PDA

View Full Version : Mao Asada - Here's Hoping She Can Turn Things Around in 2011/12



Pages : 1 [2] 3

krenseby
10-14-2011, 05:56 PM
Don't get me wrong - I love Mao, and unlike a lot of you, I think her Bells of Moscow is a masterpiece, and that just for that reason it was worth Mao's while working with Tarasova.

I think Mao's Bells of Moscow was exquisite, haunting, and memorable. I am glad that you think of it as highly as I do. But apparently we are in the minority.

Vash01
10-14-2011, 06:31 PM
I agree with everything said already. I only want to add:
Mao is a classic example of how difficult it is to manage a career, any career, in any discipline. There are many questions one would want to ask, eg change of coaches (why did she leave Yamada so early [cf. Kanao, who is still with Yamada], Tarasova question [i.Mao didn't have a jump coach; ii. suitability of Tarasova choreo]); failure to "correct" her jumps (as long ago as 2008 she was saying she needed to fix her jumps), etc. But, above all, the limiting factor so far in her career has been a certain blinkeredness on Mao's part. She is stubborn and one dimensional in her pursuit of perfection. Her attachment to 3A is an example. Further, I see her limited by her lack of life skills. Compare Mao with Miki, or Shizuka. Miki has stuck with Morozov, gave up quads and managed to win GM without 3A, 3x3, nor Biellman. She travelled all over the world to train where Morozov was, picking up fluency in the English language on the way. Shizuka was as one dimensional as Mao in her pursuit of OGM, but she took decisions and put them into effect by herself, particularly towards the end (changing from Tarasova to Morozov, changing music etc). So far Mao has not shown the kind of initiative I see in Miki and Shizuka.
Don't get me wrong - I love Mao, and unlike a lot of you, I think her Bells of Moscow is a masterpiece, and that just for that reason it was worth Mao's while working with Tarasova.


I think you are contradicting yourself- praising Miki for sticking with one coach (Morozov) and praising Shizuka for changing coaches. I also have to disagree with you about Miki abandoning the quad, the 3-3 and the Biellman. She never consistently landed the quad. The only time it was ratified- as a junior- was ur and COP would never have given her credit for that. She also had injuries from training that jump, so it was wise to drop it. She dropped the 3L-3R because the judges would not give her credit for the second 3, no matter what. It was not worth the effort. Miki never had a Biellman type flexible body.

Shizuka essentially lucked into the two big titles she won- worlds 2004 and Oly 2006. IN 2004, Michelle did not do well in the QR, and Sasha crumbled in the LP, which opened the door for Shizuka. I give her credit for going to Tarasova, but without those things happening, she would not have won the gold. It was even more obvious in the Olympics. Shizuka did not even do her most difficult content- no 3-3 combinations. Again, Michelle was out, Irina and Sasha both crumbled under the Olympic pressure and the gold fell into Shizuka's lap. Again, I give her credit for going to Morozov at the right time. She seemed to have a knack for making the right switch at the right time, but without lady luck smiling on her, I doubt that she would have won the championships. I am not saying she is not a great skater, but she was lucky too.

Now look at Mao. She is naturally flexible, has wonderful lines, posture, and she does a beautiful +GOE type Biellman spin. She has landed the 3A numerous times in competitions. At times it was downgraded, but many times she got full credit for it. It was not enough to overcome the huge marks the judges were giving Yu na Kim (she was overmarked, IMO in 2010, though she deserved the win). If she can land the 3A, I see no reason for her to abandon what sets her apart from other skaters. She does need to bring back the 3f-3R or 3f-3t back in addition. It seems she has taken the necessary steps to improve herself, after Vancouver. She went to a coach who would help fix her jump technique. So I don't understand your criticism of Mao at all. I admire her desire to improve, even after 2 world titles and an Olympic silver. Whether she wins the OGM or not, she will always remain a skater I admire for her technical and artistic skills, but most of all for her fighting spirit.

Jammers
10-14-2011, 06:34 PM
Shizuka skated out of her head at Worlds in 2004. Sasha would had a hard time beating her even if she didn't crumble.

Belinda
10-14-2011, 07:30 PM
I think you are contradicting yourself- praising Miki for sticking with one coach (Morozov) and praising Shizuka for changing coaches. I also have to disagree with you about Miki abandoning the quad, the 3-3 and the Biellman. Miki never had a Biellman type flexible body.
Shizuka essentially lucked into the two big titles she won- worlds 2004 and Oly 2006. I am not saying she is not a great skater, but she was lucky too.


I am only talking about conscious decision making, planning & self management, not the rights/wrongs of their decisions, or whether they had no choice but make those decisions or whether they are good or not so good skaters as a result of those decisions. Miki made a conscious decision to stick with Morozov despite pressure from the Japanese Federation. Shizuka changed coaches of her own volition. Miki could have lost to Kim last season and Shizuka might have ended with a bronze in Turin but my view of their intentionality in career management would not change.

Vash01
10-15-2011, 12:48 AM
I am only talking about conscious decision making, planning & self management, not the rights/wrongs of their decisions, or whether they had no choice but make those decisions or whether they are good or not so good skaters as a result of those decisions. Miki made a conscious decision to stick with Morozov despite pressure from the Japanese Federation. Shizuka changed coaches of her own volition. Miki could have lost to Kim last season and Shizuka might have ended with a bronze in Turin but my view of their intentionality in career management would not change.

We will just have to agree to disagree on this one since you are so convinced that Mao did nothing to further her career, and Shizuka and Miki were the smart ones.

Go MaO! Prove this poster wrong!

miki88
10-15-2011, 01:18 AM
She chose Sato as her coach. That counts as a initiative and a smart one. :)

Vash01
10-15-2011, 01:21 AM
Shizuka skated out of her head at Worlds in 2004. Sasha would had a hard time beating her even if she didn't crumble.

Sasha was in first place. All she had to do was skate clean, and the judge would have given her 6.0's based on her beauty alone. Shizuka's tech marks were high, but presentation marks were beatable.

Mayra
10-15-2011, 01:33 AM
Further, I see her limited by her lack of life skills. Compare Mao with Miki, or Shizuka. Miki has stuck with Morozov, gave up quads and managed to win GM without 3A, 3x3, nor Biellman. She travelled all over the world to train where Morozov was, picking up fluency in the English language on the way.


You know you've heard it all when someone thinks Miki sticking with Morozov somehow demonstrates her superior life skills over Mao. :rofl:

Belinda
10-15-2011, 12:07 PM
Go MaO! Prove this poster wrong!

Dear Vash01 and Mayra

I hope as much as you do that you are right and I am wrong!! As I really want Mao to realise her potential. Thanks for your responses to my comments.

Roxanne
10-15-2011, 12:56 PM
Here is a recent Mao interview translated by linglang from Mao's fan forum (http://maoasada.logu2.com/forum)

Mao Asada “I want to become a beautiful skater this season”

Mao Asada turned 21 years old on Sept. 25. Over the last two seasons, she struggled in the early stages of the season and often put uneasy look on her face. However, this is the second year since she went to her new coach and her cheerfulness has come back.

Spent good time-off; Kyoto trip and driving license

When season is over, I always feel that I really want to “take a rest.” Immediately after the last season ended, I strongly felt so. Feeling pressure from the attention? Yes I do. I know I have to achieve a good result (this season) for people who support me. I love figure skating. The harder the practice become before the start of competition, the lesser I feel like taking a rest. “I will make a good start this season”: That’s what I have in my mind now. I think I spent a good time-off. I did a lot of things other than those related to figure skating. I went to Kyoto for sightseeing. I got a driving license which was my main objective (in off-season). I took lessons (at driving school) for a month and was able to obtain the license without failing at all.
(Note: it takes time and costs a lot to get a driving license in Japan. Minimum 26 hours of lecture and 34 hours of driving lessons with multiple tests in different stages.)

A little fun break is good for a change

I’m happy my living area has expanded (since I got my driving license). I used to use subway. I was rarely spotted. But, it took long time to move around. Wake up and skate, eat and skate, sleep and skate … my life was like that. Recently, however, I got to know “there is another way to spend time.” After practice, I eat out or go shopping. I realized that a little fun break is good for a change. I act fairly freely on holidays. I go out alone, often in Tokyo. I enjoyed Yoyogi Uehara the other day. I enjoyed strolling back street of the shopping area. Sugamo and Asakusa are also interesting. But, because the season will start soon, I have to give it up for a while.

This season’s agenda is speed

Do I look radiant? Because Tatiana-sensei is in Russia, I couldn’t be with her so much. So, I often practiced alone and I was tense all the time. I suppose because it’s gone now (I look radiant). Since last year, I have Sato-sensei and Kumiko-sensei (Sato’s wife). Since I have someone looking after me every day, I feel comfortable. First thing I learned from Sato-sensei was skating. Shoulders should not move up and down, and it’s important because it affects everything including jumps. Sato-sensei has given me an agenda for this season, which is speed. He says “nothing could give more fascination than speed.”

Keeping in mind lessons learnt last season

I bear in mind lessons I learnt last season that is to “remember achievements and failures.” It’s of course about failed jumps and also about the way of doing practices … I repeated the same mistakes (last season) several times. Making mistakes and failing can also be “the way for success,” but you shouldn’t make same mistakes over and over again. To avoid it, we will decide on the program layout at the beginning of this season. Last season, we decided whether I would jump 3A or not on the day of competition. But this season, Sato-sensei and I will discuss thoroughly and decide and stick to the layout from practices to competition.

I turned 21 years old and I feel “the age.” Hardest part of practices is run-through to the music and also repeating same parts over and over again. It uses a lot of energy. I like practices but I got tired. I wasn’t like that some years ago. I was totally fine even after doing multiple run-throughs …

Love dancing as much as skating

I try to remember the joy of dancing (when I skate). I bear an image in mind that I’m dancing to the music. Then, I don’t get exhausted so much. Trying to find good positions while I’m dancing, I realize that figure skating is very deep. Kumiko-sensei says “Skate like when you skated at THE ICE.” I love dancing as much as I love skating. But, when it comes to competition, I become conscious more about win or lose. I myself enjoyed very much at THE ICE and I was able to see the smiles of people in the audience. I think it’s a good idea to skate at competitions with willingness to entertain the audience like ice shows. It’s a “new finding” for me.

“Princess“ who is also lovely

This season’s free program “Liebestraume” is the same program I skated last season. So, I feel very “comfortable” with it already. I think when I skate to it now, my feeling and expressions are all heart.” My new short program “Scheherazade” is the music I'd listen to whenever I visited Tatiana-sensei for choreography in the past. I wanted to skate to this music someday. There are many skaters who used this music. But, my tune is arranged in different taste. It’s the music of a princess who is not only strong but also lovely. I think Tatiana-sensei has brought out different sides of me. When you watch my old video footages, I think you notice that they were all about cute and cute stuff. I think she has raised me up about three levels higher to take a first step of adulthood.

Ms. Lori Nichol who has choreographed free program knows me since I was a child. It is Lori who taught me a lot of steps and made programs that suite me very well.

Lori & Tatiana-sensei is the best combination

Tatiana-sensei’s movements are unique while Lori’s choreography is not too difficult because programs are choreographed in the way that matches my tendency “I want to move like this” and thus I can move smoothly. More than anything, Lori is wonderful. Her skating is strong and graceful at the same time. I like watching her. I sense love from her. She loves skating very much. I think the combination of Lori and Tatiana-sensei is the best for me now. My first competition for this season will be in Nov. at NHK cup. It’s about one month later than the past two years. So I can practice thoroughly.

How well I can do while I enjoy it

I made people worried last season. I had messages from people saying “I’m very much worried about you.” So, I want to show them good performances this season. Instead of taking on new challenges, I want to concentrate on things I can do now to master them. It is the trend of the times that new skaters emerge one after another including those teenage Russian skaters. I was one of them back then. But, each athlete is unique. I want to become a “beautiful skater.” Because it is competition, there will be times I will show a strong attitude and become conscious about win or lose. While allowing it, how well I can go and I enjoy it? I want to pursue it. I think it may be my challenge for this year.

robinhood
10-15-2011, 02:26 PM
Sasha was in first place. All she had to do was skate clean, and the judge would have given her 6.0's based on her beauty alone. Shizuka's tech marks were high, but presentation marks were beatable.

the thing is sasha never managed to skate clean in her entire career and even as inconsistent as Shizuka was as an amateur she managed to peak in the most prestigious competitions

this is subjective I guess, but as beautiful as Sasha was, for me Arakawa was even more beautiful and could skate circles around her, btw...By Torino, I think it was clear cut who was the best skater in the competition. Lady Luck didn't have to do anything in Shizuka's career...if anything she's a huge underachiever!

jjane45
10-15-2011, 03:05 PM
Beautiful interview, thank you for sharing

Vash01
10-15-2011, 05:31 PM
the thing is sasha never managed to skate clean in her entire career and even as inconsistent as Shizuka was as an amateur she managed to peak in the most prestigious competitions

this is subjective I guess, but as beautiful as Sasha was, for me Arakawa was even more beautiful and could skate circles around her, btw...By Torino, I think it was clear cut who was the best skater in the competition. Lady Luck didn't have to do anything in Shizuka's career...if anything she's a huge underachiever!

Shizuka is/was the better overall skater, with much better basic skating skills. However, she had been inconsistent her entire career. She skated clean in TWO big competitions, that's all. One worlds and one Olympics (OK, those only come once every 4 years). World championship is every year. The year after winning worlds, Shizuka dropped to 9th in the world. That's hardly called consistency.

I like Shizuka much better than Sasha, but I wouldn't say consistency was a strong suit of either one. Morozov recognized her problems and took the pressure off her in the 2006 Olys by asking her to not try the 3-3. She was really skating for a medal of any color, at that point, I think (probably silver), with Irina to follow her. Irina had one of the worst skates of her life, and who would have predicted that after 2005 worlds and the entire 2006 season? Shizuka did get lucky there. Otherwise a 5 triple program without a 3-3 or a 3A is not likely to win.

I love watching Shizuka's skating now. She has really come into her own, and I miss watching Sasha as a pro. As an eligible skater, I was never her fan.

bartek
10-16-2011, 10:17 PM
the thing is sasha never managed to skate clean in her entire career and even as inconsistent as Shizuka was as an amateur she managed to peak in the most prestigious competitions

this is subjective I guess, but as beautiful as Sasha was, for me Arakawa was even more beautiful and could skate circles around her, btw...By Torino, I think it was clear cut who was the best skater in the competition. Lady Luck didn't have to do anything in Shizuka's career...if anything she's a huge underachiever!

Sasha did skate a clean long program in her career. Watch Marshall's 2004 which is one of the best ladies' FS in history but also Worlds 2003 and 2004 QR's. In fact, Sasha skated more clean FS's in her career than Shizuka who it did only two times. As much as I love Shizuka, consistency wasn't her strong pont, I'm sorry. She was even MORE inconsistent than Sasha. 2004-2005 season was a total failure for her.

Proustable
10-16-2011, 11:27 PM
I will say that skating her peak at the most important competition of her life gives her the edge over Sasha, who could never match that kind of fortitude.

Also, I love Mao and believe she'll do well this upcoming season.