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 Really nice article about Mao and the Olympics

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Batsuchan
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PostSubject: Really nice article about Mao and the Olympics   Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:26 pm

I thought this article was so great that I had to translate it fully (and I thought it deserved it's own thread). Love Hearts I think it's the same guy who did the article on Mao's off-ice training, or at least it's the same newspaper.

http://www.asahi.com/sports/spo/TKY200902120098.html

Mao Asada can imagine a warm welcome scene

In the central part of Canada's Vancouver in front of a museum, there is a countdown clock counting down the days until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. On the 7th, the day after finishing the free program at the Four Continents Championship, the clock that Mao Asada looked at had "370 days" left. In the spring of 2007, Mao visited this city for the first time to perform in an ice show. "At that time, it was about 1000 days. Wow, that was fast, I thought. At the time of the Torino Olympics, I had thought, there's still four years left."

Last time - the 2006 Torino Olympics. The 15-year old who won that season's Grand Prix Final couldn't compete because of the age limit. According to the rule that competitors have to be 15-years old by July 1st in the previous year, Mao was just about 3 months too young. There were some who argued for a "special exemption."

Mao had looked up to a 15-year old Olympic gold medalist - the 1998 Nagano Olympics gold medalist, Tara Lipinski. The 147cm-tall girl who landed triple-triple combinations and other difficult jumps with ease. That was when Mao started to become engrossed in figure skating. "She was small, she was cute. I want to be like that," she thought. If she had been able to go to the Torino Olympics, just like Lipinski...?

"I knew from when I was young that I wouldn't be able to go, so I didn't really pay attention to what people around me were saying. If I had been able to go to Torino? I don't know. If I didn't do it at that time, I can't know. [ie, I didn't get to try it then, so I can't say]" She saw Shizuka Arakawa's gold medal on TV. "To bring out your very best on the Olympic stage is amazing. While I was watching, I wondered (and worried) if I had it in me to do that."

From that point, three years have passed. At the test competition held at the Olympic venue, the Four Continents Championship, she finished 3rd. For last season's World champion and this season's Grand Prix Final champion, the 18-year old queen, it was an unfitting result. "It was not my best condition, and I didn't feel very confident like I usually do." Physical condition, mind, technique---if you can't match everything perfectly, then it's difficult to win every competition on the international level. Of course, next year's Olympics will be the same way.

"My mental preparation [literally "heart preparation"] is done. To say it's 'done,' well, every year I think the same way, but I've put the Olympics in my thoughts just a little bit. It's difficult, expressing what I mean. If you try too hard, then you can get injured. I think the Olympics is the most important stage, but I don't want to focus only on the Olympics. If I focus too much on it, then I don't think I'll be able to give a good performance," she warns herself.

The middle school student who was called a genius girl becomes a college student starting this spring. She has the confidence of someone who has overcome the difficult years of growing taller and having trouble finding the balance while jumping, someone has battled with the top skaters in the world.

While giving an embarrassed smile, she says, "I can imagine myself in a year's time." From the waiting room to the rink, there is a straight pathway about 20 meters long. She will pass through there, be engulfed by a warm welcome, and enter the white rink. "I hope to give my very best performance. Everything I have done up until now, I want to bring out with no regrets."

(Written by Takeshi Sakagami.)

** On February 12, 2010, the Vancouver Olympics will begin. For the Japanese skaters, the big stage that is 1 year away - with what kind of thoughts are they waiting for it?

[Mao bio at bottom omitted.]

****************
I believe that Mao can bring out her very best at Worlds and then again at the Olympics!!!!! Happy dance
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chapis
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PostSubject: Re: Really nice article about Mao and the Olympics   Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:49 pm

I love you I love her attitude, she is so mature. I don´t mind if she win or not, she is the best, but I really think that she will win. flower

Thumbs up! and thanks for the translation.
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PostSubject: Re: Really nice article about Mao and the Olympics   Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:51 pm

Thanks a lot for the translatioN!! I hope you don't mind that I put it on my website? Thanks =D
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Batsuchan
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PostSubject: Re: Really nice article about Mao and the Olympics   Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:57 pm

bibi wrote:
Thanks a lot for the translatioN!! I hope you don't mind that I put it on my website? Thanks =D

Nope, I don't mind at all! Please do! I want everyone to know about Mao and how wonderful she is before the Olympics! Many Hearts
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PostSubject: Re: Really nice article about Mao and the Olympics   Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:14 pm

wow, thank you for the great translation!! It sure takes time to come up with one. greatly appreciated!!
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PostSubject: Re: Really nice article about Mao and the Olympics   Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:06 am

Thanks for translating that was a great article!
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Batsuchan
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PostSubject: Re: Really nice article about Mao and the Olympics   Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:40 am

Ok, here's another article I really liked, but I felt like I couldn't start a new thread every time I find one Sweatdrop, so here it is:

http://number.goo.ne.jp/others/723/20090226-6-1.html

The "weaknesses" and "true value" that Mao showed us in the Pre-Olympics

At the Four Continents Championship, the Olympic test event, Mao Asada finished 3rd.

"There are still many things that I need to do from now on. At Worlds, I want to give a better performance."

When Mao said this at the press conference, she could not hide her depressed expression.

This season, Mao has repeated the pattern of making mistakes in the short program and coming back in the free program. One reason why she is not in her best condition is that this season, to overcome her weaknesses, she is undertaking many challenges.

“For a skater to change what she has been doing all along is not easy. But Mao practiced like the men.”

Coach Tarasova, who could not accompany Mao to the Four Continents Championships because of family reasons, spoke this way in an interview in Helsinki at the end of January.

This season, Asada proactively tackled the correction of the edge of the lutz jump, which she received deductions for last season. But when her condition is poor, she becomes too conscious about it and makes mistakes. At this competition too, in the SP, she doubled the lutz, and finishing 6th, she had a rough start.

“Were you surprised that Mao started off in 6th place?”

Yu-Na Kim, who was asked this question, gave a bitter smile, and through a translator, answered this way.

“Everyone likes to ask me about Mao. But there’s no reason for me to pay attention to any one skater.”

Even though she said this, it doesn’t mean she wasn’t paying attention. Yu-Na Kim attempted to do the triple loop, which she’s weak at, in her free program. She fell and finished 3rd in the free program, but at the end, she held on to the top spot and won. The reason she dared to take a risk here can only be because she had a 14-point lead over Mao after the SP. For Kim, there should be no other skater that she worries about.

On the other hand, Mao, who had been driven into a difficult situation, decided to do one triple axel and avoided the lutz and salchow which she is weak at, and finished 1st in the free program with a safe, steady program.

Among the current ladies, these two both have outstanding qualities, but they are of different types.

"Yu-Na Kim's jumps are like the men's, with a lot of force, and both height and distance. On the other hand, Mao Asada's jumps are airy, like a butterfly rising up, feminine. Both have their good points."

Mieko Fujimori, who was a judge for the ladies' competition this time, spoke this way.

If you compare the expressiveness of the two, they are just about even. In terms of jump difficulty, Mao is ahead for some jumps. But in this season, when underrotation calls have become strict, difficult jumps now carry greater risk compared to before.

"In terms of judging, the ISU is now taking the direction of aiming for beautiful, perfected jumps rather than difficulty." (Fujimori)

The fact that a men's champion who did not do a quad emerged at last year's World Championships also supports Fujimori's words. The key for Mao's victory will be increasing the perfection of her combination jumps.

"This season Asada is using a deeper edge in her skating. If she perfects this, the success rates for her jumps should increase even more. Coach Tarasova is nurturing her with a view for the long-term." (Same source as before.)

In March, the World Championships will be held, but in that long-term view, of course there is next year's Olympics.

"This season is a year of challenges for Mao. But next year, she won't take risks."

So said Coach Tarasova.

********
Mao jumps like a butterfly, the judge said!! I like that!! Mao the butterfly! Many Hearts

And I'm so glad they point out that Mao and TAT are working to the long-term goal of winning the Olympics. A lot of people on the other forums are criticizing Mao's strategy, but I think that they just don't understand that Mao has bigger plans and goals than just winning every competition she enters..

So Go Mao!! Cheering
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Really nice article about Mao and the Olympics
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