Has anyone seen her new Swan Lake video? It's linked to in the relevant thread in The Edge. It's lovely, and she looks as if she's well on her way to a good season.
Thanks for starting the Mao thread. Her Swan is just breathtaking. Her footwork is so airy and light as if she is floating across the ice and
her jumps are so much better. Love it!!!!
Thank you, Olympia!
Her new SP is " I GOT RHYTHM".
Can't wait to see her new SP! Go, Mao-chan!
Tremendous news, MG! (Of course I opened it, half asleep, as if I were going to be able to read it...glad you translated. I think I was hoping there were pictures.)
And here's the program itself!
Last edited by Olympia; 10-17-2012 at 03:24 AM.
thaanks soo much for starting this thread, I loved her swan program and especially loved how everything is woven together in that program, makes one forget the elements and just enjoy it. the footwork is exquisite, i love how fast it is, and how it interpretion in the choreography fits the music so well.
I can't wait to see Mao's sp i have to say the music choice is really unusual, and different from anything Mao has skated to soo far.
by the way another thing i noticed at JO was that Mao looked much healthier, she looked the same as in 2008 and that was really refreshing to see, after seeing Mao soo thin the last two seasons!
Forever stuck on those steps
Oh boy, why didn't I post here already? I'm such a baaaad fan! Huh, so, maybe someone's interested in a very, very short part of what's probably her new SP and looks a little similar to her Mary Poppins Ex?
It seems her layout is going to be 3F-2Lo, 3Lo and 2A. Given that this is her first outing, I'm really happy about it.
And I'm already in deep, deep love with this SP! If you add the beautiful free skate (which I've already watched like... 6 or 7 times and which looks more and more lovely to me everytime I rewatch it) this might just become a great season for Mao!
Time to get the luck charms out and start praying for her, it would be so amazing to see her back at her full potential
So true!! I mean there's a reason why I rewatch her Sochi fs all the time but don't have much interest to watch adelinas or yunas or carolinas....
Looking at how Mao is relaxing during her time off... now I feel a little selfish for wanting her to come back/blindly believing she'll come back. But her Sochi LP and Saitama SP were just too good--I feel like she's still got more to show us!
Originally Posted by Sandpiper
I think many of us, including me, really have no idea how much effort and sacrifice it takes to reach, much less maintain, the incredibly high performance level Mao peaked at at the end of last season. Also, she has been suffering from back pain fairly often for the last two seasons. I have read that she had a lot of difficulty feeling her legs and that she suffered from back pain during her Worlds 2013 LP while doing her Biellmann. I also know that she took off a couple of weeks in late December 2013 / early January 2014 due to fairly severe back pain that precluded her from training. If you notice her performance during the LP at Nationals in late December, it appears evident to me that she is injured, which I believe was the main reason for her jumping problems.
If you combine these back issues with her being underscored in the Sochi and the Worlds LP through either suspicious or bogus tech calls, rock bottom GOE or deflated PCS (or all three) while other competitors are over-scored, along with the new harsher edge and ur rules that have been instituted, which could be targeted at her on the specious basis of "reputation based" scoring. it seems quite unlikely to me that she will continue. Besides, if she doesn't come back, she went out on such a high note with her third world title, what many consider to be one of the greatest womens' LP performances ever on the grand Olympic or any stage, and a new world record score in the SP, which was a historic performance for me as well, not to mention a wonderfully compelling final skate when the other top competitor's were faltering.
There is also the fact that most figure skaters seem to be focused primarily on the Olympics, and Mao is no exception, which I think is unfortunate due to the scoring bias that appears to be such an inherent part of it these days. But, the next Olympics is still 4 years away, which is a long time to continue the wear and tear on her back, at the very least. In addition, the next Olympics are in South Korea, which in my opinion would not offer the best prospects for a gold due to the tense relations between South Korea and Japan, especially with the history of the Kim and Mao rivalry. I am not blaming anyone just stating facts of history. All you have to do is go to the youtube videos for Mao and Kim to find out the hostility on both sides by many people. To be honest, under the videos I have noticed there are more negative comments coming from Kim fans, but I know both sides are guilty of it. Again, I am just stating what I have actually seen. That said many Kim and Mao fans have also complimented the other skater. For all these reasons, I really doubt she will come back. Of course, I really hope she does because she is my all-time favorite.
What I found so incredible about the Russian broadcast I tried to translate above is that a Russian announcer on Russian TV in an Olympic Games held in Russia with two Russian skaters contending for medals yet to skate, openly stated on three different occasions during and after Mao's skate that she gave the performance of an Olympic champion and that he had not seen a women's skate like that for a long time. To me, this is amazing praise coming from a "miraculous organ" and the highest compliment and "award" Mao could receive, in addition to the loud rhythmic clapping from a half empty auditorium. Like you said Sandpiper, the transcendence of the performance far outweighs the deflated score, so her "loss" seems trivial.
As I wrote, during this performance the grandeur built and built as the her speed gradually increased perfectly in sync with the sound of the music until it reached its ultimate climax and release in the step sequence, when she leapt into the air with arms and legs outstretched, then tread into a transcendent dimension that exorcised all her Olympic heart aches, grievous mistakes and humiliations to embrace a peak performance that surmounted Everest. She flew so high into the clouds that no "base" score could ever degrade her or bring her down.
I understand what you're saying. Even though Mao is still young, she's been competing at the top level for a very long time. Maybe I should be grateful she's still in any shape to compete, because so many others aren't after eight gruelling years in seniors.
I guess I want to her to come back because of how amazing those final three performances were (Sochi LP, Saitama SP, Saitama LP). Her abilities clearly haven't dropped off. Sochi showed what she could do once the pressure was off her, while Saitama proved she can still deliver even when pressure was on (The Saitama LP, while not perfect, was also a huge achievement. I thought she might struggle because of the enormous pressure: being in her home country, getting WR for the SP, and perhaps wanting "redemption" for the Olympics. Instead, she delivered a great 7-triple LP; because yes, even when Mao Asada stumbles and misses a triple, she still has as many triples as the next skater can do on their best day ).
I feel like Mao might return because she seemed adamant about retiring after the Olympics... but afterwards she was no longer sure. Clearly she feels like there's something left for her in competition, if she's actually become less interested in retirement after Sochi and Saitama. If it weren't for the new edge rules + 2018 Olympics in Korea, I think she'd be back for sure. Sadly, seems like those things are geared toward pushing her into retirement.
I still think Mao could make it to 2018 though. If she paces herself and doesn't compete full seasons, in addition to resting during injury rather than pushing herself... I don't know if she'll be able to win the Olympics in Korea, but I certainly wouldn't put it past her. Not all Olympics are as well-skated as the one in Sochi. And I'm still dreaming of Mao putting together that perfect SP+LP. Of course, best wishes to her, whatever she decides to do; I trust her to make the best choice for herself.
I honestly think that one of the reasons I secretly want her to retire is because I don't want to go through the turmoil of once again seeing deflated scores in the 2007 Worlds LP, 2010 Worlds, Sochi LP and the Worlds 2014 LP, especially because I could see the tech counter corruptly ticking down by multiple digits live on my screen. If continuing to skate isn't bad for Mao's health, then at least she could have the decency to think of mine.
Mao's programs in 2010, Waltz Masquerade for the SP and Bells of Moscow LP, for some reason cut skating fans like a double edged sword with people usually loving them or lambasting them, but I find Mao's clean and compelling performances in the SP and LP in 2010 Worlds to be as perfect as you can get: the stunningly dramatic and flexible fan, cross grab and arabesque spirals (which I miss so much in her performances), a trio of triple axels with more height than today's, and the one handed Biellmann with the black gloved hand cupped against her chest. To be honest, I like these performances almost as much as the ones in Saitama.
I agree to a certain extent about the pressure to medal not being on Mao in the Sochi LP. Even Mao said that she would not have skated that way had she had a better performance in the SP. However, I think there was a totally different kind of pressure that in some ways was even more intense because it was limited to only one performance: that of preserving the last shreds of her dignity and justifying in 4 minute's time what she had spent 4 year's trying to rebuild in her technique: her stated intention of staking her entire reputation on the Sochi season. There was also the weight of an entire nation on her shoulders in the wake of the insulting comments made by Prime Minister Mori the night of her devastating SP.
To make such a stunning about face in one day is truly exceptional and barely believable because the demoralizing effects of such a profound humiliation usually persist in a sense of inadequacy or are cast off in resignation. Fortunately, she had had experience with these "about faces" between the SP and LP in the 2007 Worlds (her first tears of redemption LP), the 2007 Grand Prix Final and to a lesser extent 2013 Worlds. But, Sochi was the most bi-polar of all.
Does anyone have link to the full Olympics event 2010 short and free? Just wanna experience the good old days with skaters like Mao and Yuna who really knew how to skate....
Here is a site with some really nice photos of Mao.
Seeing all these great performances that the rest of you have posted made me think about what fascinates me so much about Mao. Her emotional expression is like an incoming tide that swells slowly with the wave like motions of her balletic lines and extensions carried out with tender care, diligence, fine-tuned flexibility and flashes of athletic brilliance. The complex movements, transitions, spins, spirals and jumps in her performances are a fine weave of elaborate tapestry that draw me slowly into a trance, until I am carried away to a beautiful oasis once she descends into her soulful dance. She tells a highly personal story with her body that speaks from deep within her genuine spirit.
What is it that makes the rest of you like Mao?
Last edited by gotoschool; 02-16-2015 at 01:40 PM.
I like Mao because she's... not sure how to put this, like she is a contrast within herself. She is naturally a flexible, balletic skater, yet she never back down from the "sport" part of figure skating--the triple axel, the triple flip-triple toe. She was even introduced to as the Queen of the Triple Axel at the Vancouver gala. And still, many would argue jumps weren't even her strongest qualities. Those were her spins, spirals, and step sequences.
Originally Posted by gotoschool
Some would probably fall back on the "complete skater" cliche. But I think it's more than that. Mao, like all skaters, is not without weaknesses. But she stands out by never letting any weaknesses hold her back. She'd go for that 3A even if she gets hit with < and loses all her points. She was a genuine risk-taker, not one of those men who fall on a fully-rotated quad and pick up points. I love her genuine connection with her programs and her elements.
EDIT: Sorry, that should say "triple flip-triple loop." Stupid brain...
Last edited by Sandpiper; 02-16-2015 at 03:04 PM.