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 Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen

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chineseteacup
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:35 am

Thank you so much, Batsuchan, for the translations!

I love the anecdote you've picked out. It's very true, about how Mao has this extraordinary ability to comfort people. Watching her skate always puts a big smile on my face, no matter what type of mood I'm in Very Happy. When I see her skate, it's as if I can forget about everything that's stressful in life at the moment, and just take in the beauty and purity of her performance Many Hearts .

It's like magic Razz.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:05 am

Thanks for the added translations, Batsuchan! Very Happy

Batsuchan wrote:
I kind of wish Mao would practice doing alternate jumps for the short program. If she misses the first 3A, she could make the second jump pass into a 3F-2Lo, and then maybe do a 3Lo instead of the 2A...
---
But then again, I think the practices would go well if Mao believed in herself...so I guess, in the end, I agree with TAT (and roma). THERE'S NOTHING THAT MAO CAN'T DO!! She just needs to believe it!

I wish the same thing, too. Believing in herself is probably the best gift Mao will give herself (and us). Very Happy Can't wait for JN!
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:37 pm

More! Very Happy

Here's another nice anecdote (pg 105).
***
Before she left for the World Championships in Sweden, we had this conversation.
Mao, think about yourself when you were five years old. If you do that, what do you think she would think, looking at today's Mao?
"What little Mao would think about big Mao?"
"Yes, if she was able to talk to you, what do you think she would say?"
The words came to her mouth immediately.
She did not need to think at all.
She smiled happily, and said,
"[She'd say] I'm glad you did skating, I'm glad you became good at it."
***

Interesting quote from Miki about Worlds (pg 112): "Last year, it ended like that (she withdrew due to injury), so I felt really bad for the skaters who were not able to compete, and I really felt responsible. That's why, I thought that I absolutely have to do my best this year."

When Mao went to practice in Russia after 4CC, it was really cold (-10C), so for the first few days she had a really hard time practicing; she couldn't get her body to move. But then it got better and TAT was convinced that if she performed like that, she would have no trouble winning.

After that, when she went back to Japan, Zhanna (Shanetta Folle) was there with her. (pg 129).
***
"Zhanna-sensei was with me the whole time after I came back to Japan, and she looked at my jumps and levels.
About 10 days before the competition, in order to get used to the time change, I would sleep around 7 or 8pm, and skate from around 6am, then eat, then skate again. All I did was skate.
I didn't feel stress or pressure; I just focused on myself and practiced. Because I did really want to win again."

When I ask what supported her during that time, she met my gaze and laughed. Her light brown eyes were speaking. You know already, don't you, they said.
"Twice a week, I met Aero (and Tiara and Komachi). They would be brought to the university, and that's what I looked forward to the most.
Other than that, I guess food [helped me]--I cooked it myself. I made rice, and boiled fish and soup, etc.
Because of my schedule, I couldn't watch TV at night, so I would videotape the shows and watch them."

At the rink at the university, there were also her strong-hearted friends.
For example, watching Takahiko Kozuka, a representative for Worlds, practice, "I also have to try my very best," Asada thought.
***
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:57 pm

Batsuchan wrote:
More! Very Happy

Here's another nice anecdote (pg 105).
***
Before she left for the World Championships in Sweden, we had this conversation.
Mao, think about yourself when you were five years old. If you do that, what do you think she would think, looking at today's Mao?
"What little Mao would think about big Mao?"
"Yes, if she was able to talk to you, what do you think she would say?"
The words came to her mouth immediately.
She did not need to think at all.
She smiled happily, and said,
"[She'd say] I'm glad you did skating, I'm glad you became good at it."
***

Interesting quote from Miki about Worlds (pg 112): "Last year, it ended like that (she withdrew due to injury), so I felt really bad for the skaters who were not able to compete, and I really felt responsible. That's why, I thought that I absolutely have to do my best this year."

When Mao went to practice in Russia after 4CC, it was really cold (-10C), so for the first few days she had a really hard time practicing; she couldn't get her body to move. But then it got better and TAT was convinced that if she performed like that, she would have no trouble winning.

After that, when she went back to Japan, Zhanna (Shanetta Folle) was there with her. (pg 129).
***
"Zhanna-sensei was with me the whole time after I came back to Japan, and she looked at my jumps and levels.
About 10 days before the competition, in order to get used to the time change, I would sleep around 7 or 8pm, and skate from around 6am, then eat, then skate again. All I did was skate.
I didn't feel stress or pressure; I just focused on myself and practiced. Because I did really want to win again."

When I ask what supported her during that time, she met my gaze and laughed. Her light brown eyes were speaking. You know already, don't you, they said.
"Twice a week, I met Aero (and Tiara and Komachi). They would be brought to the university, and that's what I looked forward to the most.
Other than that, I guess food [helped me]--I cooked it myself. I made rice, and boiled fish and soup, etc.
Because of my schedule, I couldn't watch TV at night, so I would videotape the shows and watch them."

At the rink at the university, there were also her strong-hearted friends.
For example, watching Takahiko Kozuka, a representative for Worlds, practice, "I also have to try my very best," Asada thought.
***
lol! flower
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:24 pm

tianrushui wrote:
Batsuchan wrote:

At the rink at the university, there were also her strong-hearted friends.
For example, watching Takahiko Kozuka, a representative for Worlds, practice, "I also have to try my very best," Asada thought.
***
lol! flower

Yes, I could've ended the translation after the Mao quote, but I thought you all might enjoy those two lines. Hell, no! Sadly, there were no behind-the-scenes TakaMao bits in the book, BUT, Taka-chan was the only Japanese male skater who is mentioned in the book (he's mentioned once earlier--just that he was also competing at the 2008 GPF). Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:10 pm

Thank you for the wonderful translations, Batsuchan! I love reading all the little anecdotes of Mao. Sorta gives you the behind-the-scenes perspective.
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:15 pm

I'm very glad to hear you guys have been enjoying the translations! Very Happy

coconut!! I love your new avatar; where did you get that picture? Love Hearts

Ok, some more:

About the short program at 2009 Worlds (pg 132-):
***
"My feelings were still very hard/stiff. I couldn't get the timing for the lutz, and it became a double.
One thing that I thought was good was that I landed the triple-triple. That made me very happy.
I'm glad that I got my season's best score. But I did feel that starting off in 3rd place was clearly bad."

That night, Asada ate a lot of her favorite yakiniku and slept well.

Unlike her calm student, the one who was exploding with regret/vexation was Tarasova. What exactly had happened? Isn't it strange that you couldn't land the lutz?

After the short program, there was a 10.06 point gap between Asada and Yu-Na Kim, the leader.

Even so, Tarasova thought that she could come back in the free. She had not the slightest thought of defeat.

"But-"

With a natural smile on her face, Asada spoke.

"Me--I already knew that winning would be difficult. It's not that I lost my hopes about winning again, but I thought, I probably can't win."

About the free program, Asada describes it like this. "My heart was free."

"Usually, I think, 'I want to win' or I think about the standings, but this time, given what had happened, I thought something like, 'well I might as well give it all I've got.'"

Saying this, she laughs. Like she's talking about a good memory.

***
Reflecting on Worlds (pg 136-137):
"Somehow, finishing 4th was not upsetting. I wasn't depressed about it, I didn't think it was regrettable. It was the first time I've ever felt like this.
This season was a year of challenges. Doing two triple axels, landing the triple-triple, winning Japan Nationals for the 3rd time--I reached all kinds of goals.
In this year of challenges, I found out what my problems were, and I'm completely satisfied with the result of Worlds.
That competition made me get a grip on myself. That's why, from now on, for the Olympics, I'll try my best. But, first of all, I want to relax a little bit.
This year was skating, only skating, everyday; next year, I don't want it to be just that; I want to do it while enjoying it."

(pg 139)

"Recently, I've started taking a day off once a week.
On my day off, usually I go out with Papa. He takes me around here and there, and together we eat yummy things.
It's fun, and it's a change of pace, but the next day I'm always fat. But if I practice, then I go back to my normal weight right away.
It's fun to be with Papa because he's a normal person.
For example, when we went to the shrine on New Year's Day, Papa said, 'Let's come again next year.'
But, next year is the Olympics, so if I were picked as a representative, it would be around that time.
So at first, I thought, 'what is he talking about?', but gradually, I realized that 'That way is better.'
In contrast, if he had said, 'Next year we won't be able to come,' I would have become conscious of all sorts of things, and it would have been a bad feeling.
Because if I start worrying now, then I won't be able to move."

*****
Almost at the end now! Very Happy So nice to hear about Mao and her Papa! Love Hearts
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:55 pm

Thanks again, Batsuchan!

It's good to know that when we were depressed about Mao's recent Worlds placement she was satisfied about it and not upset. Very Happy And it's so good to finally read something about Mao and her Dad!
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:08 am

Thanks Batsuchan for another wonderful translation!

I think reading all of these stories make me feel like everything is going to be okay! I don't feel worried anymore about competitions, I just like the thought of Mao enjoying her life as it is. It's great for her to have her family behind her, it seems so warm and fuzzy! cheers

Merry Christmas everyone!!! santa
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:09 am

Batsuchan, thank you for the translations. Reading these tidbits really made me feel better after having a gruesome day flower I have no idea how you can translate so fast... Thanks for spending the time and effort.

I am learning Japanese now and for once, I could actually understand parts of Mao's interviews and news reports without solely relying on the Kanji characters...

I know I sound strange but I felt genuinely touched when I understood for the first time what Mao was saying in her interviews in her mother language. Love Hearts
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:43 pm

Thanks for the translation, Batsuchan! Very Happy

Reading that part about Mao and her dad really brought a smile to my face. Also, I liked her attitude about her result at the 09 Worlds. It sounds like she focused on all of her positive accomplishments that season! Many Hearts
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:42 am

snowdrops24!!! Okaerinasai! So nice to hear from you, and I'm glad to hear you were so touched to understand Mao in Japanese! Many Hearts

illani wrote:
Thanks for the translation, Batsuchan! Very Happy

Reading that part about Mao and her dad really brought a smile to my face.

I totally agree! flower Mao's comment about eating all kinds of stuff with her dad reminded me of a comment Mao made a few years ago after shooting an Omron CM for this health measurement thingy--she said she wanted to get one for her Dad because he's very fat. ROTFLMAO

OKAY, since we're waiting for Nats to be broadcast, here's the last bits!!

****
(pg 141)
"When I won 2008 Worlds, I did feel like I did everything I could, so it's true that my motivation decreased.
Winning Worlds was #2 on my list of things I wanted to do behind winning the Olympics, so my dream came true, and I did feel a bit relieved.
To change this feeling, I needed effort.
There was no effect on the GPF in Korea or at Japan Nationals, but when I kind of lost my motivation was right before Four Continents, I guess.
But, after the Los Angeles Worlds ended, that slowly got blown away.
It's like, I didn't want to end the season that way. I thought, I won't be satisfied by finishing with a loss.
That's why I was fired up for the World Team Trophy.
I wanted to show everyone who was cheering for me a cheerful Mao one more time, and I wanted to finish by doing my programs well, so my feeling of, "OK! Let's do it!" came back, and I remember being excited."

(pg 144)
"And at the very end, I was super happy that I was able to skate nearly perfectly, and for the first time in a long time, I felt good.
And once again, I thought, it wasn't a mistake to challenge myself, and from now on, I'll try my best."

(pg 148)
About the training facility in Russia, which looks kind of like a jail with barbed wire and a guard outside, Mao said:
"But, the inside is really nice, and via the internet, I can find out what's happening in Japan.
For meals, we have organic vegetables that are really delicious, and the soup is yummy, and they make chicken and fish without oil just for me, so I'm very satisfied.
In my break from practicing, I went to see ballet. A first-rate ballerina danced right in front of me, and ballet is really beautiful. I could learn a lot from it.
The food and ballet were things I really looked forward to. To the point that I kinda miss it."

(pg 152-153)
There's a section on TAT's thoughts from this off-season which I'll translate:

***
[Tarasova said] "The last competition in April was amazing. That was Mao's true self. I was moved.
Technically, she is the best, and if she skates properly, then this season there won't be any problems. Because all she has to do is bring out everything she's done so far.
But will she skate properly? That's the only question."

According to people who know her, Tarasova wants Mao to be her ideal skater.
For her, Mao may be the instrument to make all her dreams come true. And I think that is an honor for Mao.
For example, no matter how strict her demands are, no matter how difficult, it's because it's Tarasova's "ideal."

I think Tarasova wants to win. Together with Mao Asada, [she wants to win] this Olympic season.

Mao enjoys Tarasova's demands.

"Doing the same thing every year is boring, after all," she says.
"Last year, the reason I challenged myself with all kinds of things was all for this year. There were some things that made me depressed, but I'm over that already.
Now, I don't want to think too much about it being the Olympic season, and I want to try not to be nervous.
I like the Vancouver rink. Unlike what I expected, the auditorium is small, and I'm glad.
Because the Olympics are a really big deal.
On top of that, if the auditorium were big, gradually, it would feel much, much bigger. But that size auditorium--I think it will be easy to skate in.
If I'm picked as a representative, I'll try my very best. Of course I'd want a gold medal, but first of all, I'd want to give a good performance."

********
And that's it folks!! Very Happy


Last edited by Batsuchan on Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:56 am

Thanks Batsuchan!! You spoil us so much!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:10 am

maowataiyo wrote:
Thanks Batsuchan!! You spoil us so much!!!

Sweatdrop It's really my pleasure to share the amazingness of Mao with everyone! Many Hearts
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:35 pm

Thanks Batsuchan!!!
Aww...I don't really want it to end now, but I enjoyed it so much! Cloud 9
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PostSubject: Re: Mao Asada, Brilliant Eighteen   Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:30 am

Thanks for the warm welcome, Batsuchan Razz It certainly feels great to be back again with all the Mao fans here.

Anyhooo, thanks the translation again. There are times when I wish Mao could articulate more her struggles and how they affected her training or decisions about her jump layouts or programs. But this is just me being a spoiled fan who always wants to know more Razz

Mao may not be the most candid speaker but she always speak volumes with her performances on the ice. Last night, when I rushed back home from a family dinner and watched Mao's SP, I was taken aback because I would never expect myself to get dewy eyes in front of a computer screen. It was not a perfect program, nor in my humble opinion, the most suiting piece of music for Mao, BUT it was a real life example of how important it is to never ever give up. Nothing really beats watching how a young girl, 'beaten down' by struggles climb back up and shine again - on the television screen.
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