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 How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.

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aoi88
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PostSubject: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:49 pm

If you guys read Batsuchan's wonderful blog, she wrote about her memories on how she came to know and love Mao so much. I have long wanted to share my memories on how I came to love Mao, and I am also curious to know about others' experiences.

I have been a fan of figure skating ever since I watched Michelle Kwan's performance of Lyra Angelica at 1998 Olympics. I was captivated by Michelle's grace and beauty on ice. I've followed the sport as long as Michelle competed and was very sad when she retired in 2006. After she retired, I didn't follow the sport very much for two years. The skater who got me interested in FS again was none other than Mao. cheers Actually, the first time I heard about Mao was around the time Michelle was retiring. I've read articles that said the best skater in the world at the time was not allowed to compete at the Olympics due to her age. However, I didn't really take great interest in her until I saw her Nutcracker program on youtube one day. She was looked so adorable in that pink dress. Wub After that, I decided to watch all of her other programs. I found myself loving all of them, although Nocturne especially captivated me. I must say here that as a Kwan fan, I was surprised to find myself loving Mao so much, because they have entirely different styles of skating. Michelle always reached out to the audience. Her performances were very emotional, and I was used to that kind of artistry. However, Mao shows a different kind of artistry and presence on ice. Hers is a quiet and innocent style. On top of that she does all of these difficult jumps. I think what makes Mao unique is that she is a lyrical skater but one who does triple axels. flower
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:03 pm

No one wants to share? Sad I guess everyone is a bit tired after a long season. Sweatdrop
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:09 pm

I want!! I saw her at the Grand Prix Final in 2005. And she was simply ADORABLE!!!

Wub

Well, the first competition I watched in total was the Turin Olympics (I was just 12) and than I didn't know anything about figure skating. After that, I watched the GPF on youtube and the TEB, and that's how I fell in love with Mao's skating. I liked Sasha Cohen so much, but she didn't skate after 2006 Worlds, so there was just Mao-chan to cheer for. And since than.......I'm her fan. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:54 pm

Welll... I don't remember exactly. ROTFLMAO
I remember watching 2007-08 GP series in ESPN with not much interest, but it started to grow in me. Actually, in the beginning, I didn't like Mao. I don't know why. I guess it was just Fantasie-Impromptu and that black and gray costume that didn't captivate me.

However as time went by I learned to love her softness and her incredible talent. The difference between her execution and other skaters's was immense, and, as a newbie, that was all I could observe at that time. Plus, her smile was just too lovely to be ignored. Her guts to win 2008 WC even after that horrible fall completed it: I was fascinated. So, I started to root for her and here I am now.

Of course, being Japanese helped, cause I have a crush on Japan since I was a kid Laugh but at first I like Yukari better, because of her spins. I still love Yukari, actually, I love all Japanese skaters (I usually say I adopted them) but Mao has a special room in my heart. Love Hearts

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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:04 pm

aoi88 wrote:
No one wants to share? Sad I guess everyone is a bit tired after a long season. Sweatdrop

I think is that there is a thread similar already I don know the name scratch , however my experience was when I know youtube Embarassed , I watched the oly 06 and I really like Sasha, Shizuka and Stephane,(in mex only show the fs in the oly) then in 2007 december I was with my sister, who was watching a video, and I was like what, you can see whatever? Laughing , then I search worlds 2007 and I was very wondered how Miki who I recall like the japanese girl with the ugly dress and that fell a lot of times in the oly was in the first place, I thought that the fs was in decadence or something like this Sweatdrop , because then I saw the third place was a korean, I only watched the korean(yuna) because it called my attention a korean in fs, right now I like yuna and her lark ascending is my program favorite of her but in that moment I couldnt finish to watch it, I hated it, then saw her tango and I said, yes definitly all this is in decadence (I know, I was really stupid Hell, no! ), and I didnt watched to Mao Very Mad . some days after, I search againg for fs and I find Maos fs gpf 07 in Turin, and I fell in love inmediatly, I couldn´t believe someone could skating like that, I thought that she was the best figure skater in the history Wub , without dobut, I thought that her dress and her music were terribles though, then search all her videos and I find a lot of when she was a little girl, and she was so cute and talented that she became my favorite figure skater and it was weird because I never was fan of someone before Mao. well, it was my story (thank you YOU TUBE Daisies for you )

sorry my english
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:18 am

I first saw Mao at 2007 worlds. Back then I only watched europeans, worlds and olympics, so I knew nothing about her. I remember I really wanted Kostner to do well( I stil cheer for her, she is a sentimental favorite). Kostner was first in the last group for the long program, and she didn't do too well. Then I saw yuna for the first time, who was the leader after the SP and i liked her, I felt sorry when she fell. I was so upset about Carolina that I wished for all the girs after her to have meltdowns!! I was kinda mean, now that I remember. But then Mao came, and I saw she was only 16 and looked cute, so I said "Oh well, I want this girl to do well". Her program was so good. I had a huge smile on my face when she landed her last jump, I absolutly loved her. When I saw her tears of joy, I had tears in my eyes too. I was sure she was gonna win and I was furious that Miki performed well, but then I saw Miki crying and I got emotional again and I was happy for her too, that she performed so well after the olympic disaster she had in 2006.(slowly but surely I've become a miki fan too)

After that, I watched her performances on youtube and what can I say, it was love at the first sight. Even though she has this childish look, she is a fierce girl( 2008 worlds Lp- one of the bravest thing I have ever seen).

3 years later I still think mao has something special, that she was born to be a champion. Especially at 2010 worlds, she not only beat all the girls, but also the system,judges,stupid downgrads etc. No one could touch her in turin. She is a true champion!
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:24 am

I was watching 2007 Worlds when I first noticed Mao. I always watch figure skating on the Russian Eurosport and I love the commentators, they have taught me lots of things about skating and I must admit that I'm quite easily influenced by them.. Anyway, they were rooting for Mao and so was I. But even without that her talent would have be apparent. I remember wanting her to win. Very Happy And I remember running to my mother's room and going "YOU MISSED THIS AMAZING GIRL!!! She's Japanese and she's so young and she does incredible things!! I've never seen a skater like her!! YOU HAVE TO SEE HER NEXT TIME".. Very Happy
Well, and since that time we're both huge fans of Mao. :]

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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:40 am

I have to say that I "found" Mao Asada purely by accident Razz. Sasha Cohen was the skater that sparked my initial interest in figure-skating. I've loved the Romeo and Juliet theme since I first heard it; one day, I thought I would see if I could find a video of someone skating to it, since it is such a lovely piece. And that was how I found Sasha Very Happy.

Of course, by then Sasha had already retired from competitive skating after the 2006 Winter Olympics. I don't know exactly how it happened, but one day I found a video of Mao's LP performance at the 2008 Worlds. It took me a few attempts to finish watching her performance (I kept getting distracted by something else Sweatdrop). But once I saw the performance in it's entirety, it was clear that Mao Asada was (and still is) a very, very special skater.

It was Mao's wonderfully complex and fluid step sequence in the Fantasie-Impromptu program made me a fan of hers.

The ESPN commentator's description of Mao's ability to give a perfect performance after her fall going into the 3A as "the mark of champion" still echoes in my mind when I see her overcome challenges time and time again to deliver beautiful performances. Many Hearts
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:43 pm

I came across a Youtube video of Mao at the GPF 2005 while searching for videos from the Torino Olympics.
I thought that she was pretty good, but I didn’t become a fan until I saw her skate the Nocturne SP at Worlds 2007. Even if she missed the combo, her beautiful skating really moved me… she was so young and elegant!
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:08 am

I remember seeing Mao in a tv interview for the first time when she was around 15 or something and she was about to perform in Nats a few hours later. They introduced her as 'Miracle Mao', and when she was asked whether she gets nervous in competitions, she smiled and said 'No, not at all!'. I saw her skating for the first time later that day, and thought 'Oh yeah, she is a genius!' after seeing that non-gravity smooth skate with almost no ice shaving sounds. But for a while, I thought she was really good, but that was all. The first time I was really moved by her skating was when she did 'Fantasy for Violin...'. I hadn't imagined she was capable of such deep artistry until then. And when she fell before her 3A at Worlds that season, I was so simply shocked and then rather delightfully shocked that she did perfectly afterwards, although I thought she was in for a melt-down. That's when it struck me that she isn't just a cute little luckily born genius girl, but a true fighter so strong and bold. I was already a fan of hers' at that point I guess, but wasn't aware of it. But in the beginning of her next season, when she failed to do good in TEB, it disturbed me so much to see her like that. I was worried sick about her all the time, as if she was family, and that's when I finally realized ....I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!!! So you can imagine how happy I was when she performed brilliantly 2 weeks later in the NHK Cup!

Come to think of it, I've never been a real big fan of anyone except Mao. I had my share of favorite rock stars and film stars like eveyone, but I never wrote fan letters or worried about them much. And I sure didn't have any favorite athletes, ever! I loved watching figure skating since I was real small, and I quite favored Candeloro and Yukina Ohta and Plush and a whole lot of others, but I really didn't consider myself as a big fan of them in particular. It was great to watch them, but it didn't matter that much to me if they did well or not. But with Mao, I get so depressed when she's not in good condition and worry alot about her, and when she does great, I can easily feel great just being alive for at least a month or so!

I think sometimes that if I were younger, maybe around the same age as Mao, I might have been simply jealous of her in various ways, envying her rather than loving her. But everytime I feel my love for her now, I feel that I've grown up to be a rather generous and kind person than I'd expected, so I can feel good about myself, too. Whenever something good happens to Mao, I'm so happy for her as if were about me. She simply brings out the best in me...and I've started to understand for the first time in my life, what fandom is all about, and that rooting for someone besides yourself can be quite wonderful! cat

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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:11 am

I think I shared this in another thread so just skip over it if it sounds familiar to you. Razz I was always a casual fan of figure skating- I always watched figure skating at the Olympics, but didn't know much about the sport and never watched it outside of the Olympics. I was home on spring break my senior year of high school when I looked up TV listings and found that figure skating Worlds (the free program) was going to be on. I looked up the competition online, and found out that a Korean girl (Yu-Na) was in first place after the short, and the favorite to win (Mao) wasn't, but that was pretty much all I knew before I turned on the TV. The first thing I saw was Mao Asada's free program, and I became a fan immediately. Her ease and flow across the ice, the extension in her spirals, her joy in the step sequence, her light jumps, and her beaming smile..it all struck a chord with me, and something about the program inspired me. I went right to youtube, looked up all her other programs, and then fell in love with her ballet-like quality and the softness of her arms/skating. I had never seen anything like it in figure skating. Then I looked up more about her as a person, and followed her through the next couple of seasons, and became a fan of her as a person as well- how much of a fighter she is, how she always wants to become a better skater instead of winning, how she works incredibly hard no matter what.

PochinkoPotanko, I completely agree. Except the crazies (i.e. ones that are stalkerish and extremely obsessive), I think fans are so altruistic- they genuinely care about the well-being, happiness, and success of someone they will likely never meet, and do anything they can to help that person in any way possible. People can say all they want about human beings being innately selfish, that it's because of evolution that they look after their family and immediate loved ones, but I see something great in fans, who support and encourage someone they've never met.


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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:18 am

PochinkoPotanko wrote:
Come to think of it, I've never been a real big fan of anyone except Mao. I had my share of favorite rock stars and film stars like eveyone, but I never wrote fan letters or worried about them much. And I sure didn't have any favorite athletes, ever! I loved watching figure skating since I was real small, and I quite favored Candeloro and Yukina Ohta and Plush and a whole lot of others, but I really didn't consider myself as a big fan of them in particular. It was great to watch them, but it didn't matter that much to me if they did well or not. But with Mao, I get so depressed when she's not in good condition and worry alot about her, and when she does great, I can easily feel great just being alive for at least a month or so!

I guess I'm not the only one! I never understood fandom until I discovered Mao. I always thought people were crazy, living vicariously through their favorite athletes and celebrities. But something that Mao displayed that night captivated me forever. Even today I can not describe succinctly my appreciation and love for Mao. Without a doubt we could compile a never ending list of virtues that try to explain why we love Mao. But in the end, beyond all those great qualities, there exists an indescribable, intangible gift that I will never be able to fully grasp or quantify. Thankfully, we don't need to understand the things we enjoy in life! I can't tell you exactly why I like ice cream, I just do! Like Pochinko, I'm just glad there is a person like Mao during our time that we can appreciate and look to for inspiration.
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:24 am

bellarina wrote:
PochinkoPotanko, I completely agree. Except the crazies (i.e. ones that are stalkerish and extremely obsessive), I think fans are so altruistic- they genuinely care about the well-being, happiness, and success of someone they will likely never meet, and do anything they can to help that person in any way possible. People can say all they want about human beings being innately selfish, that it's because of evolution that they look after their family and immediate loved ones, but I see something great in fans, who support and encourage someone they've never met.

huagon wrote:
I guess I'm not the only one! I never understood fandom until I discovered Mao. I always thought people were crazy, living vicariously through their favorite athletes and celebrities. But something that Mao displayed that night captivated me forever. Even today I can not describe succinctly my appreciation and love for Mao. Without a doubt we could compile a never ending list of virtues that try to explain why we love Mao. But in the end, beyond all those great qualities, there exists an indescribable, intangible gift that I will never be able to fully grasp or quantify. Thankfully, we don't need to understand the things we enjoy in life! I can't tell you exactly why I like ice cream, I just do! Like Pochinko, I'm just glad there is a person like Mao during our time that we can appreciate and look to for inspiration.

Ballerina, Huagon thanks for reading my post. I feel totally the same about what you said in your posts. Fandom is such a strange thing, since we love and care for someone who we'll probably never even get to meet in person. I found myself liking some celebrities more or less, just because they do stuff that's entertaining to me, after a while I get bored or they'd just go rotten and I forget all about them in the end. I was treating them like objects not humans, so that wasn't even close to fandom. I used to be like Huagon too, not being able to understand why some people enjoyed loving their stars so much...I was the kind of person who'd say 'Don't dream it, be it!' (i.e. 'Rocky Horror Show'), and I never wanted to be a Salieri, but preferred to go for a Mozart! (Well, you can't go through youth without feeling arrogantly special of yourself, lol!)

But with Mao, I love her as a person as much as I enjoy her skating. As I always tell my close friends, she is the daughter I've never had, the sister I've never had, and most of all, she is the kind of girl I had always wanted to be, but couldn't. So she's living my abandoned dreams for me, and I would love being a Salieri to her now (without the envy), so that I can truely understand, appreciate and respect everything about her and her performances. Like everyone here, I'm just so thankful for her existance!

Unfortunately, most of can't be talented, have the opportunity to do what we really want, nor have the courage and fighting spirit to go through with it like Mao. And that's exactly one of the reasons we need people like her. I can't do any of the things she does, but I can appreciate her doing them. I live with not only my husband but my old aged parents. My mom is quite weak and sick. Seeing her like that makes me feel so sad about life itself. But when I see Mao, I'm always reminded that even if you age, get sick, suffer alot and die in the end, life is still worth living. And I love it when my mom and I watch Mao skate sometimes, and she looks so happy saying 'How wonderful it must feel to be able to dance beautifully like that on the ice!'.....Even if she completely forgets all of it in an hour or so (lol!). cat

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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:33 pm

Well, I had been a big fan of figure skating ever since the Nagano Olympics, where I fell in love with Ilia Kulik (giraffe outfit and all) and felt sorry for a very young Alexei Yagudin as he battled the flu. From then on, I was hooked. I started watching every skating show they broadcast. I came to know Dick Button and his very strong opinions (to say the least Razz). I came to admire many skaters from all of the disciplines: Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutkaya, Shen & Zhao, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze, Anissina & Peizerat. My absolute favorite was Alexei Yagudin, who had such power and mastery on the ice, it blew me away every time.

Then the 2002 Olympics came and went, with its scandal and all the associated hype (don't get me started on that one). My beloved Alexei retired, and I lost a little interest in skating over the next couple of years. Everyone seemed to be struggling to get used to the new scoring system. I wasn't sure I liked it--sure, the old system had its problems, but the new one seemed to be turning skating into 'paint by numbers' as Dick once put it.

I had never been as much of a fan of the ladies event as I'd been of the others, but I did like Irina, and Sasha Cohen could be exquisite. I loved Sasha's expression and beautiful line, but there was often something lacking with her--whenever she made a mistake she seemed to give up. It was like she had to be perfect, and if she couldn't be, that was it.

Then I saw the 2005 Grand Prix Final. I hadn't seen any of the GP events leading up to it, so this was my first glimpse of Mao Asada. Wow. Here was this little girl who wasn't even old enough for the Olympics or Worlds, and she was beating the socks off of Irina Slutskaya! And she could do a triple Axel! And it wasn't just the jumps--she had grace and lightness on the ice, and a wonderful musicality which belied her age. Wow, I thought, this girl is going places. Too bad she's too young to challenge for the Olympic gold...

And so I became a fan. I watched over the next couple of seasons as Mao matured. Soft, graceful Nocturne remains one of my favorite programs of hers, and Czardas exuded such joy--it was contagious. Then came Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, which became (and remains) my favorite program ever. And so on...

I came to love and admire this girl who rekindled my love of figure skating. It is so rare to find a skater who is both a good jumper and a beautiful, graceful figure on the ice. Throw in her determination (or you could call it stubborness Laugh) and her willingness to continually challenge herself to reach greater heights...and this is why I love Mao Asada.
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:02 pm

PochinkoPotanko wrote:

But with Mao, I love her as a person as much as I enjoy her skating. As I always tell my close friends, she is the daughter I've never had, the sister I've never had, and most of all, she is the kind of girl I had always wanted to be, but couldn't. So she's living my abandoned dreams for me, and I would love being a Salieri to her now (without the envy), so that I can truely understand, appreciate and respect everything about her and her performances. Like everyone here, I'm just so thankful for her existance!
I'm sure there are a lot of people on this forum that feel that way but I just wanted to share that that's exactly how I feel about Mao too. I follow her life/career and I enjoy "getting a taste" of what I've always dreamed I'd be but never have been and never will be. But there's no jealousy at all. I just adore her for living the dreams that I've never had the guts to live.

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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:30 pm

I've wanted to take figure skating lessons as a child, but my mom refused since she saw it as a "dangerous" sport. She enrolled me in ballet classes instead and one time as I was surfing the internet for ballet stuff, I came across someone nicknamed "Ballerina on Ice". I was intrigued since I love both ballet and figure skating so I searched for Mao's videos on YouTube. The first video I watched was her long program for the Japanese nationals in 2005 ("Nutcracker"). It was amazing how she fused skating and ballet and from that moment on, I was hooked Smile

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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Fri May 21, 2010 9:13 pm

Hello! Very Happy I just joined the forum, so this is my first official post ^.^

I first knew about Mao about a year and a half ago; before that, I didn't know anything about figure skating at all. The first time I ever watched a live figure skating competition was in December 2008, the GPF.
I remember liking Mao, and being very happy when she won. I think that what did it for me, however, was her Masquerade Waltz' amazing step sequence, which remains my favourite of hers. It didn't take long before I became the die-hard fan I am today. Love Hearts
Now that I think of it, I developed my little crush on Brian Joubert at that time also lol!
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Sat May 22, 2010 2:29 pm

I came to know Mao very late, almost around this January. I was watching a Korean everyday-drama named "High Kick Through The Roof ", and there was a sence that the whole family gathered in front of the tv watching the figure skating program and could not stop complimenting how beautiful and how elegant their princess(you know who it is) is. Then the son-in-law joined their discussion and said "ohyeah! I think Asada Mao is a bit more gorgeous!" and from then on, the father-in-law kept calling him"Yamada San“(implying him as a japanese, which in fact is not ture)

I found it very funny and became curious about "Asada Mao". so I searched on the internet. Luckily the first program that came to me, as well as the first figure skating program I ever see is "fantasie impromptu", the GPF version, by Mao. I was a big fan of fantasie impromptu. I thought it might be one of the most beautiful thing in the world, but Mao doubled it, in aother way other than piano.

I had no idea about the figure skating skills at that time. but now I know that program is exemely difficult in the sense of technical element too! My little giral how could you should have manage that!! and the carman, and the cardas, and the so deep is the night, and the clair de lune, and the masquerade, and the bell!!

well, you must go on and on and on and on~~~dying of watching your new program!
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:33 pm

PochinkoPotanko wrote:
bellarina wrote:
PochinkoPotanko, I completely agree. Except the crazies (i.e. ones that are stalkerish and extremely obsessive), I think fans are so altruistic- they genuinely care about the well-being, happiness, and success of someone they will likely never meet, and do anything they can to help that person in any way possible. People can say all they want about human beings being innately selfish, that it's because of evolution that they look after their family and immediate loved ones, but I see something great in fans, who support and encourage someone they've never met.

huagon wrote:
I guess I'm not the only one! I never understood fandom until I discovered Mao. I always thought people were crazy, living vicariously through their favorite athletes and celebrities. But something that Mao displayed that night captivated me forever. Even today I can not describe succinctly my appreciation and love for Mao. Without a doubt we could compile a never ending list of virtues that try to explain why we love Mao. But in the end, beyond all those great qualities, there exists an indescribable, intangible gift that I will never be able to fully grasp or quantify. Thankfully, we don't need to understand the things we enjoy in life! I can't tell you exactly why I like ice cream, I just do! Like Pochinko, I'm just glad there is a person like Mao during our time that we can appreciate and look to for inspiration.

Ballerina, Huagon thanks for reading my post. I feel totally the same about what you said in your posts. Fandom is such a strange thing, since we love and care for someone who we'll probably never even get to meet in person. I found myself liking some celebrities more or less, just because they do stuff that's entertaining to me, after a while I get bored or they'd just go rotten and I forget all about them in the end. I was treating them like objects not humans, so that wasn't even close to fandom. I used to be like Huagon too, not being able to understand why some people enjoyed loving their stars so much...I was the kind of person who'd say 'Don't dream it, be it!' (i.e. 'Rocky Horror Show'), and I never wanted to be a Salieri, but preferred to go for a Mozart! (Well, you can't go through youth without feeling arrogantly special of yourself, lol!)

But with Mao, I love her as a person as much as I enjoy her skating. As I always tell my close friends, she is the daughter I've never had, the sister I've never had, and most of all, she is the kind of girl I had always wanted to be, but couldn't. So she's living my abandoned dreams for me, and I would love being a Salieri to her now (without the envy), so that I can truely understand, appreciate and respect everything about her and her performances. Like everyone here, I'm just so thankful for her existance!

Unfortunately, most of can't be talented, have the opportunity to do what we really want, nor have the courage and fighting spirit to go through with it like Mao. And that's exactly one of the reasons we need people like her. I can't do any of the things she does, but I can appreciate her doing them. I live with not only my husband but my old aged parents. My mom is quite weak and sick. Seeing her like that makes me feel so sad about life itself. But when I see Mao, I'm always reminded that even if you age, get sick, suffer alot and die in the end, life is still worth living. And I love it when my mom and I watch Mao skate sometimes, and she looks so happy saying 'How wonderful it must feel to be able to dance beautifully like that on the ice!'.....Even if she completely forgets all of it in an hour or so (lol!). cat

It seems to me, that the true appreciation of beauty is something that only happens in a disinterested way, when it's no longer about any kind of direct benefit we can get for ourselves, and fandom can be something like this, at times.

In the case of Mao, I think that her performances are so beautiful that they call up a deep feeling of poignancy and longing. It is not only what happens on the ice, but the way that she gives herself over so completely to her skating. The look on her face after her free skate at the Olympics, in the Kiss and Cry, was just so intense. I ask myself if I have ever invested so much of myself in something, put myself on the line like the way she did. I think that this is what i love about Mao, she has a quality of childish, seared in longing. Most of us lose it when we grow up and live in the grown up world, but Mao still has it, as if she never grew up.

It can't last, of course. She will lose it someday. We all grow up, but we can look back and remember and appreciate the beauty of it.

She is a very great artist.
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:22 am

steve wrote:
It seems to me, that the true appreciation of beauty is something that only happens in a disinterested way, when it's no longer about any kind of direct benefit we can get for ourselves, and fandom can be something like this, at times.

In the case of Mao, I think that her performances are so beautiful that they call up a deep feeling of poignancy and longing. It is not only what happens on the ice, but the way that she gives herself over so completely to her skating. The look on her face after her free skate at the Olympics, in the Kiss and Cry, was just so intense. I ask myself if I have ever invested so much of myself in something, put myself on the line like the way she did. I think that this is what i love about Mao, she has a quality of childish, seared in longing. Most of us lose it when we grow up and live in the grown up world, but Mao still has it, as if she never grew up.

It can't last, of course. She will lose it someday. We all grow up, but we can look back and remember and appreciate the beauty of it.

She is a very great artist.
So do I. Yep! Watching her growth is like watching a drama. The more I know about Mao, the more I love her. Love Hearts
And welcome to the forum, steve!
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:29 am

I kind of forgot to talk about how I got into Mao in my other post. It was basically the Waltz Masquerade SP at the Olympics, especially the step sequence and the spirals. That was one of the most unforgettable performances. I was fascinated by the way she moved and her footwork. Also a contributing factor, the fact that everyone was going gaga over Yuna's bond girl routine, which, for whatever reason, left me cold. I think Yuna fans tend to like popy stuff, whereas Mao fans prefer something more classical, more reserved.

Also, the contrast in their behaviors in the K 'n C afterwards. Mao seeming young and girlish, Yuna living up to her "Queen" title. I suppose I found Yuna's persona and her programs manipulative and unfeeling. The difference is the degree to which each skater invites identification. Yuna is loved by fans because she is sexy and beautiful and inaccessible. She does not care whether you identify with her or not. Mao, on the other hand, seems totally unselfconscious, wears her heart on her sleeve. It's so easy to just get sucked into whatever she's feeling at that moment, until she feels almost like an extension of oneself.
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:45 am

steve wrote:
Also, the contrast in their behaviors in the K 'n C afterwards. Mao seeming young and girlish, Yuna living up to her "Queen" title. I suppose I found Yuna's persona and her programs manipulative and unfeeling. The difference is the degree to which each skater invites identification. Yuna is loved by fans because she is sexy and beautiful and inaccessible. She does not care whether you identify with her or not. Mao, on the other hand, seems totally unselfconscious, wears her heart on her sleeve. It's so easy to just get sucked into whatever she's feeling at that moment, until she feels almost like an extension of oneself.

I agree with everything you've said about Mao. I think she never tries to be anyone but herself. You rarely see celebrities like her thesedays. She's so purely amateur in a good sense when it comes to personality. She is one of the very few people in the spotlight whom I can always relax and follow, because I know she'll never betray my trust in her. Plus in the same way, she is honest to the sport itself IMO. She treasures her pros no matter how others think of some of them, and always faces them thinking it's her responsibility to make it work. I was first worried when she chose 'Bells' and 'Masquerade' SP for her Olys pro, but in the end, I was able to see how much Mao herself loved and appreciated those pros more than anyone. The way she couldn't get hold of them at first but highering them on to a different plane by the end of the season, was all dramatic and moving. Anyway, thank you steve for your beautiful posts on Mao. They inspired me alot! Yep!

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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:02 am

All posts are old, but I didn't write anything from me so now I will share my experience:

Sometimes I think there are two categories of skaters:

1. skaters who are good or even great
2. Skaters who are not only great, but also catch our hearts. Those skaters don't even have to be the best, but from some reasons we feel some kind of connection with them.


Michelle Kwan has always been my favourite skater (she's the only reason why I started watching figure skating) and even though I'm a fan of many skaters, none other could deliver me emotions which Michelle did. I don't mean only programs (which had perfect choreographies and completely stood out from others) but also her history: young girl who wanted to win olympic gold for whole her career, she was doing everything to make her dream come true and never looked back, never cared about opinions of the press that she's too old to do it (after OG in 2002 many people was talking she should have retired because her career is done) and never gived up. After her retirement I thought that world of figure skating would look totally different without her because 2005/2006 season (then she didn't announce retirmenet yet, but she was injured and didn't compete) showed me something which I didn't like at all.


Hmmm... I don't know if I should write about that here, but what was your first feeling when
you saw Mao? I considered her to be very cute child but when I saw her beating Sasha in TEB and Irina in GPF I thought: are you kidding me!? So now figure skating will be a jumping contest? Without any grace & elegance!? Mao was talented and no one could deny it, but do you remember worlds in 1995? Michelle was the best technical skater among all competitors and she didn't win even a bronze because of lack of maturity. For me THAT was a true figure skating: not only jumps but also great felling of music and artistry. Michelle knew that she didn't win any medal even though she was perfect, so she knew she had to turn herself into artist if she wanted to win. Mao could won major competition without any maturity so I thought she wouldn't have any motivation to become a true artist (now I think Yuna could be her motivation).

Season 2006/2007 was an incredible surprise for me. Honestly, I didn't expect this kind of programs from her. She became such sensitive & delicate in SP and joyful & entertaining in FS, it was something absolutely amazing, innovative (czardas) and fresh. After that I've become her fan and her struggling with all difficulties, innocence, ambitions, determination, the fact she never complains about anything and many other things which I won't mention here (I don't want my post to be essay Razz) made me love her even more. It's a bit sad that another my favorite didn't win the gold at the olympics, on the other hand all Mao's failures and successes make her history. It doesn't matter how many times you fall, the most important thing is how many times you stand up. You can't be perfect whole the time, but if you believe in yourself and you keep a progress, you will be a true champion- with or without the gold.

I'm happy she has never competed with Michelle, they both have special places in my heart and If they competed together I couldn't decide which of them I would support more... I'm a fan of Michelle much longer than Mao's but even though that I think I would support Mao a bit more (something about 0,5% ahead of michelle...) Wink

Now when I watch Mao's programs from 2005/06 I don't think she wasn't artist all, but surely she had less maturity than Irina & Sasha (who were my favorites in GP events). Probably I saw what I wanted to see: I prefered watching Sasha & Irina than other skaters and I didn't want to admit there is a new kid on the block who can beat them all.
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:03 pm

Neutral I agree Mao may be too busy with her practice. If she gets messages from her fans through the internet, I think it's mainly from her official website. It has a message board (guest book) and all the messages are checked in advance so that Mao and Mai will not be exposed to ill-intentioned messages. There is a list of rules for posting message. I checked it and it doesn't say that messages must be in Japanese. So, I think it should be OK to post in English cheap party dresses
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PostSubject: Re: How did you come to love Mao? Share your experiences.   Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:10 am

Hello everyone! cheers

First I saw Mao at the OG in SP. OMG, I couldn't understand, why she was not firts?

I felt in LOVE with her since I saw SP.
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