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 Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:02 am

I know I am "almost" double posting but I thought the comment was better left here. rosewood translated these comments from Coach Sato about Mao, "I don't think I have a good enough understanding at this point but my take is her physical condition was not good." He also said, "But skaters over 20 years old cannot recover from fatigue easily, and sometimes something inconvenient can come up gradually." It appears to be the flu or a bad cold to me and a couple of people I showed the performance to agree.
The full article is at: http://zasshi.news.yahoo.co.jp/artic...a-spo.view-000 post 479

I really hope Mao rests to recover from her illness and releases the mistakes from her memory, and comes back skating purely for herself and the ideal she has created in her mind, not worrying about placements and scores because I think this will help her bounce back quickly. She has nothing left to prove and I think it is an honor that she is still gracing us with her presence. Every extra skate I get to see from Mao is a bonus. I wouldn't even be watching skating without her because she has made it so beautiful and wonderful. Even with the mistakes, Mao's programs were still my favorite. She could have skated an easier program and scored higher anyway, but she always chooses to take the more challenging path even battling an illness. She definitely is adorable but deep down she is a noble warrior.

Here is a marvelous comment from Nicky at eurosport about Mao's LP, "..the quality of her skating is so beautiful. I think if she just skated around the ice rink and did turns I could watch her all day."

Watching the wonder of Mao skate makes me think of a slight alteration to the Hamlet quote, "There are far more things dreamt of in heaven and earth than are contained in a mere scoring system."

zarinaballerina, I guess Nicky at eurosport redeemed himself a bit with this comment.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:35 pm

Here is a link to a cbc broadcast for Mao's NHK LP:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-mDsCiaDZI

Praise in skating skills from Kurt Browning:

What they can't take away from her is the respect for the running edge of the blade and when she does a little loop, which is making a tear drop shape on the ice with her edge, it's so pure you just can't take that away from her no matter how she may feel today about jumping. Such a beautiful skater, reverent.

Reverent means showing deep and solemn respect, worshipful or awe-inspiring.

Comments concerning Mao's apparent illness, jumps and praise for Mao's spread eagle: The women announcer, sorry don't know her name, said, "Well there was a little rumor going around after the short program that Mao was not feeling very well, and actually looking at her, she does look quite pale. One wonder if she isn't a little bit "under the weather" (ill or sick).

Kurt also mentioned the issues Mao was having with her jumps in the context of her apparent illness, which was mentioned repeatedly."

After Mao's mistake on the triple flip going for the triple loop on the end, Kurt said this to the first woman announcer, "That mistake echoes what you just said (about the illness) because it was un-Mao like to leave a jump unfinished like that." The other woman said she was skating a little bit more tentatively than usual. But, then she praised Mao saying that she hit "that spread eagle at absolutely the perfect moment in the music. She does those things so exquisitely."

Exquisite- extraordinarily fine or admirable, consummate, rare and appealing excellence.

The second woman commentator after looking at Mao in the K&C said, "I know she worked hard, and again I know we were talking about Mao not feeling well. But, she wasn't perspiring (sweating) that much after the Cup of China. That looks more like a bit of a fever."

The first woman then said, "No (meaning the sweat didn't come from working hard), she looked really exhausted at the end."

By the way, I thought Mao did perspire about the same amount after the Cup of China LP because of the unusually warm skating arena, but so did the other skaters. At NHK, only Mao did.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:39 pm

Thanks to rosewood for this translation of Mao's interivew. True to form, Mao says nothing about her obvious illness, which I think was the flu. Seeing Mao at the end of the freeskate in such exhaustion and swearing so much likely with a fever has made me realize that it would have been better for her not to compete at NHK. But besides trying to fulfill the expectations of the home audience, Mao had to participate in the competition in order to meet the qualifications for Nationals. It will be challenging for Mao the next 3 to 4 weeks with Grand Prix Final and Nationals. I wish her the best.

Sorry to be late, but here is my rough translation of an interview with Mao done after FS.
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20151128-00000103-spnavi-spo

I made major mistakes. I had a feeling that my feelings and moves didn't match well. Even during 6 minutes warm-up there were many jumps on which I missed right timing. I missed the timing during my long program too. I thought I managed to leave things behind and I felt "I can go for it" when I started skating. But I didn't have sharp move on the opening 3A. I haven't delivered any satisfying performance yet since this season started. I'll reset everything and start anew. I want good skates at the final.

(Very short time left?)
I've already built basics. The last thing is to go with strong mind. Training is the most important thing. I'll prepare for the final from now. Making a comeback, things have been going well since the first competition. But my skate here made me feel regrettable.

(Yesterday you said things went so easy.)
I myself felt things went easier in competitions than in training. Today after finishing my performance I re-found the present status of my condition and the things that I'm capable of at this moment. Based on them, I'll sort out my feelings to prepare for the final.

(What did you feel when you went for the 3A?)
On the very moment of the take off I found my moves were not sharp enough and my air position was twisted. So I noticed I can't nail it.

(What do you think about the up and down consistency?)
During the 6 minutes warm-up there were many jumps on which I missed the right timing. Unexpected things can happen.

(You made mistakes on flips which you are good at, on the other hand you landed the luz. Isn't it that you were too cautious about luz and then you lost your focus on flips?)
I don't think so since I'm feeling luz and flip are totally different jumps. After all 3-3 and the flip in the second half are not consistent enough yet. I don't feel I owe those jumps yet.

(It looks you pulled up your condition earlier than usual seasons. What do you think about your peaking?)
I myself had the feeling that I finished my preparations with good feelings. So I'm a bit upset. That said, this is my actual level at this point. I can aim at higher level. No matter what stage of the season it is, I should work on what I can work on.

(You finished three competitions. What's your impression at this point?)
At the first competition of this season as well as at the first competition of this GP circuit I was excited. But with the season progresses my feelings changed a bit. It's not about placements but it was my too strong feelings that I "must must must" reach the goals that I've aiming at since the beginning of this season.

(Did you have anxieties or conflicts inside of yourself?)
There are days when I can make it and I can't make it even though I do my daily training constantly. Looking back my experiences in the past, I could make clean programs when I got my elements consistent during daily training. I haven't reached that level yet. Even at this point I'm OK with my each technique, but I'm still half way away from putting things together. Lots of people told me that I progressed a lot. That said, I still feel I left lots of things to work on. Those two are conflicting. (bitter smile) As for my mindset at competitions, it will be updated when I get good enough consistency during daily training.

(Do you have good reactions from your training that you are progressing?)
I feel the quality of my every jump is higher than Sochi Olys season. And I feel they are close to finished ones that I've been aiming at. But the consistency in daily training is not good enough. At this point, on one day I can nail the jump and on another day I can't. I have to work on it. Besides, I need to get my whole program consistent.

(At the end of the long program you looked unable to move anymore. Was that like "It can't be!"?)
My goal was to deliver a better skate here than in my first two competitions of this season. So that was a regrettable performance to me. Also I felt regrettable for the audience, since I wished to show a good performance to the lots of people who came to see me.


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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:43 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:45 am

Thanks to rosewood again for translating this interview done with Mao after her Gala performance.

http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/inde...7#post-4645368 number 496

The original site for the interview is:
http://sports.yahoo.co.jp/column/det...003-spnavi?p=2

Basically, in the interview Mao says she wants to start with a clean slate and leave her regrets for the NHK behind by piling up her elements in her runthroughs especially the first big three.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:04 am

WowMao wrote:
I
zarinaballerina, I guess Nicky at eurosport redeemed himself a bit with this comment.

Laugh  
I'm glad to hear it. Wink  As I've said, they do have their moments where I just want to throw something at them, but their love for Mao has always been very evident. Even though it did took one of then (I think it was Nicky) a whole season to learn how to pronounce her name. Hell, no!
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:13 am

According to the today’s paper, when Mao was asked about the layout change,
she said “I think I have to think about that."

Please, Mao, please!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:16 am

silenceisgolden I share your concern. I hope Mao makes her programs a little easier for Nationals at least to take some pressure off. So, she can relax a bit and get into her performances.

rosewood posted these messages:

This article has an interview with Mao after FS. (Sorry I don't have time to translate now) She sounded frustrated with current mental, technical, and physical conditions. She also indicated that changes of the jump layouts are in her considerations (for Nats).
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...510-sanspo-spo

http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/inde....95911/page-19 post number 546

rosewood also posted this message: Hey, guys! We're gonna watch new version of "Jupiter" on Jan 9th in NHK's show which is designed for supporting 3.11 affected people.
http://www.nhk-p.co.jp/event/detail.php?id=528#spex_mao

http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/inde....95911/page-19 post 544

My thoughts: I think it's great that Mao is going to do this performance in one way, but then again I wish she would rest after Nationals to regain good health.

cohkaix posted this announcement mentioning an invitation for Mao to skate at the 4CC's

Local news (in Chinese) release re. 4CC2016:

https://tw.sports.yahoo.com/news/四大洲...7061--spt.html
http://www.chinatimes.com/realtimene...6003685-260403 (the title of this news entry is kind of misleading though)
http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...010-ftaiwan-cn (in Japanese yahoo headlines)

In summary, it's a general announcement of 4CC 2016 to be held in Taipei. The CT-FS Secretary General, Eddie Wu, states that the CT federation plans to invite skaters incl. Yuzuru Hanyu, Mao Asada, Patrick Chan and others to participate in the competition. For the (free) tickets, most of the tickets were requested within 20-min to 1hr from the point of releasing. Over 65% of the tickets requested was from overseas, and most of these from Japan.


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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:08 am

I know a lot of people want to say Mao should go for it all, but I agree with swapping out the triple lutz with another jump like the triple salchow with the triple flip and loop or the triple loop to go with the triple flip / double loop in the SP. Mao seems to be a bit more comfortable with the triple lutz in the LP. I can't help but think that Mao wants to do what her hero, Midori Ito, did by doing the triple axel and triple lutz in the same program, but I think of her SP and LP as running a gauntlet twice that must make her nervous especially so sick her first season back. But, I think even Midori Ito didn't do both in the same program that many times or at least without much consistency. I can only think of the 1989 and 1990 Worlds LP, but I haven't seen that many of Midori's programs, so I maybe wrong.

The main reason I would like Mao to back off the tech content just a bit is because her skating is so incredibly beautiful when she relaxes and releases her self to the music which she does the best when she gives clean performances. It's so organic and genuine with so much variety of expression between her sophisticated and attractive jazz number with the fluid intricacy of her dance moves building into a high leg in her SP to the stately majesty of of her lavender wings soaring and diving through expectation and desperation with prima ballerina positions in Madame Butterfly. Even with the jumping mistakes, these and the beautiful triple axels are the parts of her SP and LP I remember the most. When it all comes together like at the Japan Open or the Cup of China - it's just incredible.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:41 pm

I don't think anyone has mentioned yet that Mao's SP costume has leaned towards a lavender color like her Madame Butterfly and Nocturne costumes.

I don't think anyone has mentioned yet that Mao's SP costume has leaned towards a lavender color like her Madame Butterfly and Nocturne costumes.

I have posted a lot of high quality Mao photos for her SP and LP at the following site.

http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/index.php?threads/the-mao-cheer-thread-2-her-beauty-is-her-biggest-weapon.95911/page-19 number 551
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:28 am

Here is a message posted by rosewood. (posted on Dec 18). Smile
FB member saw Mao Asada today and said she seems relaxed and talking joyfully.
That's good to know! I'm quite relieved now.

http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/index.php?threads/the-mao-cheer-thread-2-her-beauty-is-her-biggest-weapon.95911/page-19#post-4658117 number 552

I am glad that Mao seems to be feeling better.


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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:29 am

a


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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:31 am

a
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:42 am

Japan Time’s article,
“Mao’s outlook at mid-season: What the experts think”
Although Jack Gallagher is one of the most unpopular men among us,
this article contains a lot of nice quotes from Kurt, Nicky, Chris …

* * * * * *
“Spins looked great, footwork was gorgeous, interpretation magnificent,” Browning commented.
“The transitions of the program just to die for.”
Browning, who has also choreographed programs for several top skaters over the years,
believes that Mao still has time to regain her form and contend for a fourth world title this season.
“She knows that the overall picture of this program was pulled out of focus by those little mistakes,”
Browning said of Mao’s free skate. “They were too consistent . . . it just didn’t let the beauty of
that program shine through today.
“It’s a gorgeous program. There is room built in that program for a second triple axel,”
Browning pointed out. “If she is on her game in 2016 at the world championships, the world can be hers again.”


http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2015/12/22/figure-skating/maos-outlook-mid-season-experts-think/#.Vnloe8tuljr
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:20 am

Usually, after the all Japan nationals and New Year, there will be some local ice shows held in the middle of the season during Jan. And as it has been announced, Mao will take part in the 'NHK Trophy figure skating special EX' to be held on Jan. 9th (together with Hanyu, Plushenko, Shizuka, and others).

Website: http://www.nhk-p.co.jp/event/detail.php?id=528

It was actually announced earlier that Mao will skate to a special version of 'Jupiter' for this event. And in the following video, it reveals that Mao has actually re-produced the Jupiter program by herself, including costume, lightening, lyrics and choreography.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3j4x1y_20151223-ma-%25E3%2582%25B9%25E3%2583%259A%25E3%2582%25B7%25E3%2583%25A3%25E3%2583%25ABex-%25E7%2595%25AA%25E5%25AE%25A3_sport

I hope she can get a full rest after all Japan, and it's good that so far it seems the only event she's been signed up after the new year. Looking forward to the 'self-produced' version of Jupiter.

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:50 pm

Here is a video of Mao making an advertisement for ECC English Language schools which will be broadcast from January 5. From google translate, Mao says she wants to work hard because half the season still remains.

Press full screen. The video quality is really good and Mao is so beautiful with a bright and shining spirit.


http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2016/01/05/015/
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:27 pm

WowMao wrote:
Here is a video of Mao making an advertisement for ECC English Language schools which will be broadcast from January 5. From google translate, Mao says she wants to work hard because half the season still remains.

Press full screen. The video quality is really good and Mao is so beautiful with a bright and shining spirit.


http://news.mynavi.jp/news/2016/01/05/015/

Thanks! I think this is from the same ECC commercial, but for Mao (the current) to skate after 12-yr old Mao is simply too cute:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k--IO8SMliY
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:21 am

Your welcome, CONK.

Here is a post from Iron Lotus at goldenskate translating the comments in the video below. I don't know the accuracy of the translation, so I hope someone can verify it:

[​IMG] Originally Posted by dia [​IMG]
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3k...E8%AB%87_sport

Points of interest:
After returning from GPF, Mao had thoughts of not going to Nats and retiring. Mai and Mao had a longstanding agreement that Mai does not attend Mao's comps, but Mai had to be in Sapporo (secretly) to report on Shoma. Mai received a message from Mao asking her to attend. They both thought that this could be Mao's final performance.

Mao also said that since her competitive career has a limited time left, she will take the ice every time with feelings of gratitude.

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:43 pm

I am glad you liked the video, CONK. Thanks for your video link. It is really entertaining.

I don't really think Mao's feelings about retirement just before Nationals are surprising given the circumstances. Mao competed at the NHK with the pressure of a home crowd with a fever and heavy sweating in both the SP and LP and was disappointed because she couldn't perform well which is understandable given the poor health condition she was in. The reports that she was sick were widespread and obvious to me as they were to CBC commentators. She skated well in the SP at the Grand Prix Final but got hit with two harsh ur calls while what looked like obvious ur calls to me and other viewers by other skaters in the SP were overlooked. It has already been suggested that the ur call on her triple flip and loop bothered her in her SP at the Cup of China. Mao also got a lower score in her step sequence in the SP at the Grand Prix Final than Gracie Gold, which I think is very unjust given Mao's superior dancing ability and skating skills. What I consider this overly harsh scoring along with skating with the stomach flu caused her to finish last by less than 3/10 of a point in the Grand Prix Final, while other skaters enjoyed unprecedented increases in their scores. I am not saying that Mao felt she was scored unjustly, though I think other scores were inflated, but that the results probably upset her greatly after she was already down emotionally because of her illness and after she had already endured an earlier illness which caused her to have disappointing results in a previous competition. So, the effect was compounded or snowballed.

I don't know what happens behind the scenes, but I feel that those in charge of caring for Mao should have tried to prevent her from competing at the NHK or in the LP at the Grand Prix Final. Maybe they did I don't know and maybe Mao did insist on competing anyway. I just think those advising her should have known the negative consequences that would have likely resulted, especially since it was at the busiest point in the season and since it could undermine her confidence and her reputation, not to mention the criticism it would expose her to unjustly all when she was at a sensitive time because it was her comeback season. Just think of the difference in her position going into Nationals, if she had skipped the NHK because of her justifiable poor health condition. She would have won the only two competitions she entered: the Japan Open and the China Open and been 3 of 3 on her triple axel attempts. Given the extraordinary circumstances of Mao's illness at the NHK, I think Mao should have been allowed to go to Nationals based on her China Open victory, her unrivaled past and present success and all the places she has provided for the World team throughout her career.


I think another frustration for Mao was the fact that she could hit her jumps so well in warmup but couldn't do it in competition, but the illnesses probably weakened her ability to cope with stress, focus and hurt her physical endurance and coordination.Personally, I feel that those in charge of caring for Mao should not have allowed her to compete at the NHK or in the LP at the Grand Prix Final. I think they should have known the negative consequences that would have likely resulted, especially since it was at the busiest point in the season and since it could undermine her confidence and her reputation, not to mention the criticism it would expose her to unjustly all when she was at a sensitive time because it was her comeback season. Just think of the difference in her position going into Nationals, if she had skipped the NHK because of her justifiable poor health condition. She would have won the only two competitions she entered: the Japan Open and the China Open and been 3 of 3 on her triple axel attempts. Given the extraordinary circumstances of Mao's illness at the NHK, I think they should have allowed Mao to go to Nationals based on her China Open victory, her unrivaled past and present success and all the places she has provided for the Wolrd team throughout her career.

I think another frustration for Mao was the fact that she could hit her jumps so well in warmup but couldn't do it in competition, but the illnesses probably weakened her ability to cope with stress, focus and hurt her physical endurance and coordination.

Given Mao's condition after the Grand Prix Final, the symptoms of stomach flu are very unpleasant and cause prolonged weakness so it would make a lot of sense that Mao would consider retirement rather than face yet another competition at Nationals where she was weakened by illness and suffer more potential embarrassment, since she probably didn't have the proper time to recover and become strong mentally and physically. Mao endured a very difficult time and I think she coped remarkably well, but it was obvious at Nationals that it had all taken a big toll on her emotionally.

That's why Mao's LP performance of Madame Butterfly was so emotionally compelling at Nationals. Mao may not have said how hard a time she had endured in words, but she expressed it in art and spoke to me more loudly than if she had used words. The mistakes at the beginning almost gave the performance the right amount of tragic grandeur and fit well with the role of the character she was playing. This made the last 3 minutes which were perfect even more bittersweet as the few tears welled up in her eyes at the end. But even here, the ur call on Mao's backend 2A / 3T seemed very harsh, especially considering the excessively generous tech scores given to Satoko (almost as high as Mao's Sochi LP) for tiny jumps with what looked like at least 1 or 2 overlooked urs to me.   

It looked like Mao was on road to recovery during most of her LP performance at Nationals, so I am optimistic she will come back strong at 4CC's and Nationals. Like Mao, I will just be grateful for every performance I get to see from her. I can't think of any clean performances this season or last by any other skater that moved me nearly as much emotionally as Mao's freeskate at Nationals and to me that's far more important than a score.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:59 pm

WowMao wrote:

[​IMG] Originally Posted by dia [​IMG]
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3k...E8%AB%87_sport

Points of interest:
After returning from GPF, Mao had thoughts of not going to Nats and retiring. Mai and Mao had a longstanding agreement that Mai does not attend Mao's comps, but Mai had to be in Sapporo (secretly) to report on Shoma. Mai received a message from Mao asking her to attend. They both thought that this could be Mao's final performance.

Mao also said that since her competitive career has a limited time left, she will take the ice every time with feelings of gratitude.


Yes, that's pretty much what happened and was described in the video. And I'll add some more points (roughly) based on the chatting between Mao and Mai here:

  • After GPF, before Nationals:

-  Mao talks about having the thought of skipping Nationals prior to the competition. She thinks by withdrawing, it would be an easier way out. But she also realized that had she WD-ed, she'd probably regret doing that later on. So eventually she went on to the Nationals


  • After SP

- Just as described, after the SP performance, Mao contacted Mai out of surprise. They had the deal before that Mai would not go to any of Mao's competitions. But as Mao was asking if Mai would come to Nationals, Mai's first reaction was: perhaps this is the last competition for Mao.


  • For FS

- The cheering from the audiences probably gave Mao a lot of power. Although the 1st 2 jumping passes were not so successful, she managed the Lz and was able to make it through with the rest of the program, and gave the best performance she could. So after FS, it comes naturally to Mao that 'she will be able to continue.'


  • After thoughts

- Yes, Mao does mention that 'though that she cannot compete anymore setting goals like Olys like she used to, and so she'll only focus on each comp one at a time and see what happens' (thanks to the translation from the FB fan page), and with feelings of gratitude.

NB: after watching the chatting, I just appreciate much the bounding of sisterhood between the two. I think (and hope) Mao will be fine for the 2nd half of the season after getting through this.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:24 pm

Besides Mao's illnesses which is one main reason she has faced challenges this season, I just thought that another reason Mao is probably having difficulties is because she is disappointed because of "Others expectations she couldn't fulfill." and because she says, "she was rather disappointed she could not answer the expectations of her fans/ supporters/coaching team or of other people around her." I wish Mao would skate for herself and let go of playing the role of Atlas bearing the expectations of the world and all of Japan as a burden upon her shoulders. As a huge fan, I wish she would realize that she has flooded my expectations to overflowing with emotion and tears with so many of her performances including several from this year. As a matter of fact, I love her skating even more now that she has faced difficulties because I truly feel her depth of expression and sympathy for the real human being who has so many fascinating qualities that make her more than just a legendary champion. Now Mao, after giving so many wonderful moments to so many, please go out on the ice and fulfill your own expectations. Those are the only ones over which you have any control.

Thanks for the translation dia
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:48 am

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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:55 am

Thanks for posting the gorgeous picture of Mao, silenceisgolden.

Here is a post I left at fsuniverse finally showing why Mao set a world record for her Sochi LP.

Comparing average PCS scores in the Grand Prix 2013 to the Sochi LPs, Julia's PCS scores was about 8-9 points higher, Adelina's was about 12 points higher, Gracie's was 7 points higher, Carolina's was about 5 points higher than her best skate in the Grand Prix at Rostelecom. But, Mao's PCS was almost exactly her Grand Prix average. Kim's PCS was about 3 points higher than her Worlds 2013 LP. Mao finished with a ridiculously low 5th place PCS. However, 4 judges gave Mao an average of 72.1 PCS and 5 judges gave Mao a PCS average of almost 72 (71.84), which is over 2 points higher than what she actually got 69.6. Yet, 4 judges gave Mao an absurdly deflated PCS average of 67.2.

In a similar fashion to the deflation of her PCS scores, I believe Mao was singled out for tech calls and deflation of her GOE in order to keep her score down to ensure she didn't threaten the podium, since nobody knew what was coming. I don't think Mao's urs on the 3F / 3L and 2A / 3T should have been called, especially since Yuna Kim's solo lutz was not called, Adelina's backend 3 Lutz / 3 T was not called which had less rotation than Mao's backend 2A / 3T and since the front end of Carolina's 3T / 2T was not called. In addition, Mao's flutz was called but Adelina's wasn't. Besides, Mao's called combos looked to be at or within the acceptable 1/4 mark to me anyway and her landings were cleaner than the others that were not called. Also, Mao's highest GOE on any of her jumps was a deflated +.8.

Mao finished with a heavily deflated 6th place GOE, even after 3.5 to 4 points deductions from her base value for ur calls that were ignored in other skaters. Interestingly even after the ur calls and reduction in base value, 3 judges gave Mao a +1 on her 3F / 3L and 3 gave her a +1 on her 2A / 3T. I could find no other woman competitor in the Sochi LP that received even 1 +1 from a judge after a ur call. This suggests to me that that these 3 judges thought these jump combos were rotated so strongly that they were willing to go against the tech ruling by giving them +1.

When I showed all the performances to a friend who hadn't seen any of the skaters, they said they liked Mao's performance the best because of her beautiful jumps.

I think Mao's LP should have won the freeskate and set a new world record with 3.5 to 4 points more in base value for urs that were ignored in other skaters, at least 2 points more in GOE and over 2 points more in PCS which the majority of judges gave her anyway.

In a similar fashion, Mao's 3A in the Worlds 2014 LP, which originally received an outstanding +1.6 GOE, before it was given a ur received + 1's from judges AFTER the ur call. Mao's 3F / 3L in the Worlds 2014 LP which received an excellent +1.3 GOE before the ur call also received +1's from 3 judges AFTER the ur call. Such defiance of the tech crew rulings is highly unusual and unique to Mao's jumps.


Last edited by WowMao on Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:18 am

Mao's deflation continues in the Japan Nationals LP with her 2A / 3 T receiving a ur call, even though two judges gave the combo a +1 GOE again showing how strongly they opposed the ruling. Yet, Satoko's solo triple lutz with a 10 percent bonus in the second half of her program, which looked to be a clear ur to me, was given a higher GOE than Mao's triple lutz which had more rotation, not to mention greater height, distance, better flow in and out, more erect posture and more balletic flair of motion on exit. Satoko's 2A / 3t looked to have less rotation than Mao's yet it received +.8 GOE, while Mao's got a ur call. Furthermore, Mao was only given level 3 on her step sequence at Japan Nationals with a +1.5 GOE, even though Mao received a level 4 with a +2 GOE in the Grand Prix Final LP and a level 4 with a +1.8 GOE in her Cup of China LP. But, Satoko did receive a level 4 step sequence. Mao's own federation is scoring her in some ways even more harshly than the ISU.

I think Satoko is a good skater but she is getting advantages in scoring that Mao never has. The scoring of Mao's best skates and in her Nationals LP are unjustly deflated compared to Satoko's scores. Two times in a row Satoko has gotten tech and PCS scores almost as high as Mao's Sochi LP without a triple axel, with one less triple and with much smaller jumps with less flow, less erect posture, asymmetrical air position particularly in the boots that flail a bit in the air, and with Satoko's big pre-rotation, they are actually less rotated than Mao's. Both of Satoko's last two LP's have  scored higher than Mao's 2014 Worlds LP  with MUCH higher tech scores. I can't help but think this is another thing that has bothered Mao.    

More evidence that scores were fixed against Mao:

First, there were almost no urs called in the Japanese Nationals LP. They were almost all on falls and one other one on Satoko's obvious ur, to me it looked like two, in her opening 3 lutz / 2 Lo / 2 Lo combo. Mao was the only one I could find in the protocols who received a ur on a jump that looked rotated to the eye in real time and on instant replay, and she was the only to receive 2 +1's from judges for a ur call. Nobody else received even 1.  

Here is more evidence that I feel shows Mao is suffering obvious scoring discrimination from her own federation.

Satoko's 2A / 3T was scored 2.3 points higher than Mao's though it appeared in instant replay to have less overall rotation to me on BOTH jumps.
Satoko's 3S was scored the same as Mao's though Mao has repeatedly been complimented by announcers for her 3S for its light lofty height
Satoko's Choreography Sequence was scored higher than Mao's
Satoko's LSp4 scored MUCH higher than Mao's
Satoko's CHSq 1 scored higher than Mao's
Satoko's solo 3 Ltz scored MUCH higher than Mao's, though it looked like a ur.  

Mao, the prima ballerina and consummate dancer praised by professional dance instructors for both these qualities and often regarded as the greatest female figure skater in Japanese history gets a lower score on home ice in her step sequence, choreography, almost all her spins, more under-rotations and about equal GOE even on her best jumps compared to Satoko in her LP, who my friend with a PHD in math said didn't jump but hopped the first time he saw her skate.  Sorry if this sounds rude but sometimes an unbiased observer gives a refreshingly frankds perspective.  

The highest GOE that Mao received on any jump was +.9 on her 3Lo and Mao received only +.8 GOE on her highly inspired, athletic and graceful 3F / 2Lo / 2Lo with a magnificent flair of the arms in tempo to the music on exit. One judge even dared to give this combo 0 GOE.

The following if fairly scored would have ensured that Mao tied or scored higher than Satoko in the freeskate:
1. Mao's jumps should have been given higher GOE and Mao should have scored higher in the choreographic and step sequence and at least more of the spins: like the I spin, Biellmann variation and extended leg sit spin at least. Mao holds the end of her boot in the extended leg sit spin which I have seen no other skater do and it is much more graceful and aesthetically pleasing.    
2. Satoko's jumps should have been given lower GOE because they lack the quality, beauty, excitement and risk of Mao's jumps.
Satoko's consistency relies on keeping her jumps low to the ground so that falling is very difficult, but to me it spoils much of the aesthetics and excitement of the jump to say the least.
3. Mao should not have had a ur call on her 2A / 3T which 2 judges were willing to publicly announce their disapproval of by giving +1 GOE after the ur call. This is a highly unusual thing to do but it happens very often with Mao's ur calls because they are so often bogus.
4. Satoko should have had a ur call on at least her second triple lutz.

Actually all this would give Mao a slight lead.

This doesn't even consider PCS, and if my view Mao should have had an advantage of more than 1 point. To me, Mao's mistakes did not distract from the performance as I have written in an earlier post on the NHK thread. Here are some comments that show others agree:

cumbresbo 1 week ago
In my opinion her best Madame Butterfly. So emotional and beautiful, maybe some people see her apathetic because she doesn´t overact as some exaggerate skaters but I was so moved with her performance, she is a SUN!!

chapis
Totally agree, even better than Japan open, I can´t stop of watch it. I get goosebumps each time , if this would be her last performance of Madame Butterfly I would not be disappointed, even with the mistakes this was so magical and beautiful, I hope her tears at the end of the program were not of disappointment because I prefer to watch this performance over the best of Evgenia, Elena, Liza and even my precious Satoko anyday.

Michele Lam 6 days ago
Even though she made a few mistakes, she is always my flavor. She has something special that can't be found from other current Japanese skaters. But if you ask me what it is exactly, I don't know. She is just special.

홍덕영 5 days ago
yes!! i agree..
though she is not perfect, she has something special...

Yet, this inspirational performance is judged more harshly by judges from Mao's own country than one that is less inspirational (in my opinion as well) in China or Spain by those who are foreigners to Mao. I am guessing the JSF is doing the same thing that the ISU did in the Grand Prix Final when they carried out the injustice of scoring Mao's step sequence lower than Gracie Gold's in the SP. ensuring Mao the embarrassment of finishing last place in the Grand Prix Final with the stomach flu. This doesn't even consider the overly harsh double ur call on her 3F / 3L which was praised by eurosport commentators.

I think this shows that an effort wasn't made to put Mao ON the podium at the Japan Nationals. Instead, I think it shows an attempt was made to keep Mao OFF the podium and the JSF just missed by less than 1/2 a point. The underscoring of Mao's LP ensured that she would be placed third behind Wakaba Higuchi (whose skating I like but still), instead of getting second and preserved the status of Satoko Miyahara (whose skating I like a little but still) whose scores have shot through the roof at the very time that Mao has suffered from what appears to be the flu twice. This is unjust and ungrateful treatment from a federation that takes so much from Mao including her money.

I really sympathize with Mao and hope she makes a full recovery so she is back in top form for the 4CC's and Worlds. People will know when she gives a great performance and don't need to be told by suspect tech rulings and judges' scores.


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PostSubject: Re: Mao News - The 2015-2016 Season!   Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:24 pm

Mao's step sequence in her SP Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen SP is one of my all time favorites

Here is her performance of it at the Cup of China 2015- I am going to be optimistic that Mao can come back with 4 performances that make her as happy as this at 4CCs and Worlds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lSPnBevRcM

Maos' tear-shaped Biellmann spin transitions into tantalizing twirls at the beginning of her scintillating step sequence. She flashes a wide grin and makes broad, sweeping gestures with her arms in the corner of the rink, as if unveiling the curtains for a fabulous Cabaret show. Then with smooth deep edges, Mao rhythmically carves steps in crescendo to the music, as she throws her head way back and continually glides across the ice with the savory flow of liquid butter. Her arms and legs move in a sinuously smooth fashion with limber twists and dashes as she grooves gracefully, as if she were chasing the melody escaping from a silky saxophone. One more dash forward with her head thrown back while flashing a wild smile to the audience, then she sweeps into a series of swift twirls that accelerate into a high leg kick that sends her airborne, as the words Bella, Bella, Bella! blare out at the climax. She brings it on home with a couple of more twirls, shakes her arms loose at her sides, as she pauses to straddle the tips of her blades. Then, she finishes with a camel transitioning into a cross sit and ideal I spin.

liquid butter- came from Lori Nichol


Mao's Cup of China SP 2015
3.9 base value x 1.8 GOE 2015 all 2's and 3's Level 4. I think it should be all +3's
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