The Mao cheer thread #3 - "For the love of skating"

rosewood

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Since Japan's emperor is retiring (in May), the government announced the name of next emperor's era. It's Reiwa (令和). April 1st is the first day of business/school year in Japan. Mao appeared in the welcoming ceremony for new employees of her sponsor company Japan Air Lines. During her speech in front of 1,960 new employees the name of the new era was announced. She was so excited and wanted to take a deep breath before the announcement. That was so cute. Here are some videos.
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1112947871794421761/pu/vid/1280x720/q8PDe9xVsmOPVaBJ.mp4
Mao: "Now it's announced. It's 'Reiwa'. I feel a new era is really starting. Turning over a new leaf, I wish I'll do well in the new era, too."
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1112816710271164417/pu/vid/1280x720/fp2o5jTRriKa-cUa.mp4
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1112688024528130049/pu/vid/1280x720/7mq1tR2FCK8qusMk.mp4

Other than that, during her speech for the new employees she said "Enjoy your challenges and everything in your new life. I wish you'll blaze a new path on your own power and thoughts."
https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1112635250239111169/pu/vid/1280x720/HutBa-BMQDbCidk6.mp4

Then they flew paper planes. Here is a clip (2nd one) from her instagram.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BvtUMHTAX0M/

ETA:article
https://travel.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/1177688.html
____

Here is a clip from the welcoming ceremony for new students in Chukyo University where Mao used to study. They showed a video from MTT during the ceremony.
https://scontent-nrt1-1.cdninstagra...n.mp4?_nc_ht=scontent-nrt1-1.cdninstagram.com
 
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Spun Silver

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Mao is so adorable and gracious. I loved seeing her instant rapport with the audience in her new speaking role. Having her with them to welcome the new era must have been uplifting for the Japan Airlines employees.

Congratulations to all FSU's Japanese members on the new Reiwa era! May it be a brilliant, peaceful and prosperous era in Japanese history!

Actually, after reading this article, I realize I should be wishing Japan "beautiful harmony" in the era to come!
https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/japans-new-imperial-era-name-reiwa-beautiful-harmony/
 
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gotoschool

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I find it a fascinating case of synchronicity that Mao, who Rika has called such a huge inspiration, performed such a marvelous SP to Clair de Lune including a triple axel almost 10 years ago at the World Team Trophy also in Japan. I feel fortunate to have seen two of my favorite SP's skated to the same music with different styles. Mao's inspiration as a skater certainly lives on in the next generation.

Here are the two performances together

Mao's Clair de Lune World Team Trophy 2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xzQiw8019A

Rika Kihira World Team Trophy 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_DEETwc91c
 

rosewood

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A profile on Mao from Japan Times:
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports...netism-artistry-ice-defined-era/#.XMcD6-gzZPY

The post is part of a series profiling individuals who left a significant impact during the Heisei Era (ending April 30th 2019).
If someone should be called 'phenomenal', it's Mao. :COP: :HA!:
It’s not a stretch to say that just about everybody in Japan knew who Mao was. Late in her career, a survey found that she had a 99.7 percent recognizability rating with the general public.
_____

Adding to the rating, Mao is one of the six people who are followed by the prime minister Abe when he created his Instagram account.

And today I found Empress Michiko said to Mrs. Sato something like "I'm counting on you. Thank you in advance." when Mrs. Sato became Mao's coach, and "I'm so happy for her" when Mao did well. Here is a video of the interview with Mrs. Sato. (Today is the final day of Heisei era in Japan. So people are looking back what happened in the era.) You can also see the royal couple learning basic ice dance as well as their grand-children enjoying skating in the video. The girl doing figure skating is Princess Kako.
https://twitter.com/Amadasaomusti/status/1123169242059173889
(direct link to the video)
 
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gotoschool

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I was wondering if anyone remembers the name of the Japanese singer that Mao was a big fan of, who she played on her radio show and who she attended the concert of. I have really started trying to find out and listen to a whole lot of Japanese music lately because I am really fond of it, but I can't find or remember the name of this singer. Thanks.
 

rosewood

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I was wondering if anyone remembers the name of the Japanese singer that Mao was a big fan of, who she played on her radio show and who she attended the concert of. I have really started trying to find out and listen to a whole lot of Japanese music lately because I am really fond of it, but I can't find or remember the name of this singer. Thanks.
I guess it's Ayumi Hamasaki. IIRC Mao introduced a few other singers on her radio program, but it's Hamasaki that Mao's been a big fan of for a long time.

ETA:
for reference
https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...ating-is-wonderful.89260/page-24#post-4504237

https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...-her-biggest-weapon.95911/page-2#post-4547782
 
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gotoschool

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Thanks for letting me know, rosewood. I was also trying to find the words for the song "Rule" which I believe you mentioned in a post long ago and now it is easy to do. As fans of Mao, it would be interesting to know what other musicians Mao is a fan of and that she played on her radio show.
Here is an excellent photo of Mao from her final season:
https://cdn.japantimes.2xx.jp/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/sp-mao-a-20180312.jpg

I also thought this was a great photo of Mao with a broad smile as she is about to pound rice with what looks like a kind of giant wooden sledgehammer.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports...netism-artistry-ice-defined-era/#.XNRZno4zaUk

In terms of the Thank you tour, it really looks like Mao enjoys the company of other skaters while performing, which she probably didn't get as much of when she was competing individually.
 

Triple loop

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I just wanted to say that Mao Asada is a brilliant skater and I miss her style so much. Thank goodness for you tube because there were lots of competitions I missed. Her trademark triple axel,combinations, step sequence, spins, and spirals were amazing. I loved her 2014 Olympic free skating comeback and her highly emotional Madame Butterfly at the 2016 Worlds. Mao was also meant to skate to Chopin. I really appreciate the work and heart she put into her performances. I really wish her Thanks tour would come out here to the US.
 

rosewood

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Mao is now appearing on one of Arashi's TV programs (Arashi ni shiyagare). (Arashi is one of the most popular J pop idols in Japan.) And it's just announced Mao works as one of the MCs together with Arashi for 24h TV (a 24 hours long annual charity TV show) of this year! It's kinda big news in Japanese show biz. I forgot who it was but someone on this thread was an Arashi fan....maybe @tamms.
 

rosewood

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clip

Arashi: Isn't it rare case for you to work as this type of role?
Mao: First time.
A: How did you feel when you heard the offer to work as a 'charity personality' in 24 hours TV?
M: I never even imagined of this. Was very surprised.
A: What is your image of 24h TV? Do you think you can make it?
M: Everything is new to me. I'm wondering how it will be, but .... What are your thoughts, guys, actually?
A: Have you ever been awake for 24 hours?
M: Never. 24 hours means from 6 am to..?
A: 6 am in the next morning.
M: hmmm...OK.
A: What are your images of 24h TV?
M: Can't express with one word. It has a marathon, donations, dramas and music scenes... etc. It includes various things. The first image that comes to my mind as just an audience was that everyone was connected. I mean by everyone is we who were watching TV, people who were on the stage, and backstage staffs. Everyone is connected to each other in this TV program.
A: Such a nice comment.
A: Perfect. Perfect.
A: Everyone is connected to each other, guys!

ETA:
articles
 
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tamms

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Mao is now appearing on one of Arashi's TV programs (Arashi ni shiyagare). (Arashi is one of the most popular J pop idols in Japan.) And it's just announced Mao works as one of the MCs together with Arashi for 24h TV (a 24 hours long annual charity TV show) of this year! It's kinda big news in Japanese show biz. I forgot who it was but someone on this thread was an Arashi fan....maybe @tamms.
Yes, that's me! Thanks for the mention, @rosewood. I've watched the episode twice. Her eyes lit up when she talked about the endless amount of food they could eat at the athletes' village at the Olympics. :ROFLMAO:
Looking forward to seeing her as part of the charity show.
 

rosewood

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Seems Mao will take part in Denis' memorial show "Friends of Denis". I remember Mao skated Chopin's Ballade #1 when she skated in his show last time. I still can't get over his death, tho. :wuzrobbed Wish all the best to the FoD show! ✨


google translation
Incredible and charming Mao Asada will visit the homeland of his friend and take part in the ice show in memory of "Friends of Denis"

This is Mao's second visit to Kazakhstan, in 2014 she was a participant of the Denis ice show "Denis and Friends. Olympic energy"

In the program to show 2014 Denis wrote:
“I have known Mao for many years. In the 2008-2009 season, Mao moved to Russia to train under the guidance of Tatiana Anatolyevna Tarasova, then we began to ride in the same group. She is an incredible athlete. To date, Mao is the only girl performing an Axel in 3.5 turns. At the Olympic Games in Vancouver, she cleanly performed three triple axel and entered the world history of figure skating, as well as the Guiness Book of Records. Mao is one of the most recognizable athletes in Japan. And it is a great honor that she came to us in Kazakhstan to participate in an ice show, since Mao had never performed at a show outside of Japan for her entire career. Her arrival shows that she respects our country, our culture and our show. Let us thank her for it naigromchayshimi applause? »

Mao about her arrival in 2014:
“I could not refuse Denis, and therefore I came to Kazakhstan. I knew almost nothing about her before my arrival in your country. But now I know a lot more. I really like in Kazakhstan. I
'm glad to discover your country for yourself. ” О
Mao Asad is a Japanese figure skater performing in single skating. Silver medalist of the 2010 Winter Olympics, three-time world champion (2008, 2010, 2014), three-time champion of four continents (2008, 2010, 2013), second in history, four-time winner of Grand Prix finals (2005, 2008, 2012, 2013), world champion among juniors (2005), six-time champion of Japan (2006–2009, 2011–2012).

# denisten #denistenandfriends #denisten #denistenforever#maoasada # 浅田 真 央
 
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rosewood

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A Japanese travel agency set a tour for Friends of Denis show.

ETA:
Mura is also invited to Denis' show. I wonder if Mao skates together with Mura a collaboration program from MTT. If not, I wish she'll skate Chopin's Ballade #1 again that she skated in Denis' show last time.
 
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rosewood

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Writer Goto in Asahishinbun (one of the mainstream broadsheets) did an interview with Mao a while back. They posted videos of the interview as well as published several articles. I'm translating some of them.

(my rough translation)

Q: The period when ladies do quads has come.
Mao: I'm glad I've already retired. [I retired since] I felt I was being left behind of the wave where techniques were rapidly improving.
Q: Do you think they need to change rules so that skaters can peak at their middle twenties like athletes do in other sports?
Mao: As a competitor I wanted to win, so, of course, I was disappointed when I lost. My body shape changed with the advance of age, and it made me make more mistakes on jumps. I was not able to jump as I wished. There are many skaters whose abilities start to slip away after turning 20. I think figure skating is a severe sport. There was a time when skaters could receive good GOEs without big tricks by showing good qualities of their jumps. It varies depending on the period. I can't say what is the best. That said, figure skating is one of the sports. Watching skaters challenging harder ones is more fun to me. I think it can be said about other sports, too. Athletes in other sports can't get to the top of them if they don't invest up everything in their sports, either.
 

rosewood

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(my rough translation)

Q: How are you doing these days?
Mao: Given a chance to skate on this wonderful stage [of Thanks Tour], now I can feel a big happiness. After starting MTT, I became to feel "Ah, I'm truly happy." I think happiness is something 'soft'. However, 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 as well. My original plan, after retiring from competitions, was to leave skating. At the time I was considering what I can do on my next stage. (*chucked) My wish was to deliver my gratitude across the country. That is the reason why I've been doing MTT up to today. Skating in MTT, I can feel the same level of sense of achievement that I used to feel in competitions.
Q: Any advice for teenagers?
Mao: Having goals is important. Sports, studies, or anything. When you are working on something, to have a goal is very important.
Q: Any thoughts on your future?
Mao: I'll go without calculating too much or thinking too much in my head. I want to go floating on natural waves.
 
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rosewood

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(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 that 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 in 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 Thanks Tour show indicates I was lost in the darkness not to know what to do. And then I came to find lights little by little, and say "Everyone can shine! Let's shine together!"

When I was a competitive skater, I was facing just myself and spending every day, 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.



ETA2:
This page has links to a few more articles from the same interview, but they are paid articles only subscribers can read. We can read only the opening part of them.
 
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Triple loop

Active Member
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63
(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 that 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 in 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 Thanks Tour show indicates I was lost in the darkness not to know what to do. And then I came to find lights little by little, and say "Everyone can shine! Let's shine together!"

When I was a competitive skater, I was facing just myself and spending every day, 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.



ETA2:
This page has links to a few more articles from the same interview, but they are paid articles only subscribers can read. We can read only the opening part of them.


Thank you, Rosewood, for the translation. It almost made me cry. I am impressed by Mao’s complete honesty about her career and her kindness towards children. I am so glad that she is happy again. An autobiography definitely needs to be written about this wonderful champion. 😀
 

rosewood

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Found one more video from the interview. I love to hear her voice on videos than reading on articles since I can feel her emotions directly on vids and her words are more articulate.

(my rough translation)
Mao: After the retirement I fell in the situation where I didn't really know what I wanted to do. The opening scene (of the Thanks Tour show where I'm in a black cloak) means my dark feelings in those days. It is my first time to say "I'm happy" in my skating life. (When I was competing,) I repeated my daily routines like a machine even when my body said it was painful. After starting this Thanks Tour, there are more chances for me to feel "Ah, I'm truly happy". Now I have more free time than before. I have more room to have various emotions overflowing inside of me, such as 'fun' 'sad' or 'pissed off'. haha
Mao: Turning 30 is not far ahead. I'm turning 29 yo this year. One day I said to my self "I'm turning 30 yo next year." and "Oh, my god, 30 yo!" hahaha
 

rosewood

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Denis's tribute show was so emotional and it was wonderful that they managed to continue an ice show after the loss of this great skater. I wish Denis was happy to see the show from the sky as well as I wish people in his country will continue to love this sport from now on.

Before the official videos come (TV broadcasting is planned), here are some videos uploaded yesterday. This person on twitter posted some photos/videos of Mao from the rink. Thanks!
Here are direct links to videos for bigger size
Singing in the rain
Wind Beneath My Wings

Videos on YT
Singing in the rain
Wind Beneath My Wings

Mao copied Denis's Singing in the rain as a tribute. Here is the original program from Denis.


How beautiful Denis was on the ice and so was Mao in the show. I felt she was skating for Denis from bottom of her heart yesterday.

ETA:
First act (no sound) Mao's SITR is the second to last.
 
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Triple loop

Active Member
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Thanks, Rosewood, for posting Mao’s tribute to Denis. I just loved her Singing in the Rain routine. She has quick feet. Reminds me of Kurt Browning. Both performances made me cry. Denis is deeply missed. So tragic.
 

Spun Silver

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She was skating magnificently. She and Denis must have been kindred spirits. Both seem to "above the earth" with their heavenly skating skills and gentle spirits. She made me cry.
 

livetoskate

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She looked great out there, with her huge double axel and amazing spins, footwork, etc. She's definitely kept up her technical skills.
 

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