Out Goes the Fairy on Ice: Mao Asada
So, it's time for Japan's pride in women's figure skating to retire after years of brilliant performance - Mao Asada, an ever-glowing gem on ice. Mao met the press today, April 12, to announce her retirement after months of anguish over whether or not to step aside "in the eve of the Pyeongchang Olympics".
Mao thought she "had had it" when she performed so poorly in the All Japan Championship last December. It was a matter of whether she could sustain her willpower to challenge Pyeongchang, she said.
The press interview at a Tokyo hotel April 12 drew 430 reporters at home and overseas media. Mao started off saying in her opening message she "had finally decided to terminate her skating career", adding:
"I thank many of my fans for their warm support over so many years. I owe it to them all to have come this far.
"When I made a comeback the year before last, I did have plenty of worries over my condition but I decided to make another go of it anyway. Then came the All Japan (Championship) last December and so horrible results. I thought then it's all over.
"Whether or not to challenge Pyeongchang, I gave it a good thought. I decided not to - in February. It has nothing to do with the women's places being reduced from three to two."
Asked about her most memorable performance, Mao
Asada mentioned the Sochi Olympics, commenting:
"I was far behind in point after the short program then, and I felt so depressed. I told myself I've got to put in my very best to get back into the race. I sure did and I'm proud of it - particularly because I did it in an Olympic contest."
Well, now Mao, you will be remembered for decades to come for your great contribution. Good show, Mao! (Nathan Shiga)