Mao’s speech and Shoma’s words to Mao at the JSF Award Ceremony. Video here.
Mao: Hello everyone I’m Mao Asada. I am so happy that I received this Special Award today. When I was a competitor, I faced every competition with the feeling of wanting to challenge. Because I challenged, there were also many mistakes, but I learned from those mistakes and succeeded, and I think I was able to leave good results. I would like to continue moving forward from now onwards, challenging new things and not being scared to make mistakes. And for the athletes aiming for the Olympics, please strive with full force. I will be cheering for you all. I would like to say some words for the people involved in figure skating. You have taken good care of me, thank you so much. And now I would like to end my speech.
Shoma: Honestly…sorry… Honestly thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to start figure skating. My life is very happy right now and I am having so much fun being able to skate, so my feeling of thankfulness is overflowing. Thank you so much.
I still remember the incident well during the season 2014-15 while
Mao-san was away from competitions after the Sochi Olympics. I was about
to attend the Nationals even though I wasn’t getting into gear during
the Grand prix series. Mao-san was performing at ice shows then.
One day in December, Takahashi-kun and Mao-san were practicing at the
rink for Christmas on Ice show. I was practicing alone without
Nobuo-sensei and both of them really worried about me and while I was
practicing, they stayed at the rink side till the end of my practice.
My 3A was particularly bad so they both gave me some advice like
“shouldn’t it be like this?” or put my music on for me and as soon as
the music was over, they said “once more!” and repeated the music again.
I was really grateful. I think the great thing about Mao-san is that
she can feel for others and it is same for Takahashi-kun as well.
―Takahiko Kozuka Interview fromSports Graphic Number || Mao Asada on the ice 1995-2017 Special Issue [translation by @minotsu]
“Although I made such a decision, there is absolutely no regret in my skating life. It is a big decision for me, but I take it as a milestone of my life. Moving forward, I will find my new dream and goal, I will keep smiling, and I will keep moving on.” #ThankYouMao