Mao Asada's 'Thanks Tour' (Starting from May 2018)

rosewood

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Here are glimpses (7 twitter clips) from Shiga show. Skating in more than 100 MTT shows, it seems skaters now have room to enjoy ad-libing in Bei Mir Bistu Shein. hahaha We can see Mao is in a new costume for Ritual Dance (red) and it's more sexy than before. Seems they did skating lessons for kids here in Shiga, too.


MTT shows are usually broadcasted by local networks and it seems those local TV companies love to take Mao to sightseeing and nice restaurants for promoting those places. Nice to see Mao enjoy sightseeing and nice local foods that she had to give up when she was competing. Here are glimpses those scenes in Shiga.


It's sad I know several YT vids of MTT but they have to be private (and can't post here) due to strict copyrights thing in Japan.
 
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rosewood

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That's amazing that the show has grown to so many stops. Just shows how popular Mao and skating is in general in Japan. Here's another news video I found that shows a lot of different snippets of the show:

Thanks for finding the video. During the Okinawa stop Mao said she wish she'll come back to Okinawa again with MTT. So I wonder if these days she's leaning toward continuing MTT in 2020.
 

rosewood

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For those who don't visit Mao's fan thread in TC, I'm copying my rough translation of an interview with her published a while back. Mao's retirement was quite a devastating one. This article tells what she thought after that and how she started/built up MTT. I think this article is quite inspiring for various types of people but I wish especially it'll be read by athletes who retired and still don't know what to do on their next stage of life.


(my rough translation)

title: "Ah, I'm truly happy" -Things that I found after retirement

It's the first time that I felt "I'm happy"

After starting the ice show 'Mao Asada's Thanks Tour' about a year ago, which travels all over the country, I came to feel "Ah, I'm truly happy". It was the first time that I felt this way. When I was competing, tough things gradually increased, and things with happy feelings were gone.

It was a pleasure to be supported by lots of people and to win many medals. But that joy came from 'being strong'. On the other hand, happiness is something 'soft'. I was not 'soft' on my mental side when I was competing. If, as a competitor, you don't stay strong, you'll lose to yourself. I lacked in time to have any thoughts about happiness at that time.

It was a lot of fun until the 15-year-old senior debut. After coming up to seniors, I did not feel it was fun from the bottom of my heart any more. I skated convincing myself like "I need to feel it's fun." It was not only a matter of winning/losing. My body shape changed with the advance of ages. It was also the inconsistency on jumps as well as the fears that came up in my mind during competitions. There was a lot of hardship regarding myself. Various things happened one after another. It made the joy disappear, and it repeatedly made me wonder "What kind of feelings did I have about skating when I started it?"

As I was a type who was nervous and clumsy, I was not able to try various things out of skating. Thus, I've spent my whole life with skating all the way up to today. [When I was competing,] I repeated my routines every day like a machine. If you look back the past today, it's like "How could I do that way?" When I decided to retire, my body and mind were beyond limits. I didn't really know what I wanted to do, I thought it would be okay if I quit skating, and it was like I was completely in the darkness.

Challenging spirit sprouted
Everyone has periods when s/he cannot keep looking forward. In my case, when I felt I was in the darkness after the retirement, I went out on a trip. I tried not to rush and just waited time to flow slowly. Staying away from skating at the moment, I tried to hear the voice from my heart asking myself "What can I do?" or "What do I want to do?"

The opening part of the MTT show indicates that I was lost in the darkness with no idea of what to do. And then I came to discover lights little by little, and the vocal says "Everyone can shine! Let's shine together!"

When I was a competitive skater, I spent everyday just focusing on myself, but now things are not the same as in competitions where I stood alone on the ice. I have the pleasure of creating one thing together with people around me. I have a great group of people to help each other for building up something together, and I have a conviction that I want to make the show better and better no matter how many hours I practice, so I don't feel anything is tough. I thought that after my retirement I would not feel the tension and sense of accomplishment that I felt in competitions, but that was not the case. Through the tour I can get a sense of accomplishment more than when I was competing.

When you're with pains in your heart, it can work well to leave where you are working or what you are working on at the moment. I can forget my daily hardships by doing so. Sometimes we need such a period.

Reiwa, I wish it will be an era without any natural disasters
I sometimes visit disaster-affected areas such as Fukushima, Kumamoto and Miyagi. I'm also supporting a NPO group who are supporting/encouraging the disaster-affected children to go abroad for making speeches in English about their experiences, for interacting with overseas people, and for studies. I want to support them even for just a bit.

I've heard there are children who had so much tough, sad, and painful experiences and the experiences made it difficult for them to get over the shadow and be back in the mood to keep their chin up. It's so nice to hear smiles were back on some of their faces when they were back home from abroad. Probably they were able to forget about their sadness for a while when they noticed their mission of their life or they came across something happy by interacting with overseas people apart from Japan.

In the disaster-affected areas there are still lots of people living in temporary housing. There are lots of people who have the sadness of losing memorable stuffs, too. Looks the complete reconstruction from the disaster is still far ahead. On one hand it was wonderful that Heisei was a peaceful era without any wars. However, on the other hand, it was the era when lots of people struggled and mourned with many natural disasters. I wish Reiwa will be a peaceful era in advance and also an era without any disasters.

Please have some goals
I wish children who will lead next era to have some goals, either in study or in sports. It is important to have goals in tackling various things. If you have a goal, you will always be able to climb the stairs. In my case, I also did so, I had goals, and once I reached them, I looked for another one. Then you can definitely grow by following this way like climbing the stairs. I wish children will reach their goals by doing this way. Goals can be any small ones.

Everyone has their own way of thinking, and their way of life is different. I think that people who wants to stick to something in sports etc should just stick to it. You need to stay strong when it comes down to competitions in sports.

However, winning is not everything. There is another world like an ice show where the point is how much you can make the audience enjoy your performances. You can have any goals. I want to tell children that if they work hard on something, the experiences themselves can open up another new path. I've focused on figure skating for 22 years up to today. That experience lead me to where I am now.

This year I'll turn 29 yo. I still have a long way ahead. I'll go without calculating too much or thinking too much in my head. I want to go floating on natural waves. Once I achieved my goals with ice shows, I'll take enough time to wait and see something that I want to do next to come up in my mind naturally.
(author; Tadashi Goto, Asahishinbun)

ETA:
What do you recommend to do when someone can't see a solution?
Mao: Marathon that I did when I didn't know what I wanted to do.

Reason
Mao: Everyone, please let your body move, and you can be back in the positive mood.
 
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