Having a “scary mom” might just prove to be key in being an Olympic success. Just ask Kanako Murakami, who described having a passionate mother as one of the reasons figure skaters from Aichi Prefecture excel in their sport. The city of Nagoya, in Aichi, is home to many successful figure skaters, such as Olympic medalists Midori Ito and Mao Asada, Akiko Suzuki and Murakami.
Following Murakami’s excellence in figure skating, the Olympic newcomer said that, “The mothers in Aichi are very enthusiastic.” Further adding, “Some of them are very scary actually. It’s mot just the coaches who crack the whip but those mothers.” Suzuki, who is competing in the Winter Games for the second time, agreed with Murakami. “There are some scary mothers, but because of that kind of support all of those people create a positive atmosphere so that we can practice.” 23 year old Masada, who took home the silver medal in Vancouver 2010, described the skating culture in Nagoya that has helped their success. “When I was a child there were so many people skating, so many I admired and who I was able to skate with. The experience I had as a child is the reason I’m here today,” she said.
Japan placed fifth in this year’s team event in Sochi. Asada clinched the third spot in the short program, while Suzuki placed fourth in the long program. While Asada is the first woman to successfully perform the triple Axel thrice in one event in Vancouver, she is not keen on duplicating that success, and wants to focus on doing other triple combinations to make her performance more fun. Suzuki, who barely managed to get in the Olympic delegation after placing 12th last year from a bronze in 2010, hopes to make a mark for the last time. “Maybe I’ve matured. This is going to be my last Olympics. I don’t want to leave with any regrets. I want to leave with a smile.”
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