Here is an article written by Hirono Aoshima right after ladies' SP
She says women's short program of Sochi Olympics was something that only Mao Asada was fighting in a different era. Unlike boys, current girls top skaters are not required to execute quads or 3A. Their competition is focused on how to execute clean 3-3s and to show clean programs as much as reducing mistakes.
They don't have to spend extra time on quads in training as men do, nor have mental burden of success in quads at competitions. They can spend time for basic skating practice and pay attention to more than jumps in the program. This is the field where athletes other than Asada are fighting.
And when the attitude of Asada (pursuing her 3A) is successful, it is fine. When it's not, people start to think it is a wrong approach and ask why Mao insists on it.
Then the article shows, in the beginning when Mao and Coach Sato got together, Mr. Sato tried to make a change to focus on other elements in her skating, but Mao couldn't leave her 3A. Aoshima writes probably this is something unique in Japanese figure skating tradition to pursue big jumps, as girls' 3A and 4S. Actually there are young skaters trying on them now and people really like to hear that.
Interesting reactions are that Japan's former Prime Minister Mori said, "That girl always falls at critical moments." Lots of people including politicians reacted to this. But the good one was from a restaurant owner woman (where Mao is used to go to eat at). She said, "Then Mr. Mori should go out and try to skate instead of her."
Anyway people in Japan love Mao no matter what. And I think Mao showed her way finally and clearly this time. She has been fighting in her own battle field all by herself till now, and in her tears of relief after LP we could see it and understand it more than before.
At that moment, I really start to miss her skating, thinking if she really (I think she will) quits competing. (I admit I have never been her fan.)