Months after Olympic figure skater Mao Asada took her third world figure skating championship title, the Japanese favorite has announced that she is taking a season off to rest from competitive skating. She hopes to use the time to rest and follow other pursuits, such as taking up classes in the university.
The announcement was made early Monday at a news conference, confirming doubts on her retirement, which has circulated as early as the Winter Olympics in Sochi first quarter of this year. Asada was a favorite to take home an Olympic medal along with South Korean rival Yuna Kim. But a fall on her trademark triple Axel in the short program competition landed her in the sixteenth spot, way below the public and Asada’s expectations. While she was able to redeem herself in the free skate competition and seal a sixth place finish in Sochi amid criticisms of a former Japanese Prime Minister, a heartbroken Asada left the competition wondering if maybe it is high time she retire her skates, a thought she has been comtemplating even before heading for Russia. However, the tenacious figure skater proved that the world hasn’t seen enough of her and went on to wow her home crowd as she skated her way to her third world title. Not satisfied with just the gold medal, Asada also set a new world record with her performance in the short program of the same competition.
Though she mentioned that there is a 50-50 chance she may be back competing after taking a break, she noted that at this point, she couldn’t see herself competing in the next Winter Olympics to be held in South Korea in 2018. Asada started figure skating at the tender age of 5 years old and debuted in the senior competition on 2005. She captured her first world title in 2008.
[via The Asahi Shimbun]
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