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]
“Its not just the recent injury. Since last season I have been experiencing pain in my right foot which has constantly bothered me. Unconsciously, I have been protecting this foot and it has affected my body’s balance…”
“I don’t want to go for treatment anymore.”
His expression softening, he continued-
“Therefore, now, after the end of the Olympics, there’s a great sense of relief. Until now I’ve been going for treatment daily, there’s been anxiety and my head felt constantly cluttered but its clear now and I feel relieved. Its empty now. Its been a long time since I was in such a state of mind.”
“I’m glad I continued skating until now.”
He said this calmly, quietly.
“Because I continued till now, my skating has been able to improve. When I view my past performances in my free time I can really see ‘Ah, I’ve become a better skater’, besides the jumps my skating has continued to improve. Every year, I’ve also been able to encounter good programmes.
And, from my heart I have really felt the support from many people. If I had retired after winning a medal 4 years ago, perhaps I would have been able to go on without experiencing defeat in Sochi, perhaps I would not have these thoughts of regret and embarrassment at finishing in the lowest position among the Japanese men. Still, I think it’s good that I continued. Really, its good to have continued.”
Like the sound of the rain outside, Takahashi’s words were spoken calmly with a peaceful expression.
Mao Asada: I wanted to put the medal on Nobuo-sensei
One month after the Sochi Olympics. The prodigy who stands at the top of the World Championships podium, in accordance with her wish, has put the gold medal around her coach’s neck. Is this the end of a journey begun by the two of them in 2010, or–