Mao Asada will go down in history as a great skater no doubt about that. But looking back I think the Japanase federation, some fans and media have harmed her. This precious 15 year old with a big smile came and won the GPF and then she became 'japan's only hope for gold", whe was carrying the federation on her shulders (according to japan times), she is the athelete with more sponsors, if she does not do well tv ratings go down. I think this was too much pressure for one person. As if JAPAN did not have other skaters who could also carry the burden. It must be so hard for an athlete to live with the presure of your "country is couting on you for gold from such an young age". Mao annouce she will retire and people are writing articles about her sponsors not happy with that. Who cares?
If we look at other top skaters they have not have to deal with this presure. Kim Yuna does not feel that presure because her country does not view skating as a religion (maybe they do know but is only because they have produced one the greatest skaters of this generation) However Japan has a long skating history with Midori Ito----- and I know they only have one gold medal and they want more, but nevertheless, they put an inhumane presume on Mao Asada. I think Mao felt this pressure during last olympics.
Caro Kostner does not have that much pressure because I think Italy is very happy with a having a top rated skater
With that I am not saying that Mao should not been Japan's skating superstar, what I am saying is why put all your eggs in one basket (Miki Ando super star, Akkiko superstar why put all the pressure in one skater)
Mao will be ok no matter what the girl has more sponsors thant Tiger Woods in Japan, so I assume she will be finncially secure). So if I were Mao I will go to this Olympics not with the goalo of beating Kim or win gold, but the goal to have the skate of my life. If Japan does not win another gold medal. well....
By the way I suppor team japan