Japanese figure skater Mao Asada shocked everyone when she bombed her routine and fell on her triple Axel during the short program at the 2014 Winter Games. The Olympic medal favorite and 2010 Winter Games silver medalist landed in the sixteenth spot, way below expectations. But the determined Masada recovered from the previous day’s blows and performed her free skate flawlessly to end her Sochi, and Olympic journey in sixth place.
Skating to Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2,” Asada landed all of the jumps in her free skate routine including the triple Axel she fell from the day before. She earned 142.71 points, one of the top scores given in Sochi, and was visibly crying after her brilliant performance, especially given that this was her last Winter Olympics ever. Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova, who earned gold and South Korea’s Yuna Kim, who got the silver were the only ones to top Asada’s score in the free skate program. Despite her stellar performance, which earned her a total score of 198.22, the 23-year old was not able to earn another medal and placed at sixth overall. But social media was all abuzz about her performance, overshadowing even the eventual medalists, with many saddened that she wasn’t able to have a podium finish despite her flawless performance.
With such high expectations riding on the back of the 23-year old, it’s no wonder that her poor performance in the short program in Sochi gave fodder for people to talk about back home. Former Prime Minister and Tokyo 2020 Olympic’s chairman Yoshiro Mori criticized Asada, saying that she has a habit of “always falling at the most critical time” in a competition. Mori attributed the sloppy way she skated her short program on her participation in the team event that came prior to that. The ex-premier is known for making controversial statements even while in office and being head of the Olympics committee seems to be not an exception.
[via Huffington Post]