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  1. #81

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    ...read the rest at the link above...
    Woops! I am sorry, Mods, for taking your time. I did not know I should not copy&paste all the article. Won't happen again!

    From a recent video of Mao's practice, she appeared to be in a very good condition. GPF will be exciting. I like all six ladies to skate there and look forward to seeing everyone skates clean.

  2. #82

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    Season's greetings from Mao. Just joking. Love this photo.

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    So many high profile opportunities for Japanese fans to see her this season. So special.
    Japan Open. NHK. GPFinal. Japan Nationals. Worlds.

  4. #84

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    An interview aired yesterday. Mao said she had done all the runthroughs of her long program with TWO 3A since NHK Trophy. She also mentioned she had practiced 3F-3Lo for the recovery.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg834tyWN84

    Today's practice and interview after the practice.
    http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/figure/movie/index01.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTtlN...ature=youtu.be

  5. #85

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    Loved this short program at Grand Prix final. This could be her cap of her life as a competitive skater.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXXq8zoTk3E

    Love this photo of her Nocturne. What a freedom.
    http://az490469.vo.msecnd.net/~/medi...27G2000000.jpg

  6. #86

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    Today is the second anniversary since Kyoko Asada passed away. She must be glad that Mao bumped up and won the 4th gold medal(this season and last season in a row) at the grand prix final, which she could not appear at two years ago.

    *** collecting the words related to Kyoko(Mao's mother) and also summary of Mao's life as a competitive skater from the people around them***

    The portrait of Mao Asada by the story which Tatiana Tarasova talked about.
    "Mao has been the child genius from child-hood. Her movement on the ice was splendid and her skating was flawless. She engraves all steps with high difficulty level, and her jumps, too, have high precision. And, above all, she was the 'musical' skater. She could express herself to any kinds of music programs."
    "To choreograph is as if it makes a costume which is called music for her. In this time, I chose the music number of Rachmaninoff which will match her. It will become the performance which is left in the memory of everybody. Through this music number, she expresses her all figure skating life so far. To overcome the difficulty is the theme of this program. If Mao can finish all the performance while skating to the melody of Rachmaninoff, it is that she has overcome the difficulty. It will be that she has expressed the life of one person or the life of one top-ranking skater."
    "Mao is an irreplaceable very special person. I pray sincerely that she can smile with the best smiling face in the Olympics. If she is good condition as same as usual and has prepared tightly, she will leave the good result. As for the other, the god only will know the future.
    “Mao was together with the mother whenever coming to Moscow and I met to her mother with reverence. She was moderate, was very intelligent and was the person who gives the power to Mao.”

    “Kyoko gave me a letter before passing away. It was written by the word of the gratitude but it wasn't touched even with one word about a disease. Later, I found that this letter had been the sentences which the person who was under a long illness wrote. She was a mentally strong person really. The death of the mother was maximum tragedy for Mao. Then, I, too, left from Mao. We were a source of the energy of Mao. Therefore, I could understand also that Mao fell in slump.”

    Rafael Arutunian: "I know what Plushenko knows…"
    A lesson for life

    EV: Have you ever regretted that you stopped working with Mao Asada?

    AR: I still do. Last time I worked with her was in the end of December 2007: first at the Grand Prix Final, in Turin, where she placed second, having won the free, then at Nationals in Japan. After that, I went to the U.S. We agreed that Mao would come to me on January 14th. We had the preparation to the Worlds in Gotenburg all planned out, but she didn't come in time. She asked by phone if I could come to her. I couldn't, because I worked with Jeffrey Buttle. But I sent my assistant to Japan. Ad told Mao that I would still wait for her in Lake Arrowhead.

    The thing is, Mao never could properly train in Japan: too many distractions, like any star would have. Mao didn't like that, she would close off, and it transferred onto the ice… It ended when I told her ultimately that either she comes back, or we don't work together anymore.

    It wasn't until much later that I found out Mao's mother was diagnosed with cancer at that time. Her family kept it secret, and they didn't tell me anything. Of course I would find a possibility to go to Japan if I had known. Or at least, I wouldn't make such an ultimatum.

    It had taught me a lesson. A coach never should make a decision without full knowledge of the situation. Asada didn't leave me, I made her quit, even though she didn't want to until the very last moment. Even at the World championships my name was in her protocol up until the beginning of the free program. Mao must have thought I would come to Gothenburg with Jeffrey Buttle and will be by the boards when she skates. And I didn't come to Sweden at all.

    EV: Why?

    AR: Because I realized I would have to be by the boards and thus continue my relationship with Asada. So I didn't go at all, out of principle. Like a fool. I don't think there was any such case in the history of figure skating: two of the coach's students become World champions, and he isn't even at the rink.

    After three hard years, Mao Asada hopes to shine at Sochi

    "Over the last three years I've been through a lot of pain and worry. But it's because of that pain that I've gotten to where I am now.

    "If I hadn't gone through these tough times, I don't think I'd have come as far as I have, to being in my current condition."
    "Because I know that there's only a year left, I can really pour all my energy into competing," said Asada.

    "I feel (my mother's) presence every day, so I'm able to continue on as before."

    Choreographer Lori Nichol talks about Mao Asada and Daisuke Takahashi

    ---You chose 'Nocturne' by Chopin for Asada again, with whom you had worked for a long time. You used it for her in the past when she was at the age of 16.

    "Sweet, soft, thoughtful, gentle and strong. That is my 'Nocturn'. And so is Mao's image. She flows on the ice like a light and delicate feather. It seems Chopin is the perfect composer for her. She was a innocent girl seven years ago. However, she's gone through difficulties and sadness since then. I think now she understands the sorrow and other various aspects in Nocturn."

    "Seeing Mao, I feel the special relationships between Mao and ice. She flies on the ice using almost no power. As smooth as cutting butter with a knife warmed in hot water. When she skates, she makes so beautiful sound that I can't resist to be fascinated with it."

    "After Vancouver Olympics in the process of her reworking on skating, I chose the stressless musics for her. As for this season, I choreographed a program which makes her soul fit her techniques perfectly."
    London calling: Nichol talks Kostner, Asada music
    "Mao arrived on my doorstep [in Toronto] last May. she wanted an exhibition program; she wasn't sure about a competitive program," Nichol said. "She had [selected music as] a tribute to her mother, and I listened to it."

    Asada's mother, Kyoko, died of chronic liver disease at age 48 in December 2011. Asada, who was preparing to compete at the Grand Prix Final in Quebec City at the time, traveled home to Japan, but her mother passed away before she arrived.

    "I'm a mother, and I told her from a mother's standpoint, 'I would not want my child to skate some sad, mournful song as a tribute. I would want her to be joyous,'" Nichol said. "I played Mary Poppins and "I Got Rhythm," and she perked up and smiled again. I haven't seen that in ages. In 2 1/2 days, we choreographed two programs, a short and an exhibition. Of course, we've polished them since.

    "It was a mother's instinct, I guess."
    ETA:
    beautiful photo of her exhibition number "Smile" at Grand Prix Final
    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...h-spo.view-000
    Last edited by rosewood; 12-09-2013 at 05:20 AM.

  7. #87

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    Translating this and that from Japanese articles published after finishing Grand Prix Final.

    NHK article:Mao and Hanyu talked about their thoughts on Olympics.:
    ...
    The day after(finishing her long program) Asada appeared at the press conference. "I reached every goal aside from 3As. I'll focus on 3A in my practices from now since 3A is the only and the last thing remained to work on," said Asada with a smile.

    As for the Nationals held on 21st this month, which is the final qualifying events for Olympics, "I'll try my best to give the performances I'm aiming at without thinking too much of Olympics. I'll decide whether I try two 3A or not after some more practices," said Asada.
    .....


    Hope she goes back to the first layout of the long program and show us clean 8 triple program at Sochi. Finger crossed!

  8. #88
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    Thanks for collecting the articles & translating the post-competition interview!

    I also hope that Mao will go back to the jump layout. Doing 3As seems so stamina-consuming, and Mao will probably have to compete both in the individual and the team event. Plus, I though there was a lot of improvement in her basic triples at GPF (aside from the 3F-2L-2L, which IMHO is placed a bit too close to the boards). 3F and 3L-2L in the SP had lovely, buttery flow out of them, and 2A-3T and 3S in the LP had very nice height (and got very good GoEs).

    The users at BoI reported that Mao competed in the GPF on painkillers due to chronic back injury (gained during her junior days by overtraining Biellman spins and spirals) getting too painful. She apparently had to limit her spins practices (and, to the lesser extent, working on jumps) before the competition I'm happy she didn't let the pain influence her performances, and (aside from missing a spin level in the SP) she executed her spins well and skated with fire, but I hope she'll have enough time to let her back rest nefore Nats.

  9. #89

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    Sponichi article published on December 9th

    Mao skips Four Continents Competitions considering the Team Events at Olympics
    ...

    Piling up good results, Mao Asada is adjusting herself to the Olympic schedule. She won Skate America, NHK Trophy and Grand Prix Final by over 200 points. Even before the Nationals it seems that she'll surely qualify for the Olympics, the events of her dream. It revealed that she skips the Four Continents Competitions held from January 22th to 25th. "If possible, it's better to participate in one more competition after the Naotionals. But it will make her schedule too hard in this season," said a person around her.

    Asada has participated in Four Continents Competitions 6 times in a row. It was her last competition before Vancouver Olympics in 2010. However, the schedule of this Olympics is different from it of four seasons ago. The short program was held on February 23rd, and the long on 25th in Vancouver. As for this season, the short program event is held on February 19th and the long on 20th. They have Team Events in this season. It seems that Japan will qualify for Team Events. The Team Events start from February 6th and the ladies' events of them start from 8th. If she participate in Four Continents Competitions, her schedule will go very hard. She's had pain on her back since before Grand Prix Final. So she chooses to prepare for the Olympics in stead of participating in a competition. It's an 'Olympic strategy.'

    One day after finishing Grand Prix Final she appeared at the media conference. "Performing with my full power using all my muscles, I was exhausted after finishing my long program. I had pain a bit," she mentioned to the pain just in brief and didn't tell further. In spite of the trouble, she landed a 3A which looked clean but judged as underrotated in the short programm. "I think I rotated fully. I go with the same image. I'll show 3As which will be judged as fully rotated by anyone," she felt more confidence.

    She showed the difficult jump twice in the long program. She fell on one of them and underrotated the other. She met Midori Ito at the arena, who shone with a 3A and won the silver medal in Albertville. "Going for two 3As is very tough but you can do it. I did not think about anything," Midori encouraged her. "Me also go for it without thinking too much!" responded Mao. The Nationals and then Sochi Olympics. Mao challenges the difficult jump having no-mindness.
    ...


    Love Midori. She's such a hilarious and adorable lady.
    Last edited by rosewood; 12-09-2013 at 12:36 PM.

  10. #90

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    Thank you rosewood!

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosewood View Post

    Love this photo of her Nocturne. What a freedom.
    http://az490469.vo.msecnd.net/~/medi...27G2000000.jpg
    so beautiful...

  12. #92

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    Glad to hear she is skipping 4CC. She needs to focus on the Olympics, and she is doing that.

  13. #93

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    Translating this and that

    Daily Sports article published on December 7th
    Lipnitskaia and Wagner praised Mao

    On the last day of Grand Prix Final(December 7th at Marine Messe, Fukuoka)

    Lipnitskaia(Russia) who placed 2nd for the long program and Wagner(US) who placed 3rd praised Mao Asada.

    At the press conference after the medal ceremony Lipnitskaia(at the age of 15) praised Asada who won all of the competitions which she appeared at in this season so far. "Of course she is the strongest skater in the world. Especially I love her skating. Her skating is so beautiful and smooth. I respect her and she is my favorite skater," said Lipnitskaia sending a admiring look at Asada. "Of course she's very strong this season. Moreover, I respect her as a female skater because she can nail 3As. That's worthy of respect," said Wagner.



    Love Ashley. When she competes with Mao, she often mentions to Mao's 3A. Ashley is such a fighter and a hard worker, too. She might understand Mao deeply.
    Last edited by rosewood; 12-10-2013 at 11:50 AM.

  14. #94

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    Translating this and that

    Daily Sports article published on December 9th
    Mao won the competition and the viewer rating hit a high of 34.8%! Mao along with Hanyu pushed average rating over 20%

    On December 9th it revealed that the live coverage of Grand Prix Final aired by TV Asahi earned over 20% average rating on December 6th and 7th when Yuzuru Hanyu and Mao Asada won the competition. Especially on the day when Mao won the competition, the viewer rating hit the high of 34.8%. The high rating indicates people's expectation for Sochi Olympics.

    The details about the four days are as follows: Men's and ladies' short program were held on 5th and the average rating was 16.0(the highest rating reached 25.0%). Yuzuru Hanyu won the competiton on 6th and the average rating was 21.0%(the highest reached 23.1%). Mao Asada won the competition on 7th and the average rating was 23.1%(the highest reached 34.8%. The exhibition show was held on 8th and the average rating was 11.2%(the highest rating reached 19.0%).
    (Research done by Videoresearch, on Kanto area)

  15. #95

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    "Chopin Saved My Life" is a documentary filmed by Oxford Film and Television in 2012. It was aired in UK this summer via Channel 4. I assume the person inside Danceworks'(in UK) facebook was moved and posted Mao's photo on their facebook. It was also aired in Japan this September(and again in December). This is a very touching documentary. I found a partial clip of the documentary on youku which was originally aired via NHK in Japan. So I translate the video today.

    The teaser clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J6KDmTE0F0

    About the story(quoted from Channel 4):
    This hour-long documentary, directed by BAFTA and Emmy award-winning director James Kent, meets Japanese teenager Momoka and Scottish music student Paul Murray to explore how Chopin’s extraordinary Ballade Number 1 transforms the lives of ordinary people and illustrates how classical music still penetrates contemporary life in unexpected and powerful ways.

    It introduces Momoka, a 15-year-old pianist from Sendai, Japan, whose community was decimated by the 2011 tsunami and earthquakes. For Momoka, the Ballade embodies the anguish and rebellion she feels but doesn’t allow to surface.

    For 22-year-old Paul from Glasgow, the piece is life-changing. Paul grew up in Bellshill, a poor, working class suburb of Glasgow. He first played piano at 15, and it opened up a whole new world for him. During his first term at uni Paul was diagnosed with a brain tumour and then MS, which both eventually caused him to lose the ability to walk and to play with his right hand. Waiting in his hospital bed in between operations over three months, he played the Ballade again and again on the iPod his dad Stephen had given him. It was that single piece’s emotional pull that Paul credits with the return of his memory.



    "Chopin Saved My Life"(Momoka's episode)
    http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjA3NzY1MTIw.html
    my rough translation

    (Walking on the shore where tsunami swept everything away.)
    Momoka: As we had tsunami etc, I've felt depressed.

    (Offering flowers in order to morn people's death)
    Momoka: Twenty thousand people had died. I realized the fact being there.

    (In Momoka's room there are ofuda(paper charms) given by shrines, which is for good luck in entrance examinations .)
    Momoka: I saw her a month later. After the earthquake disaster. I saw Mao playing it.
    ***this young pianist intentionally uses the word 'play' instead of 'skate' like "I saw her playing Chopin's Ballad number 1," instead of "I saw her skating to Chopin's Ballad number 1. She prefers 'play' in the case of relationship between the music and Mao. She also uses 'hear' instead of 'see' due to the same reason."***

    (Mao skating to Chopin's Ballad number 1 which is her exhibition number in 2010-2011 season. She skated to this number a month after the disaster in a charity show to support the people affected by the disaster. )
    Momoka: I saw her wonderfully playing Ballad number 1. I was moved and encouraged by her. The inspirations which I might never feel before the disaster. If Ballad number 1 had had lyrics, it would be "Roars of souls." When I heard her(playing it), the image came to me that souls were flying around, people who died in the disaster were calling for help. Inside of my mind I felt the messages from the people.

    (The scenery out of the window of Momoka's lesson room. Then Momoka plays the piano with her instructor.)
    Momoka:Chopin tells something to us. I imagine Chopin had hard time with composition, like he struggled but didn't give up finishing it.



    This clip is the ending part of the documentary in which Stephen Hough plays Chopin's Ballad number 1.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KJ2Llvc60g


    ETA:
    Mao's Ballad number 1 at Dreams on Ice in 2010
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xit...?search_algo=2


    Analysis of Chopin's Ballade number 1 by the four musicians who appeared at this documentary:

    It begins with a sad discord which gives audience no idea about how it will go. The first theme is introvert and disconsolate melody. The second theme has a touch of furtive happiness and
    presages the hope. In he epitasis comfortable energy breaks forth. In the coda distinct characters collide to each other and it goes back to the darkness again, with fury and despair.The story is left to the audience without any conclusion.


    This number is not a long one. However, it contains many aspects. Mao became the music and the story was left to Momoka. She felt the despair and the longing for help. She felt Chopin struggled but never gave up finishing the composition. She felt Mao struggled but never gave up her progress. From those inspirations Momoka was encouraged and given a hope to live.
    Last edited by rosewood; 12-17-2013 at 10:33 PM. Reason: for correction

  16. #96

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    Thank you, rosewood, for all your work!
    Last edited by Rondoboy; 12-17-2013 at 08:50 PM.

  17. #97
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    Thank you so much, rosewood!

    This number is not a long one. However, it contains many aspects. Mao became the music and the story was left to Momoka. She felt the despair and the longing for help. She felt Chopin struggled but never gave up finishing the composition. She felt Mao struggled but never gave up her progress. From those inspirations Momoka was encouraged and given a hope to live.

  18. #98
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    Thanks rosewood for this translation. Ballade is my favorite program of hers. "Ballade embodies the anguish and rebellion she feels but doesn’t allow to surface." I agree with this description of the music. The piece has a seemingly calm surface but there is great passion bubbling just beneath it, which only erupts at certain parts during the music.

  19. #99

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    The glimpse of the official practice on Saturday. 3As look solid. I really feel she changed her technique for 3A. When she skated to 'So Deep in the Night', she did three 2As in it, and those 2As were so light that they looked like transitions. I don't say her 3As of today is as light as those 2A but it look much lighter and has good flow than it in Vancouver season. Midori and Mao are the only ladies who nailed 3As in multiple seasons. And it's so surprising that Mao still nails it after almost a decade since she debuted her 3A in an international competition.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyFBd3yt7Pc

  20. #100

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    Three days before the long program her 3A looked good(see the video I posted above) but as the competition schedule went, her 3A went worse. I wonder if her pain on her back got worse even during the Nationals. Her back injury is a chronicle one, so I also wonder if it gets worse as the season goes because of the intensive training. Mr. Sato said after Grand Prix Final in last season that Mao had serious pains so she had to keep lighter pace in working on jumps, especially she couldn't work on lay back spins because of the back pains. In the official practice the injury got worse and she said that it would be impossible for her to show the long program. It was Mr. Sato who pushed her back by saying like "Show everyone what you can do in your worst condition." Wish her quick and full recovery by taking a rest considering this is the Olympic season. Skipping 4CC was a wise choice.


    Sankei article published on December 23rd.
    http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20...190010-n3.html

    my rough translation

    (in the press conference after the long program)
    .....

    Mao:
    I hadn't grasped the timing of going for a 3A before I skated in the competition. I'll keep this regret(and the frustration) in my mind and revenge in the Olympics. The mistakes costed and I ended up with silver medal in Vancouver Olympics. In Sochi the color of the medal is important as well. However, My goal is to show perfect programs I'm aiming at."
    .....

    Mr Sato:
    She hadn't recovered as fast as I expected, so she couldn't train enough. She still has pains on her back. Going back to the beginning I'll support her to recover from the injury.
    ......

    note: Japanese athletes often say "kuyashii" when they are not satisfied with his/her own performances. "kuyashii" is a feeling which is the mixture of 'regret' and 'frustration against himself/herself'.
    Last edited by rosewood; 12-24-2013 at 08:47 AM.

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