Mao Asada's skating type
During this GP series we discussed about British Euro Sport's female commentator's opinion on Map's skating.
Here is a Japanese article titled "Why does Mao insist on 3A?" by Hirono Aoshima, who has been covering figure skating quite a lot.
In its first half she discusses on Mao's skating type, and I think there is truth in it. What do you think? I attach translation below.
Why does Mao Asada insist on triple axel? by Hirono Aoshima
Does Mao Asada's skating really touch people's heart?
Sometimes such a debate took place in coverage sites. There are lots of skaters who charm audience by their skating as Daisuke Takahashi, Akiko Suzuki and Tatsuki Machida in Japan. Of course Mao Asada has unique charm, and lots of people are attracted to the hard working figure of "Mao-chan".
But those are caused by her presence as a national idol and her character. As a performer, is she a first-class?
Skaters such as Takahashi and Suzuki, who have the strong power to attract the audience, not only have height of expression technology, but also are conveying a strong message when they skate.
That's a strong appeal for the audience as "Love me!" or "Look at me!" When human feeling such as like to be the center of attention, can't stand being alone, wants to be loved, outpours, people can't stop love it.
There is a view that Mao Asada totally lacks it. She does not beg others love while skating. About performance, she doesn't need others' evaluation. Once her mother, Masako, when she was still alive, told reporters a story.
"Flattering doesn't work on Mao. Praise doesn't make her so happy."
Masako-san added amusingly,
"It's only me, Mao wants to be praised by."
This makes sense. When Mao was young and started group lessons with her elder sister, Mai, Mao was always saying, "Mon, look at me!" She wanted even a little. She wanted to show even a little bit of progress to her mother. She wanted her mother would look at Mao only, not Mai… That was one of her motivations to improve her skating. It was only one person whom she wanted to watch her, her beloved mom.
That's why even today she doesn’t emit the message "Look at me!", "Love me!" through her skating. Some people feel it lacks something. Others on the contrary might be attracted by the lone idol figure that they can't feel her affection.
"It could be the same as the observer's love style."
There was such opinion. When you love somebody, you perceive the affection from the other, and you grow the feeling of love each other. Through the communication mutual love will be established, such kind of pattern. But love someone who does not even look at you, and you chase the person earnestly. Some will find joy in such type of love.
When the former watches figure skating, will be attracted by the performance of Daisuke Takahashi and Akiko Suzuki. In their performance there is communication with the viewer. On the other hand, the latter type of love people could be strongly moved by Mao Asada's skating which doesn't release anything outside.
In Detroit, Tokyo and Moscow, we were talking over about Mao Asada, and In Fukuoka we came to the Grand Prix Final.
Thank you for doing this translation! It must have taken a lot of time.
I do enjoy Mao's skating very much, and it's very interesting to read skating news from other countries. I am always hesitant to accept stories psychoanalyzing athletes. I will say that the author correctly guesses my "love style" as a Mao fan .
The first question, "Why does Mao insist on the triple axel?", is interesting to me. I used to skate (albeit very badly), and it seems that training that jump is just not a good idea. Her skating in exhibitions, where she is unhampered by that jump, is on another level.
My phone autocorrects "Yuna" to "Tuna" (Sorry!)
Why are you trying to make me cry on a Sunday?!
Originally Posted by cinnamon
The second half of this article is talking about that question, and most of the part is only for the subscribers. Also part 2 of the article is supposed to come out soon.
Originally Posted by BounceAround
Anyway this is a good question because Mao would love to put two 3As in her LP and give up her 3-3, which is losing some base points. And her coach Mr. Sato would like to make her dream come true. So it's going to be a hard decision for Olympics.
It wasn't intention... am sure that you overcome as Mao has done, and as your name.
Originally Posted by aftertherain
Where do you find truth in this article? I thought it is quite personal opinion of Aoshima based of her way of thiniking. I doubt ideas like "Look at me" "Love me" are in skaters mind during training and competitions. They are too busy to think such things u know.
3A is hardest jump. I heard others like GG are practicing and russian girls are willing to try in future. Some women even have tried quads. And i want to see them defy their female body, born weaker than men, such challenge is exciting and essential in competitions which is different from ice shows where skaters are paid to entertain guests.
I remember Mao said "I do not remember why I could do 3As earlier. It was like without thinking" This is not direct translation because I cannot find this video. I think after long, serious, hard training she is enjoying her last season because it seems she finally knows how. It's sad most people here say her skate is heartless and imperfect and so on compared to Kim Yu Na.
I think the writer is the one who has the least respect from Mao fans in Japan.... Isn't she rumored to be kept from having any contact with Mao because of her notorius subjective Mao criticizm?
I think 3A is very special to Mao. I love her 3A and her skating style. She may not be a great actress on the ice but she has a magical power to skate with her heart. If not, why could she have been supported by so many fans for years?
It appeares to be true that Mao loved her mother very much and wanted to skate better for her mom. She promised it when she was very young. Mao knew her mother was very ill and believed that her skating would help her mom get well. Now that her mother has gone, and she said countless times that all she hope now is to finish the undone job that she left on the Vancouver ice. She wants to do the program with 3A and skate it clean. Her 3A is getting better and better. I would not care if Mr. Amano judged it ur by a few degree. It looked beautiful to me and it did not distruct the beauty of the program. I have no problem with Mao sticking to her 3A.
Besides, Mao has improved not only her jumps but every aspect of her skating. People have their preferances and some would not like her style, but to me, her transition is to die for (that is what another commentater of British Euro Sports mentioned for Mao's short at GPF).
sorry above message is to cinnamon. I really think Mao is sick of public attention. Too much expectation throughout her career.
All what I know is she is the author of
Originally Posted by rondoboy
which is written well and favorably. She also writes on Yuzuru periodically.
(If you google you can find lots of things nowadays and often fans have tendency to over react as we all know.)
Skating is art, if you let it be.
There are different styles that need to be appreciated, but Mao's skating is not just "internal" the past years, it tends to be "blank" at times. She is concentrating hard on the elements rather than feeling at home on the ice. The scoring system makes it very difficult for wholly introspective performances to work, though.
LOL. Of course they are.
Originally Posted by pec0
Thank you very much for reminding me that Ms. Aoshima talks up Yuzuru or Dai or lots of other skaters. Well, but it does not mean she does not have a biased view toward Mao.....
When you plan your program, maybe so. But then, why do you pinpoint only Mao to blame showing off? oh Mao is so bad she is showing off! Only Mao ...??? i meant that, i love watching plays, dance, classical music as art. During serious performance, you concentrate on what you should do in order to control your body and you can look bigger than you actually are, that is magic.
Originally Posted by Blades of Passion
Mao´s style is very unique, since the first time I watched her for me she stand out from the others, and it is funny but the first time my family (2 sisters and my mom) watched her separately, they said to me, she skates different, I don´t know why, but she is different in a good way.
And yes, she is introvert sometimes, but the last seasons she improved a lot, in her sp in GPF this year she definitly attracted with the audience.
Originally Posted by chapis
She is an introvert but to me that is what is so amazing about her peformances is from with in and her performances are pure, soft and delicate
To be perfectly honest, when in competition- Mao skates like a ballerina. By that I mean, she internalizes a lot- there is a great deal of style in her movements (not frantic, or overtly dramatic or slapstick) and graceful, BUT just like a ballerina- her skating style isn't always commercially accessible. Its aesthetically pleasing and you admire her skating. Her backstory is one for the ages. However, she doesn't exude that much tangible emotion from the audience. Like, the kind of emotion you feel thick in the air. but then the IJS doesn't really care for that kind of skating style anymore. Even the likes of Kim, Kostner and the lot are in the same boat. All of them Fabergé eggs.
Suzuki has lived. She has age and maturity and so had Dai, and so that comes across their skating. It's only in the last couple of seasons that Mao has developed THAT style of skating because she's never had to use her sport as an outlet for anything. in her darkest hour she found love for skating again, so these days Asada can take the audience with her (esp. with her SP this season)
In most cases, if you want to see a skater's genuine style- especially in her case, it is better to look at their exhibition programs. Without the restrictions of rules and judging, Asada usually shines brighter when skating purely for the fans at the Gala. She has more memorable ex pieces than competitive ones, and they are full of style and personality.
This is from Eurosport Commentary Team thread, YesWay's post after Skate America:
"Who was the lady commentator? I checked Mao's FS (to spot myself in the audience haha), and she was saying that Mao's FS consisted of skating from one end of the rink to the other and back... "with nothing in between"... and she'd like to see Mao putting in more content O_o Erm... WHAT?! If that was a joke, it went over my head. I was not impressed by her general tone and manner, and she is no kind of substitute for King Simon."
So for some people Mao's skating lacks "emotion you feel thick in the air".
And Aoshima's problematic criticism on Mao was about she pursued her dream to achieve two 3As in her LP (all together three 3As) in Vancouver, instead of prioritized to win. Her point was when Mao was presenting Japan, she had to prioritize to win the game.
(Then I'm interested in what she is going to write about this in her next article this time.)
Some Japanese people praised the writer she wasn't scared to say what she said, some believed she said it out of love toward fellow Japanese skater's future improvement, some said she tried to provoke to get more people's attention. While of course Mao's fans disliked it.
Among her writings which I've read, I believe she wishes all Japanese skaters' success.