I suddenly thought of these interviews today, and I thought I'd translate because there's been no news recently and I hope they bring a smile to your face.
The picture is super cute!
http://homepage3.nifty.com/skate/iasada.htmlInterview with the sisters Mai and Mao Asada (updated March 21, 2003) Mai Asada
---Congratulations on placing 4th at the Junior World Championships. If you reflect on the preliminary round, the short and the free and Jr. Worlds, what do you think?
Mai: It was my first big competition as a junior, so before the preliminary round, I couldn't help but think, "If I fail in the preliminary round, then what will I do?!" and I became really nervous and stiff. But, in the preliminary round, I messed up the triple axel [double axel, I think?], but I was able to skate with almost no mistakes, so I was relieved. And then, during the short program, I messed up the second triple lutz from steps, and when I finished skating, I thought "That was bad." I was able to regroup for the free program, and I thought "I'll bring out all the strength I have," and I challenged myself. I was able to land the [double] axel, and I was able to skate almost without mistakes, so I was really happy.
---How was it to skate with foreign junior skaters for the first time at a junior competition?
Mai: I thought the foreigners have more full expression and that their speed was amazing. From now on, I want to follow their example and polish these areas more.
---1st and 2nd were [Yukina] Ota and [Miki] Ando, two Japanese skaters--how did you feel to see them on the podium?
Mai: The level [of skaters] in Japan is high after all, and from now on I'll have to compete among them, so I thought, "It's tough." Next year, I want to be able to stand on the podium.
---What kind of relationship do you have with your younger sister Mao?
Mao is my biggest "rival." I'm the older sister after all, and I think "I don't want to lose!" If my younger sister is trying her best, then I get fired up and think "I'll try my best too," and I think that I was able to come this far because my sister was here. However, at the competitions, I'll definitely watch my sister's performance, and on one hand I'll think, "I want her to bring out her strength and do her best," but on the other hand, if I lose, I think, "It's really upsetting," so it's complicated. (Laughs) Sometimes we'll argue about each other’s bad points.
---What made you start skating?
Mai: I went to a skating rink with friends, and when I saw skaters doing jumps, I thought, "I want to try that," and I started learning. From 2nd grade in elementary school I'm been taking lessons. My younger sister started skating at the same time.
---Who choreographed your program for this season?
Mai: Yamada-sensei, Higuchi-sensei and David Wilson. Mostly it was Yamada-sensei and Higuchi-sensei.
---Is there something that you do every time before a competition?
Yes!? I always put on my right skate boot first. Other than that, before I skate on the ice, I run through my program; that's about it.
---Since you've been skating up until now, what was the thing that left the deepest impression?
It is Jr. Worlds after all. When I think about everything, it was a "dream-like" competition. I was able to appear in the exhibition (top 5 skaters only), which was my goal, and it was fun. Mao Asada
---Mao-chan, your triple-triple-triple at Japan Nationals was amazing. It seems to be a world first, but was that your idea? Or was it Yamada-sensei's?
That jump combo---Sensei put it in the program for me. I had been practicing it, and Sensei saw me and told me, "Try putting it in."
---Is there some kind of trick you use to complete the third jump?
Landing the flip properly, and then landing the loop properly. If I land the second jump, the loop, properly, then I can land the third jump, the toe loop. If the first jump is bad, then there's no way I'll reach the third jump.
---At that time you were wearing Midori Ito's costume, right? How did that happen?
At my club, everyone uses Midori's costumes that she doesn't wear anymore, but when I was choosing, Sensei told me, "Try wearing this," and it was perfect, so we made that costume into my free program costume. Sensei told me, "When Midori wore this costume, she was able to land the triple axel," so I thought, "Maybe I can land it too." (Laughs)
---What kind of relationship do you have with your older sister (Mai)?
When we appear in competitions together, I feel relaxed. At Japan Nationals, it was all senior ladies, but I was there together with my older sister, so I felt strong.
---Do you think it's upsetting if you go to a competition with your sister and you lose?
Yes. That's what I think. On one hand, I do think "I want her to do her best," but when I lose, I think, "Next time I'll definitely win!" When I lose, it's upsetting, but I think it would be good if we could both bring out all our strength at the competitions.
---When you heard that your sister finished 4th at the Jr. Worlds, what did you think?
I thought, "That's amazing," and I thought I have to try hard too.
---Who are your choreography teachers?
Machiko Yamada-sensei, Mihoko Higuchi-sensei, and LeAnn Miller. Yamada-sensei and Higuchi-sensei pick the songs for me.
---What kind of choreography and songs do you like?
I like music and choreography like my current free program. Ah, but I like my short program too, I guess. I like both cute songs and mature, slow songs.
---Which is your favorite costume so far?
My free and short program costumes that I'm wearing now. If you ask why, it's because they are cute.
---Since you've been skating up until now, which competition left the deepest impression on you?
Last year's Japan Nationals. Because I was really happy that I got to compete, and I did the free program almost without mistakes. When it was decided that I could compete, I thought, "They let me compete after all, so I can't do anything embarrassing," so I was really happy that I was able to skate that way.
---Were you nervous before Japan Nationals?
I was not that nervous, but I had been thinking, "I want to complete all my jumps." That's why when I was able to skate like that, I was really happy and was smiling naturally.
---What kind of tricks do you want to try after this?
A quad. Now I am practicing the salchow. It's starting to be pretty good. I'm also practicing the loop and the flip.
---From now on, how do you want to skate?
I want to improve my jumps even more, I want to be able to do difficult steps, and I want to improve my power of expression, and I want to bring out everything I can do in the competitions.
---What's your dream for the future?
To appear in the Olympics and then become a pro skater and travel around the world.
---Please try your best to fulfill your dreams. Thank you.
[Profile bits omitted.]
They were two very sweet and charming sisters. Mai-chan is very older-sister-like, and in her serious skating, she practiced her jumps silently. The black practice wear brings out the long-legged Mai's style, and she skates like in a refreshing way like the "wind." Mao-chan--every time skated past me, she'd make her eyes big and round and grin broadly, and she was extremely cute. But then, in the next moment, bam! she'd cleanly land a triple-triple, a difficult combination of two triple jumps. I was completely charmed by her. I thought, she's a child who really has the power to draw people in. They are a very impressive pair, but we can also say that they came this far and could try their best precisely because they were together. They are sisters who are both close "rivals" and "comrades." Their bonds are strong. From now on too, I hope that they push each other and grow up just as they are now.
I can just see little 12-year old Mao making a goofy smiley face at the author and then doing a triple-triple, like, "see what I can do!!"
I'll try to translate some of the interview with Machiko Yamada when I get a chance!