An interesting perspective.
I hope Mao realizes that her decision is win-win. If she retires after the Sochi Olympics, good for her. If she continues competing, good for her.
This is why they don't retire. Season by season until she's like 40 she'll be like "maybe- I'm thinking of it - I am taking a break" and then year after year after year people finally get it! Like with Kwan or Joannie Rochette. Just never ever say your done!
If a skater wants to retire, for heaven's sale LET HIM/HER RETIRE! There IS life after figure skating!
Midori Ito also faced an incredible amount of pressure, particularly to skate in Nagano. Hopefully Mao makes a decision that is right for her. I could see her retiring next year, or becoming invigorated if she gets her jumps back and can compete for the top spot for years to come.
I don't think she really did. In some Fan Therad/Forum/Group (I don't recall where) someone mentioned an interview with Mai, Mao's sister. Mai said that Mao didn't mean to say she will definitly retire no matter what - Mao now just feels like this could be her last season because she wants to have more time for other things in her life and she's competing for so long. But she hasn't decided it yet. By now, it motivates her to train for this season like it was her final one. But the real decision will be made later, because Mao doesn't now if she might not feel differently after the Olympics.Originally Posted by pangtongfan
I don't really remember where I read it, so I cant post the interview, sorry...
Anyway, I hope that if Mao really decides to go on after Sochi, I hope it will be because she wants to, not because of being pressured to.
I think skaters should do what they want. If they want to retire, then retire, and if they want to stay in, then stay in. That includes people like Fumie Suguri.
With that said, I find it strange how "optimistic" people are about older skaters now. Being a Kwan fan, I remember how the press and even American skating fans were practically shoving her out the door during the last few years of her career, attacking her skating and accusing her of holding the American ladies back. Bleh.
Thanks for posting this article it really was interesting, and it put certain things in perspective. I agree with what Jack Gallagher said, about Mao still being young, and that she maybe should take a break after the Olympics if she feels tired, before she makes any hasty decision. I just really can't imagine her retiring after next season, and personally I hope/pray to see her compete for many more years to come!