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 Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!

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ballerinamao
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:08 pm

swan wrote:
if mr. sato is not considered a technical coach, then what is he? the only thing that comes into my mind is a "look into the future" coach. but i think mao needs more of a "look into the present" coach... that being said, are there really that many good technical coaches out there? it seems they are hard to find. and yes, it's a pity that mao is no longer working with mr. nagakubo. i'm left wondering what could have been if she stayed with him.

now, not to take anything away from yu-na's accomplishments because she's an oustanding athlete and person and she's very talented, but i think she and her obsessive fans are quite lucky that Mao's management just doesn't work efficiently, at least in my eyes.


This i totally agree, Mao hasn't been pretty unlucky when it comes to her management, it's as if the people around Mao (Weider) don't seem to understand the importance of their job and what an hugely talented skater they have in their hands, and also seem incapable of fulfilling there part of work, probably because they never had a skater of Mao's caliber before. this is also why a technical coach may be the best solution, to take the task of the present issues. through i also would love if Mao changed this Weider team. this way she could also stay in japan.


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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:19 pm

inskate wrote:
I'm attending classes RN and I can't really write a long post now... But I think the current team is working well for now. There was no adult elite skater who would attempt what Mao had. Most of the skaters her age struggle with fixing even one jump.
Orser is good at "packaging" the skater once their jumping technique is good, but he couldn't make Yuna's loop stable and couldn't help Adam with his Axel. Mao needed somebody who could help her with basics. And she's doing a great job considering all the disruptions in her schedule during the recent years. Thumbs up!

Also, perhaps I'm in the minority, but I definitely didn't read Mao's interview as Mao giving up or lowering her expectations... OTOH I think it's very optimistic:

Quote :
I think there is no end. There are many things to do or many things to fix. There are no limits as long as you are aiming for a better skater. But I'm actually not at that level yet! (laugh) I need to firm my basics first and then try those things.
(...)From now on, I think improving to be a better skater is all that matters to me. And my future dream is to have a family.Smile

To me, it feels as if Mao right now is concentrating on becoming a better skater, and she thinks there's no end to it, because you can always improve. And if you keep on improving, the medals will eventually come to you. But it's better to think about "what can I do to improve" than "what can I do to earn gold medal", because you can never predict what will happen in the actual competition. Maybe you'll need difficult jumps, maybe somebody with easy jumps but clean program will win - if you concentrate just on trying to predict that and pay too much attention to the competitors, judges and scoring, you'll just skate an uninspiring program. But if you concentrate on paying attention to the rules but at the same time being yourself and trying to move the sport forward, you''ll be remembered by fans and maybe you'll grab a few golds, too. Smile

Thumbs up! ITA everything you said.

I know most, if not all, of us really wanted to see Mao back on top and see a huge stride in progress with regards to her skating. At the start I cannot accept how Mao struggled a lot seeing her at her worst. But then reading her interviews about wanting to improve her techniques even before the Olympics, reading the Satos' interviews about Mao going back to basics, considering no one wanted to take on Mao in Japan before, considering the big tragedies that hit her, reading that piece about Taka concerning school and getting at least 50% attendance and thinking Mao has to do the same thing I'd say they already made a lot of progress.

It's good to know that Taka and Mao don't have many injuries after competing this long. It's even admirable considering Mao loves to practice jumps. We were shocked when we saw her great FS practice at Worlds then bombed in the actual competition but that was most likely from her obsession with the 3A. She was doing good without it. The Satos get blamed for it but Mao also has to get blamed because she can also be very stubborn about that 3A. Luckily, she seems to have changed her mentality.

Her goal nowadays have changed. It doesn't seem to be about winning or attempting that 3A but about constantly improving. Lets hope that this season nothing gets in the way of Mao showing us the improvements she has made in her training. She may or may not win but I will be happy just to see her skating consistently with that love for skating showing on the ice.

Re: technical coach. Seeing Mao's jumps it's easy to quickly say she needs one asap. Looking at practices she seemed to be doing ok -- just a matter of being able to do it in competition also. Nagakubo may have helped her on the axels and I'd have wanted her to continue with that partial jump training. I know he has done wonders for Akiko and Mao really, really needs help on that Lutz. But we should also note that Akiko's Lutz is also not solid. She also gets edge calls on it. Brian -- well yes he does seem to work wonders on his students but those students already have very good basics and jump techniques. Doesn't look like he worked on them from scratch and he can't seem to fix some of his students jump problems. Yuna's loop, Adam's axel, Christina's jumps or Elene being consistent in the LP.

chapis wrote:

Better slow but safe, and Mao skating is more beautiful and refined now, I enjoy it more, is just that she is not consistent, but I prefer just one good performance from Mao in a season that 5 clean performances of Ashley. And I dont understand a lot of people saying that Mao is in comfort zone with her swan lake program, before all people said that her programs didt any favor, now Mao has a beautiful program, she has another problems to focus, she doesnt have time for experimental programs, and all the other skates chose her best style, Sasha " Iam flexible" with the most overused music in fs, Yuna her programs of look at me Iam pretty and overdramatic, Mirai the cute programs, Alyssa the princess prgram. May be Akiko has more variety.

I agree on the skaters' styles. Thumbs up! Add the being sexy in Yuna's programs esp her exhibitions. Thing is people want the skaters to experiment with different styles. When Mao did they complained a lot saying it's not Mao and Mao should be doing this and that instead. When she did people complain again saying she should be trying other things. She can never please everybody. Same with other skaters. And I also agree with zarinaballerina on that alfred schnittke "tango" *ugh!* I had high hopes on it after Tat's Por Una Cabeza but it was a huge disappointment.

zarinaballerina wrote:

I hope they will put their foot/feet down in the future if something isn't working for Mao, be it a program or a costume or technical content. It's also in their best interest that their skater gets shown at her best.
I hope so.

I also hope JSF will promote all their athletes really well not just the top ones.

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:32 pm

I knew I remembered reading things about this back when Mao first got with Sato. So I went through some old threads and found some quotes. There's some key things that should clear up some of your questions:

Mao Asada has decided to proceed on her way under Mr. Nobuo Satoís tutelage and he will be the only coach for her. During the public workout held on September 26th, Asada, who had been learning jumping techniques from Mr. Hiroshi Nagakubo, said, ďMy jumps have been good. I am looking forward to competing under Nobuo Senseiís tutelage.Ē†

Asada initially planned to take a few years to master all kinds of jumps under Mr. Nagakuboís coaching. However, Mr. Sato, who just assumed to be her head coach this September, had a different opinion from Mr. Nagakubo. ďI do not think it works well to be hasty in going over what you have learned from experience. I would say it is a dangerous way to improve your techniques,Ē quoted Mr. Sato. It turned out that there was no way (for Asada Camp) but to choose one out of the two coaches with different teaching strategies.†

Aiming at clearing all kind of jumps with perfection as the plan of plural years, she had tackled with Nagakubo coach, but Sato coach expressed just the opposite thought, saying, "The sensuous one doesn't get good even if changing it suddenly and to change it is the extremely dangerous act".


I also thought I remembered reading somewhere that Sato said he was expecting to get criticism for Mao not showing big improvements as soon as people would like and he was prepared for that criticism. I also think he said something along the lines that everyone needs to have patience, cause these changes and improvements with Mao are going to take time. Idk, maybe I imagined him saying these things, but I thought I remembered him saying something like this...

Well, maybe we ought to wait and see what happens once it gets more into the season before we make too many judgments or come to too many conclusions. We've seen her skate only once this season, and it went considerably well! So hopefully this is a sign that this is the season Mao starts to really turn things around. In all fairness, Sato did say this was going to be a process that will take some time (just how long, we don't know), and last season her Mom died. That may have made a big difference in things too. Not to mention all the time I'm sure her Mom was ill leading up to her death.

As far as Mao changing coaches, I don't think that's going to happen. At least not before Sochi. I don't even know if it needs to happen, or if Mao would be any better off. Maybe, maybe not. I do think now that Orser isn't coaching Yuna that he would take her. I don't think that would ever happen though! It would be interesting to see, and I do think Mao could do some great things under him, but I just don't think we're gonna live to see that day. Mao had major success when she was with Artunian, but some people would argue that he did more harm than good for her in the long run. I really don't know enough about most of the coaches out there (other than the ones I think would be an obvious "no" like Tat, Orser, and Morizov) to pick one I think would be great for her.

I do agree that Mao has bee mismanaged, and I've thought that for quite some time. I was hoping that when she got with Sato that this might get addressed more, but I think maybe Sato stays out of the other aspects of her skating career other than just his coaching duties. I think Tat is still having a lot of input. She choreographs a lot of Mao's programs, helps design lots of her dresses, and I wouldn't be surprised if she helps Mao pick her music too. She (and Lori for that matter) could be doing Mao a lot more favors by making her programs more COP friendly. Mao's programs are not horrible in this aspect, but they could be better. Some skaters have very smart programs points strategy wise, and I don't think Mao has ever had a program like that other than the fact that she relied on her 3A to be her big points advantage. As far as promoting and politics go, I really don't think it's Sato's thing. To me, he seems to be quiet, patient, and honest. Maybe he wants his skater's skating to speak for itself. Idk, I'm hypothesizing about a lot of things here but...

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:55 am

About the choreographers I have only one dream, please Mao go to Averbuch!!! And jump coach. And I will be happy, two options it's easy,really! Razz I'm so in love with Ksusha programs, to me it's million better then all Akiko programs and everyone else. He used unknown music to create his programs and the result is gorgeous!
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:27 am

Star85 wrote:
I knew I remembered reading things about this back when Mao first got with Sato. So I went through some old threads and found some quotes. There's some key things that should clear up some of your questions:

Mao Asada has decided to proceed on her way under Mr. Nobuo Satoís tutelage and he will be the only coach for her. During the public workout held on September 26th, Asada, who had been learning jumping techniques from Mr. Hiroshi Nagakubo, said, ďMy jumps have been good. I am looking forward to competing under Nobuo Senseiís tutelage.Ē†

Asada initially planned to take a few years to master all kinds of jumps under Mr. Nagakuboís coaching. However, Mr. Sato, who just assumed to be her head coach this September, had a different opinion from Mr. Nagakubo. ďI do not think it works well to be hasty in going over what you have learned from experience. I would say it is a dangerous way to improve your techniques,Ē quoted Mr. Sato. It turned out that there was no way (for Asada Camp) but to choose one out of the two coaches with different teaching strategies.†

Aiming at clearing all kind of jumps with perfection as the plan of plural years, she had tackled with Nagakubo coach, but Sato coach expressed just the opposite thought, saying, "The sensuous one doesn't get good even if changing it suddenly and to change it is the extremely dangerous act".


I also thought I remembered reading somewhere that Sato said he was expecting to get criticism for Mao not showing big improvements as soon as people would like and he was prepared for that criticism. I also think he said something along the lines that everyone needs to have patience, cause these changes and improvements with Mao are going to take time. Idk, maybe I imagined him saying these things, but I thought I remembered him saying something like this...

Well, maybe we ought to wait and see what happens once it gets more into the season before we make too many judgments or come to too many conclusions. We've seen her skate only once this season, and it went considerably well! So hopefully this is a sign that this is the season Mao starts to really turn things around. In all fairness, Sato did say this was going to be a process that will take some time (just how long, we don't know), and last season her Mom died. That may have made a big difference in things too. Not to mention all the time I'm sure her Mom was ill leading up to her death.

Star85, you remembered very correctly about how Sato (and Sato only) became Mao's coach. Everbody thought that if she were to choose a Japanese coach, JSF would push Sato as their top choice because of his experience, reputation and the fact that he had no other top lady pupil at the time. But at first Mao seemed more connected to Nagakubo since he had been helping her out along with Takahiko's father when she had jumping problems and Tat couldn't come to competitions to support her. It was clear that at first Mao was willing to have at least her jumps coached by Nagakubo after then. However, then some extreme Akiko fans or rather say anti-Mao's in Jpn started bashing Mao more or less on the net for 'stealing' an other skater's coach. Many Mao fans wanted Nagakbo to work with her as long as it was okay with Akiko, and Akiko never mentioned she had any problems with that. But the problem was as Star85 wrote, the difference in training policies between Nagakubo and Sato. Nagakubo was totally up to becoming Mao's tech coach if not a full time coach, but it was written in an article that Sato made it clear that he won't take Mao in if Nagakubo will be tagging along (How he said it, or whether he actually said it is still a mystery...the article was supposed to be based on a phone interview, but the article was in a magazine which is the kind you can't trust everything in it). In the end, we don't know what made Mao decide to go to Sato. I imagine though that JSF strongly pushed Sato, and Sato was being convinced by them to take in Mao at the same time; Sato had already announced long before Mao left Tat, that he's not taking in any new pupils anymore because he is becoming too old. JSF always advises (pushes) their top skaters into choosing who they think are right for them (that was how Miki went to Morozov). However, in the end I do think it was Mao who made up her mind to go to Sato knowing she won't have Nagakubo together. I imagine that one of the reasons she came to this conclusion was because she had been seeing how Sato and Takahiko work together, and she knew the way Takahiko was making progress; not too speedy maybe, but steadily and solid. And yes, I remember too that Sato said people may bash him during Mao's reforming process, but he's ready for it when he finally decided to take the job. Countless retired skaters commentated during competitions how much reforming jumps takes time; Shizuka, Yaginuma, etc., they all kept saying the same thing, so that neither Mao nor Sato would be blamed for her bad conditions I assume. And they clearly said 'it takes years', not months or just a few seasons. Think we should still keep that in mind.

However, the one thing I personally do not like much at this point is that Sato is a coach who treats all his pupils equally...maybe too equally, from Takahiko and Mao to some of his most unkown pupils. Mao said that when she goes to Kanagawa to train with Sato, all his other pupils are there and they all practice together. Even Mao only gets special attention when her music is on. But Mao said this system is refreshing for her, and that since she only gets special attention when her music is on, she feels more motivated to practice as much as possible beforehand. Honestly, I'd prefer it if Mao had a coach who'd pay all or most of his attention to Mao daily...but if Mao is okay with this kind of practice, I guess I'm in no position to complain. And one other good thing is, Mao said she hadn't shared the rink with other skaters during practice for years, but by doing so she can learn alot from watching other skaters practice too.

So I think it's obvious from how they do things under Sato in this way that that's one of the reasons why Takahiko doesn't turn in to a new Dai or Pattie overnight and the same can be said for Mao. But maybe Mao needed this kind of environment in making a new start from scratch. She wanted to do everything from the start once more, in a sense it might have been better for her to practice with everyone else as a 'nobody'. But I'm going to see how she does this season on, and then make up my mind if it really were so.

Quote :
I do agree that Mao has bee mismanaged, and I've thought that for quite some time. I was hoping that when she got with Sato that this might get addressed more, but I think maybe Sato stays out of the other aspects of her skating career other than just his coaching duties. I think Tat is still having a lot of input. She choreographs a lot of Mao's programs, helps design lots of her dresses, and I wouldn't be surprised if she helps Mao pick her music too. She (and Lori for that matter) could be doing Mao a lot more favors by making her programs more COP friendly. Mao's programs are not horrible in this aspect, but they could be better. Some skaters have very smart programs points strategy wise, and I don't think Mao has ever had a program like that other than the fact that she relied on her 3A to be her big points advantage. As far as promoting and politics go, I really don't think it's Sato's thing. To me, he seems to be quiet, patient, and honest. Maybe he wants his skater's skating to speak for itself. Idk, I'm hypothesizing about a lot of things here but...


I think so too. Sato is probably the good ole' type of coach. He never exaggerates hid pupils skills nor conditions to the media, let's his pupils find out for themselves what sort of skater they can or want to be, so he probabaly doesn't care what music they choose or what they wear in the rink; in Sato's mind that's an area he most likely thinks he shouldn't barge into. Probably to him, his sole mission as a coach is to lead his pupils into achieving solid skills at their own paces without injuries. And concerning that, I do think he's doing a pretty good job. So when it comes to music selections, choreographer choices, and costumes...I agree that it's more her management's responsibility whoever those people actually are. Although it might be better if Sato put in some advice on such stuff, it may go the wrong way around since he doesn't seem to be doing it much so he lacks experience.

And thanks swan! Of course we don't have to agree on everything...nobody does! The important thing is that we all want every skater to be judged fairly including our Mao. Whether or not that can always happen, as long as we're all hoping for the same thing, opinion differences do not matter. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:34 am

I don't think it will benefit Mao a lot if she changes coach right now, given everything seems settled down and she gets used to the training schedule.

Unless... Mao herself suddenly become as determined as Shizuka Arakawa to switch boat despite in the middle of GPS.

Considering Mao is now in her 20s, why does it matter if it is too "hasty" in going over Mao's old jumps? Indeed the count-down of Mao's competitive career may be just around the corner! Mao simply has no time to waste.

Indeed, an athlete can be injured or encounters an accident (like Midori Ito in 1991 Worlds) anytime in his/her life, what's the point to play it safe (no injury???) and simply wastes the chance to medal and let the hard-earned reputation built up in the last Olympic cycle dissipate?

I am not particularly fond of Akiko or Mr. Nagakubo, but I wholeheartedly respect them working out over the years, and being able to turn Akiko into a podium contender at the age of 26/27. Is Mr. Nagakubo's way hasty and no good? I don't know. I just know that we seldom heard about major injury report about Akiko (except the very old story about eating disorder). I just know that Mr. Nagakubo was able to pin-point Mao's problem on Axel at a glance of her practice, and offered IMMEDIATE AND CONSTRUCTIVE advice to her, which eventually saved Mao's chance to Toronto Olympics.

I'm not anti-Sato either. But I don't know if he treats his every pupil equally, at least, not to Lucinda Ruh.

I only hope that Sato-Mao team will work out successfully, and Mao will receive the marks she truly deserves nationally and internationally, and not to receive unfair UR or edge calls so often.

Oh, I guess I truly believe Mao is a genius, and wish her well so dearly.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:35 am

swan wrote:
if mr. sato is not considered a technical coach, then what is he? the only thing that comes into my mind is a "look into the future" coach. but i think mao needs more of a "look into the present" coach... that being said, are there really that many good technical coaches out there? it seems they are hard to find. and yes, it's a pity that mao is no longer working with mr. nagakubo. i'm left wondering what could have been if she stayed with him.

i hate to bring up the classic "mao and yu-na" rivalry, but after all these years, i think what separates the two is their management. yu-na's not only great technically and artistically, but nobody can argue that her management is oustanding. mao, on the other hand, has the most questionable management i've ever seen in figure skating. she leaves more questions than answers. i don't think it's a lack of talent that made mao decline far behind yu-na... more of a lack of management. now if mao had used a technical coach and a good sports psychologist and competed with programs like por una cabeza + payadora, caprice, ballade no. 1, and i vow to thee my country against yu-na... well, most certainly the gap between them would close. all these mao-haters would suddenly realize "wow, mao sure is a good competitor" or whatever (or not). now, not to take anything away from yu-na's accomplishments because she's an oustanding athlete and person and she's very talented, but i think she and her obsessive fans are quite lucky that mao's management just doesn't work efficiently, at least in my eyes.

THIS. Thumbs up!

While I agree that Mao does need a tech coach, I'm not so sure about Nagakubo. I remember there was an interview with him form the time Mao was working with him (I think it was summer 2010) and he talked about what he wanted to do with Mao and if my memory is correct one of his ideas waas a quad and 3A-3 something. WOW! Now don't get me wrong, I think Mao is one of the best skaters in the world, but when I read this the only thought I had was WTH?! Is he trying to brake her? Maybe it was just PR on his side, but it did make me uncomfortable.

kitty wrote:
Considering Mao is now in her 20s, why does it matter if it is too "hasty" in going over Mao's old jumps? Indeed the count-down of Mao's competitive career may be just around the corner! Mao simply has no time to waste.

Indeed, an athlete can be injured or encounters an accident (like Midori Ito in 1991 Worlds) anytime in his/her life, what's the point to play it safe (no injury???) and simply wastes the chance to medal and let the hard-earned reputation built up in the last Olympic cycle dissipate?

I am not particularly fond of Akiko or Mr. Nagakubo, but I wholeheartedly respect them working out over the years, and being able to turn Akiko into a podium contender at the age of 26/27. Is Mr. Nagakubo's way hasty and no good? I don't know. I just know that we seldom heard about major injury report about Akiko (except the very old story about eating disorder). I just know that Mr. Nagakubo was able to pin-point Mao's problem on Axel at a glance of her practice, and offered IMMEDIATE AND CONSTRUCTIVE advice to her, which eventually saved Mao's chance to Toronto Olympics.

The way I understand it, is that once a skater reaches 20 she injures herself more easily and everything becomes harder to do. I agree with mr.Sato here, you can't rush things and expect everything will be fine. And regarding Akiko, I think she's a good skater and yes learning 3-3 so late is amazing, but she's a completely different caliber than Mao. Akiko was never able and will never be able to do what Mao has done and is trying to do tecnically, so i wonder if she'd still be healthy trying to land 3A.


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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:42 am

I agree itís better for Mao to have a technical coach. But I wonder who can be. Mr. Nagakubo as a technical coach of her will never ever happen if she remains under Mr. Sato. Sato and Nagakubo have totally different approaches about jump correction as Star85 pointed out. It would have been nice if Mao went to Mr. Nagakubo and started to master a real lutz (not only the edge, but her upper body ( shoulder) is on counterrotation trajectory -- thanks to instake I learned a difference between flip and lutz) and improved her 3A. But, I wonder if Mr. Nagakubo allowed her to continue competing while reworking on jumps. His approach was drastic and thus he might advise her to skip a season or two, which I think not acceptable for her. I doubt if Nagakugo would be able to do a miracle for her either. Reworking on jumps and get rid of all the habits she developed during years without coach are not easy job. I know itís best for skaters to have as best coaches as possible, but they canít cherry-pick. And, IIRC, itís Maoís mother who asked Mr. Sato to become her daughterís coach. He declined her offer once and I assume the negotiation was taking place when Mao was doing her jump overhaul with Mr. Nagakubo in 2010 summer.

I think itís not fair to solely blame Weider and her coaches because itís Mao who chooses to stay with them. Yes she is stubborn. When TAT told her to get a jump coach, she didnít take her advice. When people including some of her fans to dump The Bells, she didnít listen. Instead she looked more determined to demonstrate that people were wrong. When Mr. Sato advised her not to do 3A to win a game, she didnít listen and lost. In an interview after Olympics, she said her flaw was stubbornness. She knows being stubborn does not help her sometimes but she is still stubborn. And thatís Mao. geek

In a figure skating magazine issued this month, Mao said the first year with Mr. Sato was, as he had told her earlier, they were trying to understand each other. She confessed she didnít fully understand his instructions. But now in the third year, she sees what he meant with what heís been saying and things started to connect. Also in a news article after JO Mao said that in the past two years she was performing with her mind being confused but as this year (season) started she feels those confusions were gone all together. I assume she is now able to jump as she wants, I mean her body moves spontaneously as she images in her mind.

As inskate wrote earlier, itís wonderful that Mao is now able to perform a program with a lot of transitions. This absolutely tells sheís improving. And she was able to get decent PCS at JO. It may be too early to say and better wait for CoC, but it seems her Swan Lake program is effective in terms of point making because of especially its transitions.

I hope this positive change in choreography by TAT is also helped by Mr. Satoís input. He said last season something like this: figure skating is all about skating not about moving arms in peculiar ways. When I read it I thought he was criticizing her SP. Last season her FS was well appreciated by judges and able to garner decent PCS, while her SP was lowballed. I was wondering why Ö and after watching her FS at JO I thought itís because of transitions. Itíd be good if Maoís team made some request to TAT to include transitions as much as possible for her current skating & jump skills.

It seems Mao now thinks in long term rather than short term and I think itís good too. In the picture that I use for my avatar, Mao wrote ďImprovement.Ē Although itís her motor for this year, Iím sure she will pursue improvement because the sky is limit for her when it comes to figure skating. Itís wonderful if Mao keeps improving even after she retires from competitive skating, like Shizuka who Iím sure a good example of great figure skaters in history who never stops improving oneself. Iím sure Mao wants to keep delighting her fans and audience for years to come. I just want keep rooting her no matter what results she deliver and I also want to respect her choice even if it doesn't please me.

Sorry for long post ... that's all what I have in mind now.
And the following is not really a big deal so please ignore if you do not have time to read. cat

Regarding Kim team, I donít think they are good at management at all. It was Orser, Tracy and Wilson that did a great job by being good at emphasizing her advantages, hiding her disadvantages and coming up with 3 2As tactics which a senior skater wouldnít rely on. They deserve due credit, but two of them were dumped immediately after the team achieved a great accomplishment. It is one big reason of many I donít think the team is good at management. Winning is not everything for athlete management. They are responsible to protect the good image of athletes. When athletes were not prudent enough and said something controversial, team managers should take actions immediately. But unfortunately her team failed to do so from time to time. When their skater called her former coach a liar, they couldíve let her take the words back and couldíve apologized for involving her in the mess. Instead, they published a message threatening a lawsuit to her former coach. The famous ďme disturbed by other skaters on iceĒ is another example. I can understand if there are careless skaters you feel tempted to complain because it could lead to injury. That complaint can easily happen if they are teens especially. But itís a responsibility for managers to take a good care of kids not to become a starter of controversy. There must be people from her team present when the interview was recorded. They couldíve checked and tell her immediately not to say such a thing or asked the TV station not to use that part. They couldíve prevented their athlete from being used for anti-Japanese sentiment which is typical attention-drawing tactics by South Korean media. One more thing I want to cite here is that she was forced to skate at worlds after winning OGM. She told them she didn't want to take part but she was forced to skate and ended up with miserable performances one month after doing completely clean two program at Olympics. And she also had to skate at worlds next year and ended up second to a Japanese skater (Miki). Iím sure it affected her reputation in her own country and I assume that played to some extent that she was bashed for her endorsements when she is not competing. There may be pressures from her federation and sponsors, but her team should have been able to protect her. Anyway because of poor management by her team including somewhat hostile attitudes from time to time, it looked very difficult for them to find a coach for her. It's good that she was able to go back to her original coaches. But, if a risk of being dumped or being sued is high, coaches don't want to take on a student from such a team. I think her team failed to look at things in long term.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:26 am

linglang wrote:

In a figure skating magazine issued this month, Mao said the first year with Mr. Sato was, as he had told her earlier, they were trying to understand each other. She confessed she didnít fully understand his instructions. But now in the third year, she sees what he meant with what heís been saying and things started to connect. Also in a news article after JO Mao said that in the past two years she was performing with her mind being confused but as this year (season) started she feels those confusions were gone all together. I assume she is now able to jump as she wants, I mean her body moves spontaneously as she images in her mind.
As inskate wrote earlier, itís wonderful that Mao is now able to perform a program with a lot of transitions. This absolutely tells sheís improving. And she was able to get decent PCS at JO. It may be too early to say and better wait for CoC, but it seems her Swan Lake program is effective in terms of point making because of especially its transitions.

This is great to hear! I didn't know she said this after JO. About her Swan Lake program, I honestly believe (and I'm not just saying this because I'm Mao fan) that this program can become a masterpiece. It has everything, transitions, nice choreo, the set up is also great, just wait for Mao to be in full shape and deliver. Oh my, I can't wait for this to happen, if she'll manage to do that, she will blow everyone away. Swoon

linglang wrote:

Regarding Kim team, I donít think they are good at management at all. It was Orser, Tracy and Wilson that did a great job by being good at emphasizing her advantages, hiding her disadvantages and coming up with 3 2As tactics which a senior skater wouldnít rely on. They deserve due credit, but two of them were dumped immediately after the team achieved a great accomplishment. It is one big reason of many I donít think the team is good at management. Winning is not everything for athlete management. They are responsible to protect the good image of athletes. When athletes were not prudent enough and said something controversial, team managers should take actions immediately. But unfortunately her team failed to do so from time to time. When their skater called her former coach a liar, they couldíve let her take the words back and couldíve apologized for involving her in the mess. Instead, they published a message threatening a lawsuit to her former coach. The famous ďme disturbed by other skaters on iceĒ is another example.

I agree, I assumed though, that when swan complimented Yuna's management, she meant Orser, Tracy and David and not Yuna's mother.
That complaint about (japanese) skaters disturbing her practice or were obstructing her, make me lose all respect for her. She apparently forgot while making this complaint to Korean media, that she too sometimes found herself in other skaters way during their practice/run throughs and no one was complaining about that, because this things happen when there are 6 skaters trying to make the maximum of their practice time.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:06 am

I also think that it's team Orser that did the good job to promote her and not Kim's management. When taking about her management, I often remember them by the words 'winning' and 'suing' (last one was suing the uni. professor) , these things bring no good to their athlete.
As for the 'me disturbed by other skaters' matter, Joannie did make it clear that it happens that a skater obstructs another skater but it's usually an accident and nobody does it intentionally.

I am not sure if it's right to compare Yuna and Mao's management. Yuna was the only star skater in her country, she was the hope of her nation and was supported by not only her management but even some korean judges and huge sponsors. Just my thoughts.

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:26 am

linglang I agree in everything but the yunaīs situation, I dont believe she has problem to find coach, I believe that she like Mao want to be in Korea with her family and friends.
And yes swan lake is wonderful, I dont know how Tat can do programs so different Shocked , when she really want she can do the most impressive programs. I think that the way that the figure skater to adapt to program is very important, Bells was a very difficult but Mao did it own, but the sp tango looked like she hated it.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:05 am

Be patient. Sato did a LOT for Taka - managed to make his triple axel consistent and gave him beautiful skating skills that judges are too stupid to recognize. He has a quiet kind of beauty on the ice - much more subtle than Dai or Yuzuru - but he is special in his own way. Mao is in good hands with Sato, honestly. She needed someone to kick her skating skills into shape, which he has done. What Mao needs right now is to jump higher (same with Taka on his quad, actually), and I think that the struggles associated with jumping higher are due to her new techniques that aim to both jump far AND high. It's hard finding the right balance. I'm hoping that she gets there by mid-season. That will solve all her technical issues. And she is a gorgeous artist on the ice, very like Taka. I think Sato has really enhanced that beauty - for me, that Swan Lake program was a dream to watch, and I enjoyed it far more than Claire de Lune or some of her pre-2010 programs.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:33 am

chapis wrote:
And yes swan lake is wonderful, I dont know how Tat can do programs so different Shocked , when she really want she can do the most impressive programs. I think that the way that the figure skater to adapt to program is very important, Bells was a very difficult but Mao did it own, but the sp tango looked like she hated it.

I didn't like the SP tango much either; it seemed like something was missing in it. But Mao wasn't in the best of her conditions then, plus with the non-spiral rule change and stuff happening in that season, Tat wasn't able to create the best for Mao I think. I think Tat also had personal problems like health and family situations then, so I wouldn't want to go to far and say I hated the program. Of course it was no masterpiece, but Mao and Tat must've worked hard on it as much as they can, so I can still appreciate it even if I'm not so fond of it. But that's just my case, so I'm not against anyone who hates it either. Wink

But it bothers me a bit that it seems some of you guys are still not fond of 'Bells'...I think it was before JO, when Mao was interviewed by a foreign media and they asked her which program she liked best in the past. And Mao actually answered 'Bells' which surprised the interviewer and probabaly alot of his readers. I disliked that program the first time I saw it at JO too, but bit by bit it started to grow on me, and in the end I thought it was the right choice for Mao not to have abandoned it. 'Bells' might not have been the most suitable pro to appeal Mao's beautiful skating styles, but I think it was the most suitable pro to express her determination to go for Olys gold and her strong passion for the sport. Yep!

Dai once said on tv that if he were to express what kind of a skater Mao is, it would be '漢(kan)' which means 'manly'. Mao may speak and skate softly and elegantly on ice, but backstage was known as a kind of say... practice junky, who works even harder than male skaters, very strict on herself, and always full of strong motivation to win. She's no ballet princess skater inside. She's full of guts and will power. I also recall Mao answering in an interview after Olys, why she didn't change her pro but stuck to 'Bells', and she said she wanted a program that would make her feel strong and set for the fight...something like that. So in the end I came to understand why that pro was so special to her. And after I made 2 vids using the 'Bells' pro but replacing it with different music, I came to realise the true beauty, boldness, and a unique intelligence you hardly get to see in a ladies pro. I believe it's one of Mao's best works, and in the future it will be re-evaluated. Smile

ETA: I agree with Alokya. Mao and Takahiko need more height in their jumps. I'm sure they're aware of it and will work hard to be able to do so in the near future. sunny

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:56 am

Kayo,you know I was maybe the one who loved Bells from the start and it's still my favourite LP of Mao sunny I think that TAT pushed Mao artisticly like no other choreographer, if not TAT I doubt we can see such a deep and expressive skater like Mao. One Russian FG fans said once, "since TAT started coaching Mao, even without jumps I liked her skating, it's so ...polished" And now Swan Lake LP is such a pure combination of classical music with classical skating. I feel like Mao trying to put in this program all she has, all her skills and qualities so it's like a benefit sort of.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:24 am

Pochinko, yes, Bells is a masterpiece Worship Swoon
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:35 am

polosatik wrote:
Kayo,you know I was maybe the one who loved Bells from the start and it's still my favourite LP of Mao sunny I think that TAT pushed Mao artisticly like no other choreographer, if not TAT I doubt we can see such a deep and expressive skater like Mao. One Russian FG fans said once, "since TAT started coaching Mao, even without jumps I liked her skating, it's so ...polished" And now Swan Lake LP is such a pure combination of classical music with classical skating. I feel like Mao trying to put in this program all she has, all her skills and qualities so it's like a benefit sort of.

Indeed! I for one have never lost appreciation for all that Tat has done for Mao. When I saw Mao's 'Masquerade Waltz' FP version, I was mesmerized from the start, and was totally dazzled by the steps. I was shocked that not many fans here liked that one either. At least in Jpn, most fans loved it. Even CDs with 'Masquerade Waltz' in it started selling like crazy at the time! Mao's stamina and steps improved so much because of that pro. I still feel so lucky that I was able to see it live at the first WTT. One of my most treasured memories. Love Hearts

And I think now that maybe the closest mother-figure Mao has is Tat. I think that's why Mao still wants Tat to choreo for her. So, as much as I'd like to see Mao work with other choreographers, I can understand why Mao trusts and sticks to Tat. I suppose next season Mao may have to find another choreographer to replace Tat because of Sochi, but I feel that Tat will always care for our Mao as she always has. Yep!

This is just my opinion but I do not think that Mao is the type of skater who wants to stick only to the same kind of pros. I loved how she skated soft balletic elegant pros in her early years of course, but I totally support her if she wants to try something different. I think she's been doing pros which fits her original style for the past few seasons, but that's probabaly because she had her hands full in reforming her skating. I'm very much looking forward to her SP this season. I think we'll be seeing a different side of Mao, just as she herself said before the season started. It's most likely a good sign that she's going to be attempting a kind of pro she hasn't done before. It must mean she's becoming ready for new challenges once again. sunny

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:50 am

I also think that bells is a masterpiece and a very uniq program, one of my favourite program off Mao too Cloud 9

but to go back to the original topic, how about making our next project a personal letter where we suggest the idea of having a technical coach (maybe nagakube) and maybe send some of the self designed dresses that where created on this site. I think Mao will love the dresses once she sees the creation we have done, and maybe choice some of them, and atleast thereby also make her aware of having a technical coach!
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:23 pm

Hi guys , I read everything you wrote =) I agree, Sato is a good coach for skating skills, Mao has improved a lot in this part, but maybe in this moment she needs a tecnical coach, like Nagabuko, or maybe go to Orser, he can be an strategical coach for Mao befor Sochi. It will be more clear after COC and NHK, maybe she will show a great improvement and shows everybody that Sato was the best decision.

By the way, I love Bells and Mazquerade, maybe Tatiana made simple programs the last two seasons because she learned that Mao was reworking her basics and how difficult it would be for her, but now that Mao has improved a lot, TAT decided to made a beautiful program, with lots of transitions and other details, everybody loves Mao's Swan Lake Many Hearts It is a master piece!


I think we have this kind of discussion so early in the season, because we love Mao's skating and also admire her like an athlete and human being, so we want that she succeeds and get all she deserves cheers

But, no matter what happen this season and next season we, who are her fans because we recognize the beautiful and pure of her skating and the truth artist she is, we must relax and enjoy her skating, no mater what happen, her skating is a gift with or without great jumps, and we don't know what happen after Sochi, maybe we will not have the opportunity to watch Mao compete again. So let's enjoy this season all together and send positive energy to Mao Yep!

Next week-end CoC, It's so exciting!!!!!! Dance Dance Dance Dance

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:32 pm

as for yu-na's management, i'm not saying it's perfect by any means. that obstruction in the ice comment is probably something that yu-na and orser deeply regret saying and it was totally unnecessary and stupid (which i've forgiven them for saying, but that's just me and i can understand if others don't want to forgive them). as for yu-na going to the world championships despite not wanting to go, i don't think it's a matter of her being forced to go but rather pressured to go. either way, yes, it was horrible of her and her team to say that comment and for her to be pressured to go to world championships.

but regardless of who is in her team (whether it's orser plus tracy plus wilson or oppegard plus kwan plus wilson plus bourne or whoever is on her team right now) yu-na is able to capitalize her strengths, hide her weaknesses, and most importantly make things WORK. if there's the wrong people on her team or something isn't working out, she finds a new team and figures out a solution. this, to me, is management.

sure, there's more to management than winning and what goes on during the ice. but the judges don't care about what happens off the ice on the most part. i doubt that the obstruction on the ice comment swayed any of the judges' thinking (and many may not even know about it). the fans, yes. the judges, obviously not. and the judges made it clear that they don't care what the fans think (on any subject, really)... ever.

as for mao, i can see why reforming jumps takes a long time. but that still doesn't answer my questions. it shouldn't take multiple seasons to find the right music and choreography. why allow your pupil to spend time and energy on programs that don't do much for her? scheherezade didn't do a thing for mao since everyone knows she can portray a cute, lovely princess on ice. as great of a program swan lake is... i honestly don't think it's going to do that much for her, either. i even wish that she can portray the black swan more because it seems like she's only portraying the white swan (unless that's what she meant to do). it's a good program but to me it doesn't have the greatness and appeal of her exhibitions. and for me, building competitive programs very similar to mao's exhibitions is her key to success, not these programs that get the job done but do nothing for her. i just don't understand why mao's management is dodging the idea of using her exhibitions as an example to follow (eventhough mrs. sato mentioned the idea). but, time will tell if the swan lake program will be a masterpiece and hopefully i'm wrong in the future. don't get me wrong though, i do like the swan lake program loads more than scheherezade, liebestraum, and most definitely alfred schnittke's "tango."

as for bells of moscow, i fully believe that mao became expressively stronger by using that program. i don't hate it and i believe that it doesn't get the credit it deserves. it's very unique and i don't think anyone else can do a better bells of moscow than mao!

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:12 pm

Well, CoC will be held this week. Let us all wait and see how Mao performs in her first GP event. We've only seen her FS from JO and so far I am liking it. I hope she can skate it better in CoC.

With that said, I can't help but think what if Mao skated Akiko's O program? I love that program, too. It's something different.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:40 pm

What I'm not really found of bells is that it doesn't have transitions so much. It gave me impressions that the program is choreographed rather with straight lines and transitions can be seen barely after 3F-2L-2L (Olympic version). But, the original bells choreography was different. It had a little more transitions after 3As, which she skated at JO & TEB. I don't know why they changed it, but to be honest, my guess is she's already on the down hill back then and she needed to reduce transitions.

But that difficult time is over! She's been working so had and so committed and now she's back on up hill!! I'm sure for that. Yep! That's my impression when I watched her SL at JO. I'm really looking forward to CoC. Especially after watching her merry poppins, I'm so excited to see her SP. Razz

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I think it's Mao who refused to convert her gala program to her Olympic SP. There were news before olympics that people suggested her to do so. Well, she's right with her decision that time. Her Olympics SP is a masterpiece - exquisite, elegant and cheerful ... beyond words.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:31 am

linglang wrote:
But that difficult time is over! She's been working so had and so committed and now she's back on up hill!! I'm sure for that. Yep! That's my impression when I watched her SL at JO. I'm really looking forward to CoC. Especially after watching her merry poppins, I'm so excited to see her SP.



We've been debating alot recently, so I thought some humor wouldn't hurt. Razz

Those who don't get it, go and see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri5S4Hcq0nY
*Very famous scene and dialogue from "Star Trek: TNG" (yes, I'm a bit of a treky... Embarassed )

ETA:correct name of Ms. Poppins...


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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:37 am

PochinkoPotanko wrote:


ETA:correct name of Ms. Poppins...


Mao looks so happy here, Many Hearts I want to see this expression at competitions.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:13 am

Since there were discussions on hoping Mao get a technical coach, whether going to Nagakubo, Rafael and other coaches, someone posted a YT video on Mao and Rafael during 2006-2007. Those who would like to reminisce, here's the link. Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-xWNkhNatA

I can't understand much again but I love Rafael's answer to that guy who was interviewing him.

G: Mao's weapon is the triple axel... (gets interrupted by Rafael)
R: No, no, no... Guys, you just have a look(? can't be sure that's the term he said). Mao's weapon is her BEAUTY. Thumbs up!

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2012-2013 Season!    Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:20 am

PochinkoPotanko wrote:
linglang wrote:
But that difficult time is over! She's been working so had and so committed and now she's back on up hill!! I'm sure for that. Yep! That's my impression when I watched her SL at JO. I'm really looking forward to CoC. Especially after watching her merry poppins, I'm so excited to see her SP.



We've been debating alot recently, so I thought some humor wouldn't hurt. Razz

Those who don't get it, go and see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri5S4Hcq0nY
*Very famous scene and dialogue from "Star Trek: TNG" (yes, I'm a bit of a treky... Embarassed )

ETA:correct name of Ms. Poppins...


OMG! Merry Poppins Silly me! LOL Embarassed
Thanks pochi for good laughter!!

Thanks roma for the video link. It brought back all good memories.
Indeed, her real weapon is her beauty!!
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