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 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.

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polosatik
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:49 am

Batsuchan wrote:
polosatik wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XGTM6wfrao Videoclip about Yu-Na's 3l-3 t and they showed Mao at the end of the video. Smile

Hmm, that is interesting. Where is that Mao clip from??? Because neither the main rink (Staples center) nor the practice rink at the Convention Center look like that!! That is definitely what Mao was wearing in practice today, and her hair is short so it has to be a recent clip, but I haven't been to any rink that looks like that!! confused

Could there be a third rink that is closed to the public/audience? Hmm... Suspect

Yu-Na did not show up to the scheduled ladies' practice today (unless she showed up after I left). But she was sitting in the bleachers with the rest of us for the men's practice. She was there for the Japanese men and the Canadian men; I left after that so I'm not sure when she left.

She looked like just any other girl in a black & white hoodie, and she was sitting with her mom (very pretty!), and it took awhile for people to recognize her (even though I saw her right away), and then they slowly swarmed her for autographs. I walked past her once and I swear she looked at me like she recognized me ("Oh, there's that crazy girl") - but maybe that was just my imagination. Sweatdrop She looked like she was a lot more friendly than yesterday and definitely gave autographs/took pictures with everyone. Very Happy (Note to self, do NOT bother skaters on their way to practice when they are surrounded by their entourages!)
Yu-na said that she's going to have a full day off on 25. So yeah, Very Happy

Yu-Na with her mom at men's practice
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:27 am

Batsuchan wrote:
polosatik wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XGTM6wfrao Videoclip about Yu-Na's 3l-3 t and they showed Mao at the end of the video. Smile

Hmm, that is interesting. Where is that Mao clip from??? Because neither the main rink (Staples center) nor the practice rink at the Convention Center look like that!! That is definitely what Mao was wearing in practice today, and her hair is short so it has to be a recent clip, but I haven't been to any rink that looks like that!! confused

I just watched the clip again in HD. Mao is wearing the same thing as today, but if you look real closely, her hair is long. It must be from 4CC!!! Oh Korean media... Evil or Very Mad

polosatik - Thanks for the pic! Hahaha. I took a picture of the media taking pictures of Yu-Na Kim in the stands. I think they were supposed to be photographing/filming the MEN's practice, but clearly they found a more interesting subject. ROTFLMAO
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:34 am

polosatik wrote:
Yu-Na with her mom at men's practice

Is it wrong for me to think that Yuna looks very cute in that photo? Gosh, I'm such a traitor... Razz

She looks so much more friendly and approachable without the skating makeup and in a hoodie.

By the way, did Mao take her mum with her as well?
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:39 am

Batsuchan wrote:
So I don't know what to do guys!! I have a present for Mao and a letter (in which I mention our lovely forum), but I don't know how I'm going to give it to her!

You're so thoughtful! Smile I really hope you somehow manage to bump into her before the week's end. Surely Mao should have some sort of 'meet and greet' with the press and all her fans? Perhaps you could give it to one of her management people? Then again, I would never trust something as valuable as a hand-written letter to the management. So yeah, keep wandering around and maybe she'll just pop up!

If you don't mind me asking, what present did you get Mao?

Again, thanks for the updates!
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:47 am

Ok, so today's run-down - or the parts that I can get to before I start to fall asleep!! Sweatdrop

I'll start with the Pairs SP since I came from that most recently!

Pairs SP
First and foremost, I totally agree with the current standings. I didn't enjoy Savchenko/Szokolwy's program that much (I wrote in my notebook, "Don't like this music and don't like their costumes"), but they were very clean and they had some difficult moves, and they are the reigning World champs and skated last, so their scores made sense.

My favorite of the night was definitely Yuko Kawaguchi and Alexander Smirnov, however. There was something really special about their "The Swan" SP - it moved me, and clearly it moved the rest of the audience too because they got a standing ovation. Wub I saw TAT and Shanetta Folle sitting in the back of the section behind the judges, and they were also standing and waving a huge Russian flag! The ladies behind me agreed - Kawaguchi/Smirnov didn't have the best twist nor the biggest throw jump, but there was something you couldn't quite describe about their program. I particularly enjoyed their lift, since it was different from everyone else's, and their pair spin was really nice too. Yuko really knows how to sell a program!

I also really enjoyed Dan Zhang/Hao Zhang. Swoon They were the first pair to really skate well; you could tell they were on a different level from everyone before them, and I think that contributed to them being placed above Pang/Tong (who've done better this season). They were also the first to get a standing ovation. After Zhang & Zhang, Mukhortova & Trankov and Pang & Tong didn't seem to have the same spark/impact.

While the pairs were competing, I saw Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic (? I think) sitting in the commentator booth, as well as Shizuka Arakawa, Kokubun-san, and that other lady who announces on the other side of the rink.

Oh yeah - and although I didn't see Mao at all, her Russian-Japanese translator was there sitting with TAT/Shanetta! Shocked I also saw her at the practice rink today. I guess she's still around, though she doesn't stand by the rink or sit in the kiss & cry anymore. I was actually very entertained by watching TAT - she seemed to be animatedly commentating to the people around her, who were all listening closely. Very Happy

(This is getting long, so I'm just going to start a new post.)
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:16 am

chineseteacup wrote:


Is it wrong for me to think that Yuna looks very cute in that photo? Gosh, I'm such a traitor... Razz

She looks so much more friendly and approachable without the skating makeup and in a hoodie.

By the way, did Mao take her mum with her as well?

Yu-Na did look cute! Or normal, maybe? My mom's comment was like, "Yu-Na wears so much make-up in her programs that even if I saw her like that, I wouldn't have recognized her if you didn't tell me." Unlike Mao, she claimed, who doesn't wear that much make-up. Well, this year Mao has been wearing more make-up, but I guess Mao just looks like Mao. flower

I did overhear some staff people saying that they saw Mao and Kyouko (Mao's mom), so I assume she's here but I haven't seen her yet. I think my Mom is right - Mao won't be sitting in the stands like Yu-Na; she's too recognizable!

Which brings me to Mao's practice today!!

MAO'S PRACTICE!
So TAT and SF showed up in the middle of the previous group's practice, and they planted themselves right at the end of the rink, in the middle. This surprised me, because normally only the coaches whose skaters are currently on the ice stand right at the boards.

But then it made sense, because that clearly was the best vantage point (or where they wanted to be), and they staked their claim early!

Mao came out on the ice, and to my surprise, neither Miki nor Fumie were there!! WOW! Only Lepisto, Poykio and Jurkiewicz. And Mao.

After watching Mao go through the same warm-up routine, but a little more condensed, I decided that the impression I get is that Mao does not waste a single minute. Since she has a plan for exactly what she's going to do, and in what order, she doesn't have to stop by the boards often - she can just get hand signals/nods/gestures from TAT and SF as she skates by. Mao does a lot of skating in between - she takes a few laps between maneuvers, but she doesn't have to stop.

Today she did: swizzles, then side-to-side inside edge things (not sure what this is called), edge pulls on each leg forward and backwards, things like backward crossovers except crossing with the leg in back, then one big scratch spin.

Then she warmed up her jumps - first a waltz jump, then a single A, which she messed up (Exclamation), so she went back and did it again. Then a 2A, then the 2A from the spread eagle like in her SP.

Next was the 3Lo - which she popped, so she went back and did it again (clean). Then the 3T. Then the 3T from steps like in the FP. Then the 3F.

Then 3F+2Lo+2Lo-tano (nice!). She then did a 3F+3Lo which was very nice! But then she two-footed the next 3F. Neutral And then pulled off another nice one.

Overall, Mao's jumps seemed kind of so-so today. She finally tried some 3A's, but she popped a few of them (and then would go back and do it again nicely). I didn't see any 3A+2T combos.

In Mao's FP run-through, she messed up the first 3A (two-footed), and then skipped the next jumping pass. Her 3F+2Lo+2Lo was great. She did a 3Lo instead of the 3S and did a 3F+2Lo instead of the 3F+3Lo!! And then during the step sequence, she stepped out of the twizzle where she grabs her blade and then stopped doing the steps after that. pale

At the end of the practice, when there was no one left, she was practicing the 3Lz. She had at least one pop (intentional?) like yesterday, where she basically ended up jumping straight up with her arms going straight up in the air. But I saw her land one nice one, and TAT and SF seemed to nod approvingly so I'm hoping that means it was clean (not flutz). I cheered so loudly that even TAT may have looked over. Sweatdrop

So overall, in my opinion, it was a so-so practice... Neutral I hope her condition is better than at 4CC but I can't really tell. I think it's interesting that Mao has abandoned the 3S (didn't see her practice this at all) and seems to be going for 3Lo, then 3F-2Lo instead. But the 3F-3Lo that she did do - they looked very good. Yesterday's looked so-so but today's looked like the one from 2008 Worlds SP. So I don't know what to think. I do take heart in the fact that SF, TAT and Mao all seemed very calm, as if they knew exactly what they were doing, even if Mao was popping every other jump. So good luck Mao!

After the practice, we all swarmed down to try to get an autograph. It looked like Mao was just going to walk away (TAT, JSF people, etc trying to lead her away), but we kept yelling and finally Mao came over, despite her managers' disapproval.

And it was a mess!! affraid The media was there shoving cameras in Mao's face, and all the other fans were pushing to try to reach her. I do think that Mao can't/shouldn't sit in the bleachers; I think she would be mobbed!

Luckily I got there early, so I got my Mao Asada, Miracle Seventeen book signed, and I was able to hand over my present, even though Mao was so overwhelmed that I couldn't get a picture with her. Happy dance Cheering Confetti Mao was only able to stick around for a few minutes before her managers pulled her away, unfortunately. The Korean reporters tried to ask her questions, but she just ignored them.

So that was exciting! Perhaps not my ideal encounter with Mao since I didn't even get a picture, but at least I got to hand over my present and get an autograph!! flower

Good luck to Mao!!! Cheering

And that's it for me folks - I got Kozuka and Mura's autographs today and I would write more about their practice but I'm too tired! G'night!
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:37 am

Thanks for everything Batsuchan! I hope the popping and retracing of the jumps and the position of SF and Tat are indicating that they have the whole situation under control. Interesting to know that the Russian-Japanese translator is still there. I`m curious about Miki and Fumie`s absence too...either they chose to have the day off, like Yu-Na did, or JSF asked them to voluntarily rest today. Yep!

I guess Mao brought a lot of media frenzy with her (Japan`s WBC win also means that there`s a ridiculous number of sports journalists that have now set their eyes on Worlds). Sweatdrop At least you got the book signed though! And bravo Mao - or should I say brava - for ignoring who I`m positive are the SBS reporters who only want to stir more drama. Hell, no!

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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:10 am

Batsuchan wrote:
So that was exciting! Perhaps not my ideal encounter with Mao since I didn't even get a picture, but at least I got to hand over my present and get an autograph!! flower

Yay to you getting your present to Mao!

I really do hope that nerves aren't getting the better of Mao. It never occurred to me that Mao would ever get flustered by a competition, even if it is the Worlds, because, well, she just seems so calm before and on the ice. Then again, with her popularity on a continual rise in Japan and the media hounding after her, maybe she's starting to feel the pressure? I think that's what may have happened at 4CC, so I hope she's in a better mindset for this competition.

Batsuchan wrote:
The Korean reporters tried to ask her questions, but she just ignored them.

clovera wrote:
And bravo Mao - or should I say brava - for ignoring who I`m positive are the SBS reporters who only want to stir more drama. Hell, no!


I'm glad she ignored them! If they were reporters from SBS, they completely deserved the cold shoulder from Mao. You can't just go around trashing Japanese skater like that and expect some kind of comment from THE face of Japanese skating. I like how Mao responded to her fans' calls even thought TAT and her entourage tried to steer her away. It's always nice when people reciprocate their fans' support sunny

I'm trying to find a way to stream Eurosport straight to my computer through the internet and so far all attempts have been successful, so maybe I'll get to see Mao compete "live" after all Very Happy

As always, thanks for the update! Worship


Last edited by chineseteacup on Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:17 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Er...extra things to say...?)
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:27 am

Japan ladies' practice video is up!!! (Hurray!!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zkytf2hGvxM

Mainly Miki and Mao's practices. Mao was performing her spirals and a 2A. I think it was yesterday's practice.

Enjoy~
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:28 am

Oh, Thanks again for Batsuchan's update!sunny

So happy that you get to meet mao and finally be able to giver her your gifts~ cheers Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:52 am

Thanks snowdrops for the vid! Any footage is welcomed - I miss Japan where snippets of skating will guarantee a spot on the news (I haven`t seen a single mention of skating on ESPN news yet in the states - maybe I`m just tuning in to the wrong sports show though). I love you

ETA: Just saw a very short snippet of `Figure Skating visits LA` from Entertainment Tonight, so that`s ONE, I suppose. Razz

Glad to finally see Mao practicing on a clip, and I must agree that Miki looks amazing right now in practice. I hope that translates to a good outing from her, I miss the Miki that performed the perfect Sheherazades and Carmen at Nats!

I guess this can be confirmed by Batsuchan, but it`s definitely been awhile since I`ve seen so many people show up in the arena for practice!

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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:19 am

Quote :
After the practice, we all swarmed down to try
to get an autograph. It looked like Mao was just going to walk away
(TAT, JSF people, etc trying to lead her away), but we kept yelling and
finally Mao came over, despite her managers' disapproval.

And it was a mess!! affraid
The media was there shoving cameras in Mao's face, and all the other
fans were pushing to try to reach her. I do think that Mao
can't/shouldn't sit in the bleachers; I think she would be mobbed!

Luckily I got there early, so I got my Mao Asada, Miracle Seventeen
book signed, and I was able to hand over my present, even though Mao
was so overwhelmed that I couldn't get a picture with her. Happy dance Cheering Confetti
Mao was only able to stick around for a few minutes before her managers
pulled her away, unfortunately. The Korean reporters tried to ask her
questions, but she just ignored them.

So that was exciting!
Perhaps not my ideal encounter with Mao since I didn't even get a
picture, but at least I got to hand over my present and get an
autograph!! flower

Good luck to Mao!!! Cheering

Ohh! Lucky you!! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:20 am

by the way, thanks a lot for all your reports, I appreciate it a lot Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:44 am

http://www.latimes.com/sports/

Really cute interview!!!
If you go to the bottom of the site, you can find the video.
Mao is speaking English and she is talking about the final game of the world baseball classic! Wub
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:48 am

I'm leaving tomorrow. Very Happy I'm going to try and get her autograph, if I can!
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:09 am

I think Mao's english has improved ! great and good luck to her ! she deserves GOLD !
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:51 am

chineseteacup wrote:
Then again, with her popularity on a continual rise in Japan and the media hounding after her, maybe she's starting to feel the pressure?
Yeah, and Brian Joubert's starting to think about practicing a double toeloop from the next season. Smile

Considering Mao's status as a child prodigy (which brings some huge expectations, mainly from a person itself), her status as a hope-of-the-nation athlete (and not just some nation, but a nation where the term "responsibility" bears some 'heavy' meaning) as well as her overall immense popularity, her perfectionist nature, the technical difficulty the rest of the field can only dream about (but mostly can't do even this), which burden Mao has to deal with every time she goes on the ice, her age and gender - in the end; considering the specificity of figure skating as psychologically the most difficult sport of all... I'd say Mao is easily one of the most 'pressured' athletes in the world.
-----
Thanks a lot once again, Batsuchan! Lucky you! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:43 am

One girl from Sashafans wrote about Mao's practice!
"There were SO many more people because they were there to watch Mao. The limited amount of room in the bleachers was packed and there was so much media. She had an awesome practice, triple axle after triple axle like it ain't no thing. " sunny
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:52 am

Here's another article from Japan Times:
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/sp20090325it.html

It is really packed at the practices. Yay! The ladies' practice overlapped with the opening ceremony, and Mao was the last to skate in her group so as soon as she finished, like 20% of the crowd left. Haha.

As for Mao being nervous - I don't think so, actually! She looks very calm. Before 4CC, I remember the news saying how Mao looked nervous/flustered by the small rink. Maybe her practices are always like this? I have to say that I was pleased to see some nice 3A's and 3F-3Lo's, even if her hit rate was only 50%.

The reason why I say that Mao is not nervous - well that is based on what was written in the Mao Asada, Sweet Seventeen book, so I'm not sure how true that is and how much has changed since then, but the author emphasizes that Mao really doesn't think about the pressure. She is always just focused on doing what she has to do, what she wants to do, and what she thinks she needs to do. She's aiming for Vancouver, and despite how the media tries to hype Mao's 2nd World title attempt, she's going to do what she thinks she needs to do to prepare for that. And I respect that.

Ganbare Mao-chan!! Cheering
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:25 am

Wow! Amazing reports, Batsuchan! Confetti Thank you so much! Daisies for you (I'm still reading them Laughing)
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:35 pm

Alexandr Kazakov - 40.74 - 16th
Hand down on the triple axel
Fall on the triple lutz
Double'd the loop.
Good variations on the spins.
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:41 pm

Kevin Alves-44.51- 12th
Fall on the lutz
3F+2T
Nice 2A.
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:24 pm

Igor Macypura 58.30 11th
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:06 pm

weeeee... home just in time for the last two groups of the men's SP Very Happy

Go Nobu and Kozu!!!

ETA: Oh no! Nobu hit the boards on the second part of his combination!! Bawling

Aww what a sweet boy, he's laughing about it... oooh and the crowd is signing happy birthday!! And he waited until they were done and bowed before leaving the ice!! He's so adorable lol!
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 World Figure Skating Championships~LA.   Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:22 pm

((((Nobu))))

Shades of Midori Ito... Depressed Crying

Happy Birthday, though! I pray for a Rockstar free skate. Good luck!
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