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  1. #101

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    Re-posting from GSD:
    Quote Originally Posted by missing View Post
    The New York Times has an article today about Mao.
    Asada, After a Struggle, Is Soaring Over the Ice Again
    By JERÉ LONGMAN
    Published: December 27, 2013
    “To experience the passing of her mom made her deeper emotionally, made her question a lot of things,” said Lori Nichol of Toronto, Asada’s longtime choreographer. “When she did that, she became more open to living life and appreciating life. That included exploring movement on the ice, hearing music more. Before, she was a very disciplined skater who did what she was told, but she didn’t invest a lot of herself emotionally.”
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosewood View Post
    "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.
    Mao has constantly supported and inspired young people in Tohoku area, who were affected by the great earth quake disaster. Momoka, who appeared in "Chopin saved my life" which I'm quoting here, is one of them. Mao held her "The Ice show" in Tohoku area and invited many suffers for free, skated in some other charity shows, held skating lessens for kids in Tohoku area, published a charity book and donated all of the benefits etc etc. She doesn't blow a horn but people who were supported by her grow their love inside of themselves. It's very Mao.

    It seems she received a messages from those kids. She put it on her official site. I translate it today.
    Happy new year!

    It's a bit late but...
    Wish the best for the new year.
    Time flies, Japan Nats and also new year's days had passed very quickly, and now the sochi Olympics is coming very soon.
    I'm doing my best putting on my last spurt!!

    I received messages from Kamaishi Municipal Kamaishi Elementary School students who participated in the skating lesson I held in Sendai city last June! Thank you very much. It gives me power!

    Photo: http://maimao-asada.com/mao/private/2014/01/15/627/
    I can read the biggest message. It says "Never give up, Mao-chan."

    Go Mao!
    And Go Kamaishi kids!!

  3. #103

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    Sumitomo Life Insurance co is one of Mao's sponsors. SLI is now asking on their official facebook which SP costume do her fans love. They say that they show (the summary? of) your messages to her. Why not post your message on it? It's not sure but she might take your messages into consideration when she decides which costume she'll wear in Olympics/Worlds. The dead line is 19th(Japan Time) and they start about the LP costume from 20th. It must be OK to write in English.

    1-A=Japan Open
    1-B=Skate America
    1-C=she wore in other competitions besides those two competitions
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...&stream_ref=10
    or
    https://www.facebook.com/sumitomolife

    ETA
    It looks 1-B and 1-C are both loved by many fans. Maybe 1-B is the most loved one. Reading messages already posted on the facebook, the reasons are:
    1-B: suitable for the music, the lavender color is beautiful, the most elegant
    1-C: stands out in the rink, it looks better than 1-B with skaters in dark colors together in the rink

    New year's card from Mao on SLI facebook.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater
    Last edited by rosewood; 01-19-2014 at 09:45 AM.

  4. #104

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    As for the votes about the costumes, you can see the result here. Hope Mao will wear them in Sochi.

  5. #105

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    Mao left for Sochi: I do 3A "twice in total."

    Nikkan sports article: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...4-nksports-spo

    (my rough translation)

    Figure skater Mao Asada(23) left Narita airport for Sochi on February 5th.

    "I feel Olympics is starting finally. My physical condition is good. I'm in a very good shape. I've done everything I had to do." she said.

    As for her programs, "I do one 3A in the short program and one in the long program, twice in total."

    photo:http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...s-spo.view-000


    I assume she went back to the original 8 triple(or 7 triple; doing 3F-2Lo in stead of 3F-3Lo) program. It contains all 6 kinds of triple jumps, better balanced than two-3A-program, and also it'll be the first achievement in ladies' field.

  6. #106
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    I'm very happy to hear that, I would love nothing more than Mao to be at her all-time best at this Olympics. That layout is a lot smarter and less stressful, and will still give her an advantage over the field if clean.

  7. #107
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    No Mao sighting yet!! (None of the ladies skaters actually).

  8. #108

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    Mao and Akiko left Japan about six hours ago. So they'll arrive in hours.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosewood View Post
    Mao and Akiko left Japan about six hours ago. So they'll arrive in hours.
    Explains it. I didn't see any of the ladies yesterday. But I think Kaetlyn was there since I saw her coach.

  10. #110

  11. #111
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    She looks great. I hope she can stay relaxed and in the moment, that first 3axel was the best one I've seen her do in a long time.

  12. #112

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    Interviews with Mao
    (my rough translations)

    Leaving Japan(at the airoprt)
    Mao:
    (about 3A)I decided to do one in the short program, and one in the long.

    The long program with one 3A is better balanced (than the program with two 3As.) It doesn't affect the base values much.

    I had achieved the goal in Vancouver to nail those three 3As. I have nothing to regret.

    This time I aim at nailing all those six kinds of triple jumps which I couldn't do in Vancouver.

    (3F-3Los were) very good in the practices.

    My thoughts have changed gradually. I've done everything I had to do.

    The time has come. I'm facing the Olympics with good image.


    Arriving Sochi(at the airport)
    Mao:
    Four years since Vancouver Olympics. I wish I can show the fruits of what I've reworked from the basics.


    After the first official practice
    Mao:
    I was in the best form ever in the practices in Japan.

    The time has come. This Olympics is special. I'll do my best. I wish I'll finish the Olympics smiling.

    This is the first Team Event ever so skaters are excited for it.

    I skated once in the same arena. I have a good image.(my note: She won the last season's GPF in the arena.)


    my note:
    It seems Mao is aiming at doing the 8 triples in her long program. Of course if she nails all of them, it will be the new achievement in the ladies field. But if she doesn't go for 3-3, and does 3-2 instead, she'll still achieve the first achievement(doing those all six kinds of triple jumps) in the ladies field.


    Go Mao! Show your programs of your life!!

  13. #113
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    I'm *really* relieved that Mao is only going for one 3A in the LP! I think she has a much better chance of winning this way, with or without the 3F-3R. Go, Mao!

  14. #114

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    beautiful photos from the official practice
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/421/2...0206205602.jpg
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/421/2...0206205605.jpg
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/109/2...0206205104.jpg
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/076/2...0206202503.jpg
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/109/2...0206210003.jpg
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/117/2...0206210002.jpg
    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bfy3M64CIAAbVak.jpg

    Glad to see both of Mr.Sato and Folle are at the bar. Folle polished her long program around the middle of January. She'll work with Mao at the Team Japan's camp in Armenia after Team Events for 4-5 days. It's nice to see Folle's hands on Mao's on the bar.
    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BfyVNsFCQAAM0ru.jpg
    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BfyVG8HCcAA2Jj5.jpg

    Mao is under the big pressure from the Japanese and Korean media even at the rink.
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/109/2...0206205504.jpg
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/117/2...0206204903.jpg
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/109/2...0206204702.jpg

    It's nice to see her relaxed and smiling at the rink side.
    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bfy1i6MCAAAGMaI.jpg
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/109/2...0206204102.jpg

    I can't blame her for retiring after the Worlds considering those big pressures she has lived for more than a decade under. However, as a fan I'll miss her so much. Anyways, best wishes for the team and individual events.

  15. #115
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    Thanks for collecting the links, rosewood!

    Here's a clip from the afternoon practice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jGuBWUw9UQ
    According to the reports, Mao's practice went well, she landed 4 3As; her 3-3 and other jumps were also good.

    Some of my favorite photos:
    Great turn out in the attitude position: http://jto.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-conte...1692186159.jpg
    Great lines and full split in the I spin: http://www.wikitree.co.kr/webdata/ed...1_fc28d94e.jpg
    Perfect landing position: http://www3.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/M...zIbeGgcLkx.jpg
    Last edited by inskate; 02-07-2014 at 09:24 AM.

  16. #116

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    Lynn Rutherford ‏@LynnRutherford
    Sitting w/ @EvanLysacek & @MichelleWKwan watching Mao Asada free run thru. She opened with a gorgeous triple Axel. Evan: "Wow" #Sochi2014
    I saw Mao land two other strong triple Axels outside of the run-thru, plus every other jump she tried. Strong practice. #Sochi2014
    WOW MAO


    big smile from mao
    http://imgnews.naver.net/image/117/2...0207150702.jpg


    ETA:
    Alex Shibutani ‏@AlexShibutani
    Ran into a friend in the Village!
    �������� #Mao #Sochi2014
    https://twitter.com/AlexShibutani/st...55786055065600



    Olympics@Olympics
    Mao Asada of Japan practices at the Iceberg Skating Palace #olympics
    People were so curious about the queen of the 3A at the rink.
    Last edited by rosewood; 02-07-2014 at 12:19 PM.

  17. #117

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  18. #118
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    Thanks for the news, rosewood!

    Two clips from today's practice:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pq-aovE2VI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7jgXL-4oFo

    It looks like Mao did the SP runthrough (and practiced the jumps from SP)..? I wonder if she warmed up the free skate as well, or if Lynn made a mistake in her tweet.

  19. #119
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    Shizuka commenting on Mao, 3F & 3 perfect 3As with deep-knee landing: http://telly.com/1HM5B2P

  20. #120

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    This is AMAZING. GAME ON!!! Go, Mao!

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