After completing the tour, we asked Nathan what motivates him to keep challenging himself and achieve success, and the importance of "team" in accomplishing his goals.
*You can learn more about Team Panasonic here: https://na.panasonic.com/us/whatmovesus/team-panasonic
I am impressed by the way you continue to challenge yourself, always striving for success. What is the driving force for you?
Figure skating is my passion and continues to bring meaning to my life. It has given me a lot of joy throughout the years and has taught me many lessons, including learning how to work towards goals and pursue my dream with all I have.
I have always worked with a desire to improve. Even in my daily practice, I try to remember the feeling that I can do better every time. My dream was to compete at the Olympics as a figure skater and with the support of a great team, my coaches and family, I have been able to achieve that goal.
How do you inspire yourself when you encounter failure or setbacks, or when you face pressure and feel nervous during competitions?
I think every athlete has experienced problems or setbacks that make the journey more challenging. I have grown used to nerves and I still feel it every time I compete, regardless of the size or type of competition. I want to skate well and being able to show the results of your hard work is important to any athlete. Having put in your best effort is what allows you to be confident and to believe that you can do well.
I am also fortunate to have a huge support system behind me and that includes my family, friends, coaches, medical team, choreography team and so many others like Panasonic who are always there for me. Every team member is an expert in their field and plays their role to the best of their abilities. I have overcome setbacks by trusting the knowledge and experience of my team and by reflecting on their advice.
I know that you have a hard schedule every day, but is there anything you do to keep yourself balanced?
There are always things to do or to improve upon, but it is important to consider the significance of each and know what should be prioritized. Having a plan in place lets me create free time in my day and making time to rest and recover will help you perform better. Things I do in my free time can be talking to friends, enjoying a hobby, just relaxing, watching TV or a movie or reading a book. Sometimes I do things that are not related to skating or studying to relieve stress.
As an example, I have played the piano ever since I was a child. I still do and it has helped deepen my understanding of music for skating. I can understand how music is made. My piano teacher told me that when skaters play the piano, they can feel the music. Figure skaters skate with emotion and playing music also requires you to express your emotion and personality.
As a member of Team Panasonic, what is your impression of the Panasonic brand?
I have always associated the Panasonic brand with high quality. I was glad to have the LUMIX camera so I could take lots of pictures and videos of friends and the people I spent time with to remember the Olympics experience. Looking back at the 2018 Olympics, I really regretted not having taken more photos - I took maybe only five in total!
I was also impressed with Panasonic's projection production at the gala exhibition. Skating exhibitions have a strong artistic and entertainment component, making skating fun and relaxing without being competitive. Having the projection system honestly added to the performance and created more of an entertaining atmosphere, energizing both the skaters and the audience. It was also just beautiful to look at and great to add the skating and movement on top of that with music.
What does it mean to you to be a member of Team Panasonic?
It is a huge honor to be part of the team and the community is great, not to mention the support from Team Panasonic. Being part of this tightknit group within the larger Olympics community was really powerful and made the event even better.
The Panasonic Group has recently released a new brand slogan, Live Your Best. It represents Panasonic's mission to empower people to live their best lives. What is your impression of Live Your Best?
I think it is a very good slogan. I like that it doesn't specify a certain target but rather emphasize the idea of striving towards a goal. Flexibility is important when working towards our goals because circumstances change and so we must be able to adapt, not only in sports but also in our daily lives. I think the message of doing our best to achieve our ever-changing goals is great.
Happiness for me is living my life to the fullest whether it is through skating, exploring new hobbies and passions, or spending time with friends and family. I don't think there is a single definition of happiness because it is always changing but as long as you continue to try to improve yourself and finding things that bring you joy, it is worth it.
What has left you with the greatest impression at the tour of the Panasonic Museum?
I think what left the greatest impression was the chance to address my own future - I don't have much experience in different things, so how can I create value or do great things without having that knowledge? It was really great to see how humble Panasonic's founder Konosuke Matsushita was before he created the electrical company which eventually turned into National and then Panasonic. He really learned on the fly, developed all these skills without being given the education and found his own path, which I thought was really inspiring.
What's next for Nathan? And could you please give a few words to the next generation of aspiring Olympics and Paralympics athletes?
I will go back to school in the fall to begin my junior year (third year) at Yale. I will have to see what comes after graduation. I am going to keep trying to find ways to fulfil my life and not become stagnant.
There are a lot of things that can be said to the next generation of athletes. If you are aiming for the Olympics or Paralympics, you have already put in a lot of effort and time and have a passion for your sport. The main thing is to keep that passion alive, and to understand why you started your sport. As an athlete, you will have good times and bad times. It is when you are not doing well that it is important to remind yourself of the reason why you continue to love your sport.
I can truly say that I could not have achieved the results I did on my own so having a great team of support is invaluable. Then just trust your team to do their job to get you where you want to go.
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