
together and we have to do it on the
ice. And look good at the same time. (FAR FROM HOME, PRESENTED
BY BRIDGESTONE) I started skating at four, so a lot of my childhood life
was in the rink. (KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA) My mother was the reason why my
brothers and I skated. We spent about four to five
hours a day at the rink. It definitely felt like a
second home to us, cos we’d spend way too
much time there. When I was 13 I went to my first
international competition. People at that competition were
quite confused to see a Malaysian skater. Or that Malaysia has ice
skating, or even an ice rink. Some people didn’t know where
Malaysia was. We don’t have training
facilities. All the rinks in Malaysia are
in shopping malls. Which means its about two
thirds the size of an Olympic-sized rink. It’s a little bit more
difficult to learn jumps. Just imagine if you train on
a football field that’s three quarters of the
size. You cannot do the full routine. You’re only doing three
quarters of the routine. Figure skating itself is not
well known in Malaysia. It’s a tropical country, and it is a multiracial
country. It’s a melting pot of different
traditions. Therefore sports is very
important, because there’s no other better
platform for national unity. When it comes down to sports, it doesn’t matter what race you
are, because we are always
supporting Malaysia. Sports brings us together as a
nation, as one. I want to show the world that
Malaysia can produce a skater like them, out there. (OBERSTDORF, GERMANY) Our goal at the Nebelhorn
Trophy in Germany is to qualify for the Winter Olympics. There are six places left to
qualify for the Olympics and there are 26 men here
trying to get a spot. It doesn’t matter if I’m sixth
or first, as long as I’m top six. The other skaters who are vying
for one of those six spots – Belgium, Sweden, the skaters
from these two countries were at the last Olympics, so they
are very strong. Every competition is the same,
I get nervous, it doesn’t matter if it’s a big
competition, a small one. He is quite nervous, because
he knows what it’s all about, right? It’s a ticket to the Olympics, it will decide his whole
future. The nerves just get you,
I think just being human, but I am quiet excited and
nervous at the same time, you know, that kind of feeling. You need a little bit of
being nervous, or you’re going to be too relaxed. My mum is probably just as
nervous as I am, sometimes she gets even more
nervous than me. My mum is the best mum there
is out there. She sacrifices a lot of time
from herself to travel with me skating. She’s my best friend, she’s my
mum, she’s my manager, she’s always
there for me. Without her I don’t know what
we would do. We made every effort we could
to get him the proper training. That meant a lot of sacrifices
on the part of the family. We gave up holidays, we sent him out training in
China, Bangkok. Skating is a very expensive
sport. We feel that the sacrifice is
well worth it. Figure skating, it has got
so many emotions in it. Some days you really feel
excited to go on the ice, and some days it feels like a
chore. No matter how many times you
try, you still can’t get it right. Which reflects how we go
through life. You can’t always be happy. I think through figure skating, we are able to express how we
feel on that day. Whether it’s a sad or happy
feeling. This has to be a good
performance. I have to land my jumps. Germany is the last opportunity
to qualify for the 2018
Winter Olympics. I would do almost anything I
could to achieve that goal. This is undoubtedly the
biggest event in his life. When I stepped onto the ice I
was nervous, really, really nervous. You can definitely feel that
all eyes are on you. Thinking that it is a make it
or break it moment. I take my starting position. I say my prayers and… Yes, yes! Skating requires a lot of
switching channels in your mind. First of all, we’ve got to
connect with the music, be emotional, switch channels,
next it’s going into a spin. Change the channel again, going into a jump, you’ve got
to think, “OK, what are the technical
aspects of the jump?” Land the jump nicely, change the channel again
to skating. It’s a lot of things going on
in your mind at the same time. At home, because of the
time difference, the whole house is awake at
four in the morning. Watching on TV, half asleep. That was quite good.
Good job, good job, good. Proud of you. Good. Oh! Come here, come here.
Oh, my god, yes! Good job! You know, every athlete
dreams to go to the Olympics. But coming from a tropical
country in a winter sport, I didn’t even think I would
make it, because, like, it didn’t add up. (PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA) Everybody loves
a fantastic story, the feel-good factor. This is more than
a feel-good factor. This is extraordinary. This is the first Malaysian
who is going to be taking part in the
Winter Olympic Games. The years of hard work,
it’s finally paid off. It just got louder
and louder as we went by, and people were screaming
like crazy. It hit me that,
“OK, this is it. “You know, we’re here
at the Olympics.” No matter what happens, getting to the Olympics
is an achievement. He has shown to the young
skaters that it is possible, and I hope he has
inspired them, and I’m very proud that
he’s the first one. It doesn’t matter if you come
from a country with no snow. It doesn’t matter if
you come from a country that has no training
facilities. When there’s a will,
there’s a way. People will find a way to
get to where they want to go. Every athlete dreams
to go to the Olympics, but honestly, for me, coming
from this tropical country in a winter sport, I didn’t
ever think I would make it. He’s the first
figure skater from Malaysia to ever qualify for
the Olympic Games. The hard work’s already done.
We managed to get here. It’s time for me to just let
the training take its place and really just enjoy
what I do. Everyone should
be able to dream. It’s just that you have
to work for it. You can’t just dream,
and sit down, and wait for the dream
to come true. Here is the triple lutz, again coming down to backwards. The immense amount of pride
I felt when I saw our flag… To me, it’s like
we did our little bit in helping to get
our flag up here. In Malaysia, in sports, it really does bring
everyone together. They don’t really look at
your colour here in Malaysia, so I find that that’s a really
good way to unite us as one. Knowing that you,
as one person, are able to bring
a country together, I think that’s
a great feeling, and I hope I can
achieve that. Julian Zhi-Jie Yee has earned
for the short programme 73.58 points. I can finally call
myself an Olympian now that I’ve skated,
so I think it’s just a really great sense
of relief and joy. In the end, he got
his season’s best. It was the best we ever
did, and we go from here, and see if we make it
into the finals or not. It’s a waiting game right
now to see if it goes through. (IN PYEONGCHANG 2018, JULIAN

100 Replies to “Malaysia’s first Olympic Figure Skater trained in a Shopping Mall | Far From Home”

  1. This is good that they feature someone from a tropical country. But when my fellow countrymen Michael Martinez became Olympians in Sochi 2014, why the Olympics never feature him on a documentary like this? Ugh just saying Hoooray Winter Olympic Athletes from a SEA!

  2. What’s an inspiration! You know, not just to unify your home country, you’ve made me as people of ASEAN cheer and even scream for you on ice. Keep going!

  3. I love yuzuru hanyu bcuz i never know Malaysian figure skater exist. Now i am your fan Julian. Keep fighting!

  4. So where is the feature for Michael Martinez? The first ever Olympic figure skater from Southeast Asia and from a tropical country. He also started in a skating rink inside a famous shopping mall in the Philippines.

  5. Proud to be malaysian and im so proud of him! But alot of people here doesn't know what figure skating is and does not even know we have a winter olympian.kinda sad to see how summer olympians are so popular and everyone knows abt them but not him ? i wish the medias here would do more coverage(? Of him

  6. I follow olynpics twitter and they shared about him. So i watched the opllening ceremony and the competition for him!!!! Im happy Malaysia team is there in our 1st Winter Olympics.

  7. I suddenly wonder what michael martinez doing right now i hope to see him in the next winter olympics :((

  8. Aw man i hope he skates there again one day when I’m at sunway pyramid since it’s literally 2 minutes from my campus

  9. I like the choice of his clothes, so manly, not a typical male skater wearing tights, he is classy and speaks educated ???????? (from philippines here)

  10. Inspirational. I love when someone comes from a disadvantaged (is that a word?) position and works hard and then has success 😀

  11. Born in Malaysia, grew up in Malaysia and born a Malaysian (Sarawakian BTW), I really hope there is someone who will be able to take his place once he leaves. Sadly, I started ahab I was 15, so yeah…

  12. You have showed improvement this couple of months (2018) . Waiting for you to shine in the next Olympic game.

  13. Julian. I’m really proud of you.. I don’t care if you not bringing medal for malaysia.but your spirit make us proud of you.. I’m proud to be a malaysian.

  14. Julian, reached out to your big dreams & goal, keep on fighting till the end.. from the bottom of my heart, we as Malaysian always support you no matter how hard you've been thru to be at the world stage of ice-skate circuit. Proved to our nation that you deserved more recognition!❤❤❤ from Pahang, MALAYSIA

  15. Julian Yee..i'm sorry for not recognise you before and just only know you now.. I'm proud with you.. Hopefully more Malaysians will recognise you and giving you support and cheers for you after this…hopefully more southest asians bring more new talented ice skater in olympics…You have to be an example… GO GO Julian Yee! GO GO MALAYSIA! ?

  16. It literally made me cry a river.
    So impressed and so proud of this skater.
    Hope his way and success will be even greater with time.
    Greetings from Russia.

  17. For every athlete out there. That slogan gets you going, and I'm talking about *when there's a will there's a way*.

  18. this story melted my heart? , so proud of u julian. hope u will win 1 day, but for me ,u always win in malaysian heart❤️ . im tears. proud to be Malaysian ???

  19. Julian.. im speechless. There s no words to describe how passion you are.. how determined you are.. you have my pray! Now I am so looking forward to watching Winter Olympic Games. Congrats to you..ur coach and most importantly your mom!

  20. I'm Malaysian. Why I just saw it today. Why it not show it in our national TV? This is really Inspirational story for Malaysian. I'm proud of you Julian.

  21. His mom’s reaction when he found out he was going to the Olympics made me want to cry with her. Her heart was bursting with pride and joy. ?❤️

  22. how come I did't know young hwa already change his career.. no wonder he not singing anymore.. GooD Luck Young Hwa Malaysia..

  23. Im ashamed of myself for only discovering about him today! Malaysia should have given more coverage of positive thing like this. He’s one of a kind. Im glad i found my favourite figure skater ?

  24. The rink that I train at in Australia is in a shopping centre and it’s closure was announced today. ? Skaters at the rink have gone crazy; They have contacted the government, lawyers, newspapers, radio shows, news channels, Olympic skaters and politicians. I really hope our fight allows us to keep the rink.

  25. I was so moved when this young man spoke so fondly about Malaysia, how proud he is to represent Malaysia. I wished he was given more coverage here at home. Anyway….we're really proud of you Julian. Bravo!!.

  26. I got serious in following figure skating a year ago, and when I saw you in a GP competition through my notebook (because Indonesia doesn't air figure skating competition :/) I was shocked to see a southeast asian in a senior GP competition. And the moment I saw you with my own eyes on Worlds Saitama, I was further mesmerized by the story you carve on the ice, your overall skating, and by the fact that I was seeing a fellow southeast asian on the ice before me.

    Thank you for turning around the impossible into something possible. Thank you for inspiring figure skaters from countries where winter sport isn't a thing. Thank you for breaking barriers. And good luck on your skating journey onwards! I will always support you.

    Love from Indonesia.

  27. I’m from Vietnam and this is a tropical country too! I study skating, and wanna compete but there are no facilities to practice. Thanks for this video, I will try.

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