Mao Asada

 

 

 

 

Mao Asada (浅田 真央, Asada Mao, born 25 September 1990) is a Japanese former competitive figure skater. She is the 2010 Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World champion (2008, 2010, 2014), a three-time Four Continents champion (2008, 2010, 2013), and a four-time Grand Prix Final champion (2005–06, 2008–09, 2012–13, 2013–14). She is the only female figure skater who has landed three triple Axel jumps in one competition, which she achieved at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Asada is also the 2005 World Junior champion, the 2004–05 Junior Grand Prix Final champion, and a six-time Japanese national champion (2006–2010, 2012–2013).

She held the world record for the ladies' short program score, until the record was broken by Evgenia Medvedeva at the 2016–17 Grand Prix Final.[12] A former prodigy, Asada is the fifth woman and the first junior girl to land the triple axel, accomplishing this feat at the 2004–05 Junior Grand Prix Final. She won her first Grand Prix Final at the age of 15. Considered by many to be the best figure skater in the world at that time, Asada was 87 days too young to compete at the 2006 Winter Olympics. She is the first figure skater in a singles discipline from Asia to win multiple world championships. At the 2013 Skate America, she became the first singles skater, male or female, to win all seven of the current events on the Grand Prix series.[14] She holds 15 Grand Prix series titles, the second-highest total among ladies and third-highest total overall. At the 2014 Winter Olympics, Asada successfully accomplished 8 triple jumps in her individual free skate, becoming the first lady to ever do so, even though 2 were downgraded for lacking rotations. [15]

Due to her artistic interpretation, international success since the young age of 15, rare ability to accomplish the triple Axel, and collection of ISU titles surpassing any other ladies singles figure skater during her time, she has established herself as one of the most highly recognized athletes in Japan and is widely considered to be among the best ladies figure skaters of all time.[16][17]

Contents

  • 1 Personal life
  • 2 Career
    • 2.1 Early career
    • 2.2 2004–05 season
    • 2.3 2005–06 season
    • 2.4 2006–07 season
    • 2.5 2007–08 season
    • 2.6 2008–09 season
    • 2.7 2009–10 season
    • 2.8 2010–11 season
    • 2.9 2011–12 season
    • 2.10 2012–13 season
    • 2.11 2013–14 season
    • 2.12 2015–16 season
    • 2.13 2016–17 season
  • 3 Skating technique
  • 4 Records and achievements
    • 4.1 List of Asada's world record scores
  • 5 Public life and endorsements
  • 6 Programs
  • 7 Competitive highlights
  • 8 Detailed results
    • 8.1 2006–present
    • 8.2 2003–2006

 

Personal life

Mao Asada was born in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan.[18] She was named after the Japanese actress Mao Daichi. She attended Nagoya International School until the middle of 1st grade.[citation needed] After transferring, she graduated from Takabari Elementary School[citation needed] and Takabaridai Junior High.[19] She received her high school diploma from Chukyo High School on 15 March 2009.[20][21][citation needed] After that, she enrolled in Chukyo University and graduated in March 2015.[22] While growing up, she idolized Midori Ito.[23] She learned to ice skate after school almost every day.

Her sister Mai Asada (two years older) is also a figure skater and finished 6th at the 2006 Four Continents Championships.[24] She is now skating in shows.

Asada owns a miniature poodle named Aero, who is named after the chocolate confection made by Nestlé. She has included Aero in exhibition programs. In 2008, Asada acquired two puppies, named Tiara and Komachi.[25]

Career

Early career

Mao Asada studied classical ballet from the age of three to nine, but in 1995 switched to figure skating, when her sister, Mai Asada, also switched from ballet to skating.[23]

She won the Japanese novice national championships in the 2002–03 season, and earned an invitation to compete at the junior championships, where she placed 4th. She also competed in the senior national championships and placed 7th.

In the 2003–04 season, Asada repeated the same placements at the novice and junior level and placed 8th at the senior nationals. She won the Mladost Trophy, her first international event.

 

 

Mao Asada
Mao Asada Podium 2014 World Championships.jpg
Mao Asada at the 2014 World Championships.
Personal information
Native name 浅田 真央
Country represented  Japan
Born (1990-09-25) 25 September 1990 (age 28)
Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Residence Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Height 1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)
Coach Nobuo Satō
Kumiko Sato
Reiko Kobayashi
Former coach Hiroshi Nagakubo
Tatiana Tarasova
Rafael Arutyunyan Nadezda Kanaeva
Machiko Yamada
Mihoko Higuchi
Yuko Monna
Choreographer Lori Nichol
Former choreographer Tatiana Tarasova
Shanetta Folle
Lea Ann Miller
Machiko Yamada
Mihoko Higuchi
Skating club Chukyo University
Training locations Toyota, Shin-Yokohama
Began skating 1995
Retired 10 April 2017[1]
World standing 25 (2016–17)
10 (2015–16)
2 (2014–15)
1 (2013–14)
3 (2012–13)
8 (2011–12)
7 (2010–11)
3 (2009–10)
3 (2008–09)
1 (2007–08)
1 (2006–07)
8 (2005–06)
33 (2004–05)
Season's bests 29 (2016–17)[2]
9 (2015–16)[3]
4 (2013–14)[4]
2 (2012–13)[5]
3 (2011–12)[6]
2 (2010–11)[7]
2 (2009–10)[8]
2 (2008–09)[9]
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 216.69[10]
2014 World Championships
Short program 78.66[11][12]
2014 World Championships
Free skate 142.71[13]
2014 Winter Olympics

 

2004–05 season

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 35.08 points ahead of the silver medalist, Yuna Kim. Asada won the Japanese Junior National championships, ahead of her sister who took the silver medal, and qualified for the 2005 Junior Worlds.

Asada's win earned her an invitation to the senior national championships, where she won the silver medal. Asada was not age-eligible for the 2005 World Championships. At the Junior World Championships, she won with a 20.31 lead over the silver medalist Kim Yuna.[26] She also set the junior-level ladies' record for the combined total (179.24 points) and the free skating (119.13 points).[27] Both records lasted until October 2011 when they were broken by Yulia Lipnitskaya.

2005–06 season

 
Asada does a one-handed Biellmann spin during her free skating The Nutcracker (2005–06 season).

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. During the Grand Prix Circuit, Asada defeated future medalists of 2006 Torino Winter Olympics - gold medalist Shizuka Arakawa, silver medalist Sasha Cohen, and bronze medalist Irina Slutskaya. At the 2005 Cup of China, she placed second in the short program and third in the free skating and won the silver medal. Asada won her second event, the 2005 Trophée Eric Bompard, after placing first in both the short and free skating. She earned a total score of 182.42 points, 7.30 points ahead over silver medalist Sasha Cohen and 9.12 points ahead of bronze medalist Shizuka Arakawa. Her medals qualified Asada for the 2005–06 Grand Prix Final. At her first Senior Grand Prix Final appearance, Asada won the event at the age of 15 years. She got a total score of 189.62 points after placing first in both programs, 8.14 points ahead of silver medalist Irina Slutskaya.[28]

At the 2005–06 Japan Championships, Asada placed third in both programs and won the silver medal behind Fumie Suguri. She was not age-eligible for the Olympics.[29] At the 2006 World Junior Championships, Asada finished 24.19 points behind gold medalist Kim, and 18.21 points ahead of bronze medalist Christine Zukowski. At this competition, Asada became the first lady to land a triple axel in the short program at an ISU championship.[30]

2006–07 season

Asada moved from Japan to the United States in August 2006 to train with Rafael Arutyunyan in Lake Arrowhead, California. There she was able to escape the overcrowding of Japanese rinks and the pressure of the Japanese media.

At her first event, the 2006 Skate America, Asada won the bronze medal behind Miki Ando and Kimmie Meissner. Asada had won the short program, but was fourth in the free skating, finishing with a total score 171.23 points. She was 21.36 points out of first place. 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.[31] Her margin of victory was 20.21 points ahead of silver medalist Fumie Suguri.[32] Asada went into the 2006–07 Grand Prix Final as the reigning champion. She placed second with 172.52 points, 11.68 behind gold medalist Yuna Kim. Asada had won the short program, but placed fourth in the free skating.

Asada won the 2006–07 Japan Championships by 26.11 points ahead of silver medalist Miki Ando. At the 2007 Worlds Championships, Asada was fifth in the short program, 10.03 points behind Yuna Kim, who placed first in that section of the competition with a score of 71.95 points, setting a new world record for the highest short program score. Asada won the free skating with a score of 133.13 points, setting a new world record for the highest free skating score, a record which stood for eight months.[33] During her free skating, she successfully landed a triple axel, a triple flip-triple loop combination, a double axel, a triple lutz, a triple flip, and a triple lutz-double loop-double loop combination but under-rotated the second jump of a double axel-triple toe loop combination. She won the silver medal at her first Senior World Championships appearance, earning an overall of 194.95 points, 0.64 behind gold medalist Miki Ando and 8.31 ahead of Yuna Kim, who won the bronze.

2007–08 season

 
Asada performs her free skate to Fantasie-Impromptu at the 2007-08 Grand Prix Final.

During the summer of 2007, Asada received additional training in Russia from Tatiana Tarasova, while Arutyunyan remained her primary coach.[34] At the 2007 Skate Canada International, Asada was third in the short program and first in the long, finishing with the gold medal ahead of silver medalist Yukari Nakano. Asada won her second gold at the 2007 Trophée Eric Bompard with over 21 points ahead of silver medalist Kimmie Meissner.

Asada advanced to the 2007–08 Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy. In the short program, Asada did not do the jump out of footwork required element and placed 6th with a score of 59.04 points. But the next day, she rebounded in the free skating to win the free skating with 132.55 points. She executed a triple axel, a triple flip-triple toe loop combination, a triple loop, a triple flip-triple loop, a double axel-double loop-double loop combination, and a double axel, but had a change-of-edge error in triple lutz. She won the silver medal with 191.59 points, 5.24 behind gold medalist Yuna Kim, who repeated as champion.

As in the previous year, Asada won the 2007–08 Japan Championships. Her final score was 1.15 points ahead of silver medalist and reigning World champion Miki Ando. Asada was placed on the Japanese team for both the World and Four Continents Championships. Before Four Continents, she split with Arutyunyan[35] and returned to Japan to practice on the new Aurora Rink at Chukyo University, where she had no problems obtaining ice time.[36]

Asada competed at both ISU Championships without a coach but an official from the Japan Skating Federation accompanied her as needed. Competing for the first time at Four Continents Championships, Asada won both segments and finished 13.71 points ahead of silver medalist Joannie Rochette. In March 2008, at the Worlds Championships, Asada won her first World title.[37] She was second in the short program, 0.18 behind Carolina Kostner. In the free skating, she was second to bronze medalist Yuna Kim by 1.92 points but 0.88 ahead of silver medalist Carolina Kostner.

2008–09 season

 
Asada performs a spiral during her free skate to Waltz from Masquerade at the 2008-09 Grand Prix Final.

In the summer of 2008, after leaving Arutyunyan, Asada returned to Russia, and formally decided to be coached by Tarasova.[34]

At the 2008 Trophée Eric Bompard, Asada placed second in both programs and finished second overall with a score of 167.59 points, 12.54 behind Joannie Rochette. Asada won gold at the 2008 NHK Trophy with 191.13 points, 23.49 ahead of the silver medalist Akiko Suzuki. She qualified for the 2008–09 Grand Prix Final. Asada won the free skating with 123.17 points and the competition overall with a total score of 188.55 points, defeating longtime rival Yuna Kim of South Korea.[38] Asada made history in the free skating by becoming the first woman to land two triple axels in the same program in an ISU competition, one in combination with a double toe loop.[39]

At the 2008–09 Japan Championship, Asada was second behind Yukari Nakano in the short program. Asada landed three beautiful clean triple jumps in her free skating, three other triple jumps were downgraded, including two triple axels which were judged to be under-rotated.[40] She received 117.15 points for her free skating for a total of 182.45 points overall. Placing second both in the short program and in the free skating, Asada won her third straight national title.

Entering the 2009 Four Continents Championships in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada as the defending champion, Asada placed 6th in the short program but won the free skating. Her first axel attempt was popped into a single, but she gracefully executed the second, garnering 8.80 points for the jump. She also completed a triple flip-double loop-double loop, a triple loop, and a triple flip-double loop. Asada placed third overall in the competition behind Joannie Rochette of Canada who won silver and Yuna Kim who won the gold.

At the 2009 World Championships, Asada placed third in the short program with 66.06 points and 4th 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.

2009–10 season

 
Asada performing her free skating to Bells of Moscow at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Asada placed third in the short program and second in the free skating, finishing with the silver medal at 2009 Trophée Eric Bompard. At the 2009 Rostelecom Cup, she placed 6th in the short and 5th in the free after landing just two triple jumps in her free skating. She finished 5th overall, 21.65 points behind gold medalist Miki Ando.

At the 2009–10 Japan Championships, Asada was first in both programs and won her fourth Japanese national title, 8.72 points ahead of silver medalist Akiko Suzuki.[41]

At the 2010 Four Continents Championships, Asada placed third in the short program with 57.22 points after under-rotating her triple axel, popping a triple flip and receiving a timing deduction of 1.00 point. She was first in the free skating with 126.74 points, 11.9 ahead of Akiko Suzuki, and won the gold medal with a total score of 183.96 points, 10.24 points ahead of Suzuki.[42]

Due to Tarasova's health problems, Asada was coached mostly by her assistant, Jeanetta Folle, in Nagoya, Japan; on 1 February 2010, Asada indicated that she had not been coached by Tarasova since the 2009 Rostelecom Cup in October.[42] Tarasova was present with Asada at the 2010 Olympics but after the event, Asada chose to be based in her hometown, Nagoya, and parted ways with Tarasova.[43]

From 23 to 25 February, Asada competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics. In the short program on 23 February, she executed a triple axel-double toe loop, a triple flip and a double axel as well as receiving level fours for all her spins and her spiral sequence. She scored 73.78 points to place second in this phase.[44] In her free skating on 25 February, she succeeded in landing two triple axels, but under-rotated the first jump of a triple flip-double loop-double loop combination and popped a planned triple toe loop into a single.[45] With 131.72 points from the free skating, Asada won the Olympic silver medal with a combined score of 205.50 points, 23.06 behind Yuna Kim of South Korea. She earned a Guinness World Record for the most triple axels performed by a female skater in a competition – one in the short program and two in the free skating.[46] Asada was Japan's flag-bearer at the closing ceremonies.

At the 2010 World Championships, Asada placed second in the short program with 68.08 points, 2.32 behind Mirai Nagasu of the United States. In her triple axel-double toe loop combination, the axel was downgraded to a double, but she executed a triple flip and a double axel and received level fours on all her spins and her spiral sequence. Asada reclaimed the world title with an overall score of 197.58 points.[47] She became the first singles figure skater from Asia to win multiple world championship titles.

On 17 June 2010, Asada announced that her new jump coach was Hiroshi Nagakubo.[48]

2010–11 season

 
Asada performing her free skate to Liebesträume at the 2011 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

In September 2010, Nobuo Sato became Asada's new coach and Asada ended her relationship with coach Nagakubo.[49][50]

After the Vancouver Olympics, Asada decided to relearn all of her jumps from scratch by getting back to basics.[51] This contributed to her slump in the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons. Under the guidance of her new coach Nobuo Sato, she stripped her triple jumps to their rudimentary parts and relearned each takeoff and landing, beginning with a single rotation. While reworking her jumps, Asada did not skip any competitions in the 2010–11 season.

Asada was assigned to the 2010 NHK Trophy and the 2010 Trophée Eric Bompard ISU Grand Prix events. At the 2010 NHK Trophy, Asada placed 8th in both programs and finished 8th overall with a total of 133.40 points. At the 2010 Trophée Eric Bompard, Asada placed 7th in the short program, 5th in the free skating and 5th overall, scoring a combined 148.02 points.

At the 2010–11 Japan national championships, Asada was first in the short program and second in the free skating. She obtained a total score of 193.69 points and won the silver medal behind Miki Ando. At the 2011 Four Continents Championships, Asada placed second in both programs and won the silver medal with a score of 196.30 points, 5.04 points behind gold medalist Miki Ando. Her triple axel jump in free skating was ratified for the first time since 2010 Worlds Championship, with +1.29 grade of execution.[52] At the 2011 World Championships, Asada placed 7th in the short program, 6th in the free skating, and finished 6th overall with 172.79 points.

2011–12 season

Asada began the 2011–12 season at the 2011 NHK Trophy. She placed third in the short program with 58.32 points and first in the free skating, garnering a total of 184.45 points and the silver medal, 1.79 behind Akiko Suzuki. At the 2011 Cup of Russia, Asada placed first in the short program with 64.29 points. She earned a level four on her straight line step sequence with +1.30 GOE. She won the event and qualified for the 2011–12 Grand Prix Final. She withdrew from the Final due to her mother's serious illness.[53] Her mother died of liver cirrhosis in Nagoya Hospital while Asada was flying back to Japan.[54][55]

Placing second in both programs at the 2011–12 Japan Championships, Asada secured her fifth national title and a berth to the ISU Championships.[56] First in the short program and second in the free, Asada won the silver medal at the 2012 Four Continents Championships behind gold medalist Ashley Wagner of the United States. At the 2012 World Championships, Asada placed fourth in the short program and sixth in the free skating, finishing sixth overall with 164.52 points.

After a disappointing sixth at the 2012 World Championships, her mother's death, and vexation of learning to jump again, Asada was considering not to compete. Upon visiting her choreographer Lori Nichol on May 2012 for an exhibition number, Asada realized that she still liked skating.[57]

2012–13 season

 
Asada performing her free skate to Swan Lake at the 2013 World Championships.

Asada began the 2012–13 season at the Japan Open, performing to Swan Lake. She won gold at her two Grand Prix events, the 2012 Cup of China and the 2012 NHK Trophy, qualifying her to the 2012–13 Grand Prix Final. Seven years after her triumph in Torino (Italy), and three years after her victory in Goyang City (Korea), Asada won her third title at the Grand Prix Final in Sochi (Russia),[58][59] placing first in both the short program[60] and free skating. Asada won her sixth national title at the 2012–13 Japan Championships.[61]

At the 2013 Four Continents Championships, Asada placed first in the short program with a score of 74.49 points after landing her first triple axel this season, together with triple flip–double loop combination and a triple loop.[62] She also won the free skating with a score of 130.96, taking the gold medal with an overall score of 205.45 points, while teammates Akiko Suzuki and Kanako Murakami took the silver and bronze medals respectively.[63] This is the second time that Japan swept the Four Continents Championships' podium.[citation needed]

Asada returned to the World podium with a bronze medal finish at the 2013 World Championships with a personal best free skating score of 134.37. Asada placed fifth at the World Team Trophy and team Japan placed third.

2013–14 season

 
Asada performing her short program to Chopin Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 at the 2013 Skate America.

Asada began the 2013–14 season at the Japan Open, performing to Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. She won gold at her two Grand Prix assignments, the 2013 Skate America and the 2013 NHK Trophy. With her victory at Skate America, she became the first singles skater, male or female, to win all seven of the current events on the Grand Prix series. At NHK Trophy, she set personal best scores for the free skating and total score. She advanced to the 2013–14 Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final where she took her fourth Grand Prix Final title. With this victory, she became the first woman to complete two consecutive Grand Prix seasons undefeated.[citation needed] At all three Grand Prix events, she won by a margin of over ten points. In late December, Asada competed in the 2013–14 Japan Championships. She led after a strong short program, but only placed 3rd in the free skating, dropping to 3rd overall.

In the team event at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Asada skated the ladies' short program. She fell on the triple axel and placed third individually; team Japan finished fifth. In the ladies' singles event, she placed 16th in the short program after falling on her triple axel, underrotating a triple flip, and doubling a triple loop. She rebounded in the free skating, landing 8 triple jumps and earning a personal best score of 142.71 making her the third woman to score above the 140 mark after Kim Yuna 2010 Olympics score and Yulia Lipnitskaya 2014 Olympics team event score. This placed her third in the free skating and sixth overall. Asada's free skating was the most technically difficult of all the ladies and the only one with a triple axel.[64][65]

At the 2014 World Championships, she broke the world record for the short program by scoring 78.66, 0.16 points higher than the former record set by Yuna Kim at the 2010 Winter Olympics.[12][66] Asada went on to score 138.03 in the free skating, winning her third world title with a total of 216.69, a personal best for her. With this victory, she became the third woman in the last 45 years (along with Michelle Kwan and Katarina Witt) and the tenth woman to have won three world championship titles.[67]

After winning the World Championship title, Asada stated that there was a 50-50 chance she would continue her career.[68] On 19 May 2014, Asada announced she intended to skip the next season.[69] Asada said she was mentally and physically tired and wanted a chance to focus on other aspects of her life, including attending university.

2015–16 season

On 18 May 2015, Asada announced her intention to make comeback in competitive skating after having taken a one-year break. She had resumed training with coach Nobuo Satou with the aim of returning to competition.[70][71] Her first competitive performance of the 2015–16 season was at the 2015 Japan Open, where her first-place skate to Madama Butterfly led Team Japan to a first-place finish.

For the 2015–16 season Grand Prix series, Asada was assigned to compete at 2015 Cup of China and 2015 NHK Trophy.[72] In Cup of China, she landed both her triple axels and placed first overall, winning the short program and placing third in the free skating. She went on to the 2015 NHK Trophy and won the bronze after several problems with her jumping passes. Asada's Grand Prix results qualified her to compete at the 2015–16 Grand Prix Final, where she finished sixth.

Asada went on to win bronze at the 2015–16 Japan Championships. She was selected to compete at both the 2016 Four Continents Championships and 2016 World Championships, though she opted to skip the former in order to focus on the latter.[73] In April 2016, Asada finished seventh at worlds.[74]

2016–17 season

Asada began her season with a silver medal at the 2016 CS Finlandia Trophy, having finished second to Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond. Her Grand Prix assignments were 2016 Skate America and 2016 Trophee de France, where she placed 6th and 9th respectively.

On 10 April 2017, Asada declared on her blog that she had retired from competition.[1]

Skating technique

 
Asada performs a one-handed Biellmann spin at the 2006 Skate America practice.

Asada is known for her flexibility in spins and spirals. During her first two years on the international scene, Asada became known for her signature move, the cross-grab Biellmann position. She is also noted for performing the one-handed Biellmann spin in competition. She has received +2.60 grade of execution for her spiral sequence.[75] Asada is also known for the complexity of her footwork sequence and has earned +2.00 grade of execution.[76][77]

Asada landed her first 3A at the age of 12, and she became the first lady to perform a triple-triple-triple combination in national competition – she completed a 3F-3Lo-3T combination.[78] At the age of 14, Asada landed a 3A in her free skating at the 2004–05 Junior Grand Prix Final, held in December 2004 in Helsinki, Finland, becoming the first junior girl to do one in an international event. She has since been known for her 3A jumps.[79]

Starting with the 2007–08 season, criteria for judging jump take-off and landing technique were made more rigorous, and Asada began to be penalized for under-rotating her jumps and for change-of-edge errors on her Lutz jump, colloquially called a "flutz."[80]

Asada did not include salchow jumps in her junior and senior career programs until 2008. She had stated previously that the triple salchow was the first triple jump she had ever landed and that she did not have a problem landing it cleanly, but she was not comfortable using the jump in competition because it is one of her least favorite jumps.[25] Asada added the 3S to her free skating at the 2008 NHK Trophy[81] and 2008–09 Grand Prix Final.[82]

Normally, Asada uses a 3Lo as her second jump in a combination, especially after the 3F. However, she added the toe loop to her free skating as the second jump of her first triple-triple combination during the 2004–05 season,[83] a 3F-3T. In the 2006–07 season she used the 2A-3T, while in the 2007–08 season she performed the 3F-3T again.

In the 2008–09 season, she executed the 3A-2T combination in international competition, first getting full credit for it at the 2008–09 Grand Prix Final.[82] At that same competition, Asada became the first female skater to land two 3A in the same program.[39] She is also the only woman to have landed three 3A jumps in the same competition at an ISU competition. She has a Guinness World Record for the most triple axels performed by a female skater in competition.[46]

After finishing second in 2010 Winter Olympics, Asada decided on the drastic measure of reworking her jumps.[84] The goal was a more fluid jump by adding speed to the approach run, which would increase the height of jumps and the speed of spins. Asada also corrected her habit of moving her shoulders up and down before making a jump. The reworking process set her back for two seasons. Asada found that her jumping began to suffer and she was making mistakes on all her jumps.[85] During the 2012–13 season, her performance improved and she went on a winning streak. Her component score, which had mostly remained in the 7 range, edged above 8. By the 2013–14 season, Asada said, "every single one of my skating techniques had been changed."[86] In 2014 Winter Olympics Ladies Free Skating event, Asada executed all six triple jumps.

Asada has been known to practice and land quadruple jumps in training. She credits training alongside Takahiko Kozuka for improving her spins. The number of rotations she is able to achieve with one kick increased from 30 to 104.[51]

Records and achievements

Record scores:

  • Former world record holder for the ladies' short program score (78.66), set at the 2014 World Championships on 27 March 2014.[87] Record was broken in 2016 during the Grand Prix Final by Evgenia Medvedeva.
  • Second woman to score over 200 points for the total score under the ISU Judging System.
  • Third woman to score over 140 points for the free skate score under the ISU Judging System.
  • Former world record holder for the ladies' free skating score (133.13), set at the 2007 World Championships on 24 March 2007.[25] Record was broken eight months later on 24 November 2007 by Yuna Kim (South Korea).[33]
  • Former world record holder for the ladies' combined total score (199.52), set at the 2006 NHK Trophy on 2 December 2006.[25] Record was broken two years later on 28 March 2009 by Yuna Kim (South Korea).[31]
  • Former world record holder for the junior ladies' free skating score (119.13), set at the 2005 World Junior Championships on 3 March 2005. Record was broken six and a half years later on 9 October 2011 by Yulia Lipnitskaya (Russia).[27]
  • Former world record holder for the junior ladies' combined total score (179.24), set at the 2005 World Junior Championships on 3 March 2005. Record was broken six and a half years later on 9 October 2011 by Yulia Lipnitskaya (Russia).[27]

Triple axel:

  • The oldest (26 years old) woman to land a triple axel in international competition.
  • Fifth woman to land the triple axel jump in international competition (2004-05 Junior Grand Prix Final).
  • First junior girl to land the triple axel jump in international competition (2004-05 Junior Grand Prix Final).
  • First woman to land the triple axel jump at the World Junior Championships.
  • First woman to land three triple axel jumps in one competition (2010 Winter Olympics).[88]
  • First woman to land a triple axel in the short program at the Winter Olympics.[89][90]
  • First woman to land the triple axel in multiple Olympics.
  • Second woman to land a triple axel at the Winter Olympics.
  • First woman to land two triple axel jumps in the same program (2008–09 Grand Prix Final).[citation needed]
  • Currently holds the record for most triple axels landed in international competition by a woman.

Other:

  • First figure skater in a singles discipline from Asia to win multiple world championships.
  • First Japanese figure skater in any discipline to win multiple world championships.
  • First singles figure skater to win all seven of the current events on the Grand Prix circuit.[91]
  • First woman to complete two consecutive Grand Prix seasons undefeated.
  • Holds 15 Grand Prix series titles - the third-most titles in history behind Evgeni Plushenko and Irina Slutskaya.
  • Holds 8 consecutive Grand Prix circuit victories - longest streak of any woman in history.
  • Tied with Irina Slutskaya for the most Grand Prix Final titles won by a woman.
  • Tied with Fumie Suguri for the most Four Continents Championships titles won by a woman.
  • The only woman who have landed 5 axel jumps in the same olympic competition.

 


Public life and endorsements

 
Rafael Arutyunyan, Tatiana Tarasova, and Mao Asada at the 2007–08 Grand Prix Final

Asada is very popular in Japan and is credited with increasing the popularity of figure skating in Japan. She began to draw attention while still on the junior circuit and is a household name in Japan, known by the affectionate nickname "Mao-chan".[92] During the 2014 Winter Olympics, Asada became the most discussed and mentioned athlete of the Olympics on the social networking website Twitter, ahead of Yuna Kim, ice hockey player T. J. Oshie, and snowboarder Shaun White.[93]

Asada headlines her own exhibition show called "The Ice", which began from the summer of 2008, with her sister Mai Asada.[94] Her skating music was compiled on two albums by EMI Music Japan: Mai & Mao Asada Skating Music and Mai & Mao Asada Skating Music 2008–09.[citation needed] The Asada sisters have also been named as goodwill ambassadors to Canada, and have traveled to Canada to serve in that role.[25]

In 2011, Asada launched her own kimono brand named MaoMao.[95][96] In January 2012, Asada cancelled the release of a book on her skating career; she stated, "The way the book was advertised was different from what I had in mind."[97]


 
Coach Nobuo Sato (left) and Mao Asada (right) at the 2011 Cup of Russia

Asada has appeared in many variety television shows as well as in commercials. She and her dog Aero, named after Aero chocolates, have been featured in chocolate commercials in Japan.[25] Asada's sponsors include Coca Cola, Itoham Foods, Kao, Lotte, Nestlé, Oji Paper Company, Olympus Corporation, Omron, Sato Pharmaceutical, United Airlines, and Weider.[98][99] Other sponsors include Weider In Jelly, Nippon Life Insurance Company, and Weavajapan.[citation needed] On 25 December 2013, Japan Airlines unveiled a new Boeing 777–300 (JA8942) with a special Mao Asada livery to promote Japan's participation in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.[100]

During the 2010 Winter Olympics, a popular Vancouver Japanese street food vendor, Japadog, named a hot dog after Asada called the Mao Dog. Similarly, a local sushi store created a sushi roll and named it the Mao Roll after Asada.[101] After Asada's silver medal win, Japanese dollmaker Kyugetsu created a Mao Asada hina doll in celebration of her efforts.[102] In December 2013, chrysanthemum farmers in the Ryukyu Islands named a new crop of chrysanthemums "Mao Orange" after the colour of Asada's short program dress from the 2012–13 season.[103]

On 8 April 2014, Asada's exhibition named "Smile" opened at Takashimaya department store in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district. This drew more than 10,000 visitors on its first day, outperforming every other event opening at the establishment for the past 10 years.[104] In just nine days, it hit more than 100,000 visitors, the shortest period to reach the milestone in Takashimaya's history.[105] The exhibition includes a collection of 30 costumes that were worn by Asada and a display of medals she has won over the years, among them the silver she scooped up at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

On 5 July 2014, Asada made her debut as a reporter for the long-running travel program "Sekai Fushigi Hakken!" by TBS. For this documentary, she traveled to Austria, Slovakia and Hungary for eight days to find the origin of figure skating.[106] In March 2015, Asada made her debut as DJ host for her weekly radio show program "Mao Asada's Nippon Smile". This program was sponsored by Sumitomo Life Insurance Ltd. Co. and aired in TBS radio from March 2015 to June 2015.[107]

She is also a big fan of Japanese pop star Ayumi Hamasaki, and was seen congratulating her on her 10th Anniversary.

Programs


 program Caprice No. 24 at the 2010 World Championships.
SeasonShort programFree skatingExhibition
2016–17
[18]
  • Ritual Fire Dance
    by Artur Rubinstein
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • En la cueva - La noche
  • Pantomime
  • El aparecido
    (from El amor brujo)
    by Manuel de Falla
    choreo.
  • Ritual Fire Dance
    by Artur Rubinstein
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • Cello Suites
    by Johann Sebastian Bach
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
2015–16
[108][109]
  • Bei Mir Bistu Shein
    by Sholom Secunda
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • Madama Butterfly
    by Giacomo Puccini
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • Puttin' On the Ritz
    by Irving Berlin
    performed by Fred Astaire
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
2014–15 Did not compete this season
  • This Little Light of Mine
    by Harry Dixon Loes
    performed by Yo-Yo Ma and
    Amelia Zirin-Brown
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
2013–14
[110]
  • Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 in E-flat major
    by Frédéric Chopin
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • Piano Concerto No. 2
    by Sergei Rachmaninoff
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
  • Smile
  • What a Wonderful World
    performed by Ima
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
2012–13
[95][111]
  • I Got Rhythm
    by George Gershwin
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • Swan Lake
    by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
  • Mary Poppins
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
2011–12
[112]
  • Scheherazade
    by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
  • Liebesträume
    by Franz Liszt
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • I Vow to Thee My Country
    by Libera
    choreo. by Lori Nichol

  • Waltz in C-sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2
    by Frédéric Chopin
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
2010–11
[113]
  • Tango
    (from Agony)
    by Alfred Schnittke
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
  • Liebesträume
    by Franz Liszt
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23, CT. 2
    by Frédéric Chopin
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
2009–10
[114]
  • Waltz from Masquerade Suite
    by Aram Khachaturian
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
  • Prelude in C-sharp minor
    by Sergei Rachmaninov
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
  • Caprice No. 24
    by Niccolò Paganini
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
2008–09
[115]
  • Claire de Lune
    by Claude Debussy
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • Waltz from Masquerade Suite
    by Aram Khachaturian
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
  • Por una Cabeza
    (from Scent of a Woman)
    by Carlos Gardel, Alfredo Le Pera
  • Payadora
    by Julián Plaza
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova

  • Sing, Sing, Sing
    by Louis Prima
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
2007–08
[116]
  • Fantasia for Violin and Orchestra
    (from Ladies in Lavender)
    by Nigel Hess
    performed by Joshua Bell
    choreo. by Tatiana Tarasova
  • Fantaisie-Impromptu
    by Frédéric Chopin
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • So Deep Is The Night
    Étude Op. 10, No. 3
    by Frédéric Chopin
    vocals by Lesley Garrett
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
2006–07
[117]
  • Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2 in E-flat major
    by Frédéric Chopin
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • Csárdás
    by Vittorio Monti
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • Habanera
    (from Carmen)
    by Georges Bizet
    vocal by Filippa Giordano
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
2005–06
[118]
  • Carmen
    by Georges Bizet
    choreo. by
    Machiko Yamada, Mihoko Higuchi
  • The Nutcracker
    by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
  • Over the Rainbow
    by Harold Arlen
    vocal by Eva Cassidy
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
2004–05
[119]
  • Over the Rainbow
    by Harold Arlen
    choreo. by Lea Ann Miller
  • La Boutique Fantastique
    by Gioachino Rossini, Ottorino Respighi
    choreo. by Lea Ann Miller
  • Pick Yourself Up
    by Natalie Cole
    choreo. by
    Machiko Yamada, Mihoko Higuchi
2003–04
  • Orchestral Suite
    (from My Girl 2)
    by Cliff Eidelman
    choreo. by
    Machiko Yamada, Mihoko Higuchi
  • Waltz-Scherzo in C major, Op. 34
    by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    choreo. by
    Machiko Yamada, Mihoko Higuchi
  • Habanera
    (from Carmen)
    by Georges Bizet
    choreo. by
    Machiko Yamada, Mihoko Higuchi
2002–03
  • Say Hey Kids
    choreo. by
    Machiko Yamada, Mihoko Higuchi
  • Inca Dance and Andes
    by Cusco
    choreo. by
    Machiko Yamada, Mihoko Higuchi