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Name: Mao Asada
Hails from: Japan
Occupation: Figure skater
Known for: Playing second-fiddle to Queen Yu-Na at this year’s Winter Olympics; looking woefully sad on the medal podium while collecting her silver; inspiring some crazy nationalism between Japan and Korea; being the first woman to land two triple-axels in the same program back in 2006; finally getting redemption a month after the Olympics at the World Championships by beating Yu-Na, who fell on a triple salchow during her free skate.
So the rivalry between Yu-Na and Mao? Yeah, it’s ON. Like Ali-Frazier, but with sequins and spangles and a shit-ton of makeup.
Meanwhile, you gotta love the headlines from some of the Korean news outlets, which aren’t reporting Mao’s triumph so much as Yu-Na’s failure. From the Korea Times: “Yu-Na Fails to Defend Title.” And from Chosun Ilbo: “Kim Yu-Na Loses World Title in Turin.”
Filed under: 2010 Figure Skating World Championships, 2010 Olympics, 2010 Winter Olympics, Amazians, Bitchfights, Figure Skating, Ice Queens, Ice Skating, Japan vs. Korea, Kim Yu-na, Mao Asada, Nationalism, Queen Yu-na, Rivalries
Thursday night, were there two Asians on the women’s figure skating medal podium…or three?
There was gold medal winner Kim Yu-na of South Korea, who skated perfectly, set a new scoring record, and was, according to the NY Times, “taken aback by her own crying” at the end of her performance; and there was silver medal winner Mao Asada of Japan, who failed to nail two of her jumps, looked stoically sad about being the first loser during the medal ceremony, and later described herself as “regretful”…and then there was Canada’s Joannie Rochette, who stayed in the competition and won the bronze only four days after her mother’s sudden death from a heart attack, who, after the competition, recounted how her mother was sometimes her biggest critic, how when Joannie would score a 98 on a test, she’d wonder, “What about those other two points?”
So let’s see…
We had perfection and an unexpected display of emotion, stoicism and regret, and memories of a Hardass Mama willing her child to succeed?
Sounds like an Asian sweep to me!
Filed under: 2010 Winter Olympics, Asians and Figure Skating, Figure Skating, First Loser, Hardass Asian Parents, Hardass Parents of All Colors, Joannie Rochette, Kim Yu-na, Mao Asada, Mirai Nagasu, Perfection, Queen Yu-na, Regret, Vancouver Olympics, Winter Olympics, Women's Figure Skating
Many Asian American athletes shined over the weekend in the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships–including 10-year old prodigy Nathan Chen who won gold in the Novice division, and siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani who won the junior ice dancing competition.
But the country’s attention (and the Championships’ official site) seems focused on the enigmatic Mirai Nagasu, who took home an improbable silver in the women’s competition, falling just short of the solid-but-flairless Rachel Flatt.
Name: Mirai Nagasu
Occupation: Student, American figure skater
Known for: Flash and surprises. Though she didn’t fancy herself an Olympic contender and hoped mostly to show her potential for the future, Nagasu competed beautifully in the Spokane, WA figure skating National Championships last week, nabbing a coveted ticket to the Olympic Games. She may not have bested the gold medal winner with numbers, despite a near-flawless final performance, but Nagasu quickly became a people’s favorite and proved one very important point: The future is now.
Filed under: 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Amazing Teens, Competitions, Figure Skating, Flair, Mirai Nagasu, Nathan Chen, National Championships, Olympics, Rachel Flatt, Spokane, Teenagers, the Olympics
Happy 18th birthday to Mao Asada, who is currently the top-ranked figure skater in the world! We truly envy all of the achievements you’ve tucked under your belt before today–no, wait, we envy your skinny legs and ability to live out our mothers’ gold-medal ice dreams. Augh!
Come visit us in America! You’re old enough to buy cigarettes and watch dirty movies here; what better way to celebrate?
Michelle Kwan turned 28 this week and we’d like to wish her a very happy birthday! And here’s our birthday gift: a loving reminder that she is always be a gold medalist in our book. And our book is the only one that counts.
If you’ve gotten a chance to tune in to the new season of Dancing With the Stars, you’ll see that competitor Kristi Yamaguchi is already off to an excellent start, knocking out a near-perfect foxtrot with partner Mark Ballas in the very first episode.
Last night, in Hardass-Asian-Parented-purist fashion, Kristi went for Week 2 gold–this time with a “Latin-flavored” dance. You’ve gotta give the girl props for shirking her aversion to saucy hip shakes for the opportunity to excel. And she did it! She shook the shit out of her shit, and that was pretty amazian of her.
…but did she have to do it to a song penned by the (non-Latin, non-Asian) style-biter and exploitasian mistress of the century, Gwen Stefani?
Occupation: Professional figure skater, hailing from Japan
Known for: her current reign as the Japanese Champion, World Champion, and Four Continents champion in ladies singles figure skating. These honors seem well deserved in light of Asada’s gold-medal victory at the 2008 World Championship in Gothenburg last Wednesday–she had wind beneath her wings, dude.
Hails from: Arcadia, California
Occupation: Figure Skater and newly-crowned U.S. Champion
Known for: Being the second-youngest U.S. champ in history at 14, standing all of 4’11″ tall, an infectious smile, “extraordinary posture…when she skates” (according to Peggy Fleming), being so durned cute we just want to squeeze her.
After falling on her opening jump in the long program, Mirai regrouped and skated beautifully, later telling reporters, “The fall on the double axel was like a kick in the butt,” she said. “After that, I was like, `Attack!’”
It’s Friday. It’s hot. And our brains are melted after ripping Guitar Hero Rocks the 80′s ’til 3 AM last night. For all those reasons, we had some difficulty coming up with the DOTW and were just about to disgrace ourselves when Diana found this gem on Yahoo! News, via Reuters:
But it gets better.
A Japanese figure skater descended from the mighty 16th century warlord Nobunaga Oda has been pulled over for suspected drink-driving — on a moped.
Nobunari Oda, the figure skater, reportedly gave a “tearful” press conference today, saying:
“Usually I have my mother come pick me up when I am drinking, but I didn’t have my mobile phone.”
Oda. Dude. Your excuse for drink-driving is that you didn’t have a phone on you? And no one you were with had one that you could borrow? In Japan?
Also, ever heard of a cab?