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Mao Asada 
– She is my favorite figure skating player – 

   Mao Asada is a very wonderful figure skater. She has been praised throughout the world. Mao Asada is a skater who has left a very brilliant impression from her junior days. She is the 2010 Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World Champion (2008, 2010, 2014), a three-time Four Continents Champion (2005-06, 2008-09, 2012-13, 2013-14). She is the first person in the history of girls to accomplish three triple axel jumps during a competition, which she did at Vancouver 2010. She retired recently. 


  Mao Asada was born September 25, 1990, in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. Her sister Mai Asada is also a figure skater. She has a poodle named Aero. Mai Asada is now retired and active as a newscaster and talent. As a child, Mao Asada greatly respected Midori Ito, a former figure skater. Mao’s hobbies are Lego production and working jigsaw puzzles. She was chosen six times as the first place among female sports player rankings. She began practicing three triple Axel jumps when she was in elementary school. Currently she can jump all six types of the three triple jump. She holds the Guinness World Record for the most triple axels performed by a female skater in competition. Also, only two people have successfully made three triple Axel jumps at the Olympics girls’ singles. There were Midori Ito and Mao Asada. This is also a wonderful achievement. 

Junior Career

Mao Asada studied classical ballet from the age of three to nine, but in 1995 she switched to figure skating. At that time her sister, Mai Asada, also switched from ballet to skating. Mao ranked first in numerous junior championships in Japan. In the 2004-05 season, Asada was age-eligible for junior international competitions. She competed in the ISU Junior Grand Prix series, winning both of her events. At the Junior Grand Prix final, she won gold with an overall score of 35.08 points, ahead of the silver medalist Kim Yuna. She won everything she participated in the Junior Grand Prix from 2004-2005 season. And having won everything on the junior level, Asada moved to the senior level for the 2005-06 season and competed on the Grand Prix circuit. Finally she debuted as a senior. 

Senior Career

Mao Asada moved from Japan to the United States in August, 2006, to train with Rafael Arutyunyan in Lake Arrowhead, California. Asada won her second event, the 2006 NHK Trophy, with 199.52 points, setting the highest combined score in a Ladies’ competition under the ISU judging system and consequently, a world record. During the summer of 2007, Asada received additional training in Russia from Tatiana Tarasova, while Autyunyan remained her primary coach. In the 2007-08 Grand Prix Final, she won two consecutive victories. In addition, she accomplished two consecutive victories despite the failure in the All-Japan Championship. But this year, she moved the practice base to Japan for reasons such as which she is not used to living overseas. In the summer of 2008, after leaving Arutyunyan, Asada returned to Russia, and formally decided to be coached by Tarasova. Asada won the free skating with 123.17 points, and the competition overall with a total score of 188.55 points, defeating longtime rival Kim Yuna of South Korea in the 2008-09 Grand Prix Final. She made two triple Axel jumps successfully at this competition. At the 2009 World Championships, Asada placed third in the short program with 66.06 points and fourth in the free skating, where she scored 122.03 points. She finished in fourth place with a combined total score of 188.09 points. At the inaugural 2009 World Team Trophy, she won both programs and finished first overall in the ladies’ event, with personal bests in the short program (75.84 points) and combined total (201.87). The Japanese team finished third overall at that event, trailing the United States and Canada. From February 23-25, Asada competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics. She succeeded in performing a triple Axel jump once in her short program, twice in free skating, and won the silver medal. Kim Yuna won the gold medal. But she had regrets. She accepted her own result as she was persuaded by her mother. In the World Championship she won the gold medal for the first time in 2 years. In September 2010, Nobuo Sato became Asada’s new coach and Asada ended her relationship with coach Nagakubo. From this time she began to correct all her jumps. For that reason she got into a slump in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. She failed at short program in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. But in the fee skating she showed wonderful performance that reminded historically and impressed the people. She announced a one-year hiatus for the 2014-2015 season. On May 18, 2015, she revealed her intent to continue active participation. After that, she played in the game but continued to be upset. And on April 10, 2017, Asada declared in her blog that she had retired from competition. 


I think that another wonderful and fascinating figure skater like Mao Asada will not appear in the near future. And from now on, she will become a longing for many people, because she makes them proud of Japan.