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A Hero of the Moment: Dissecting the Popularity of Asada MaoInamasu Tatsuo

Headlines across Japan blared the news of Asada Mao’s retirement following the figure skater’s announcement in an April 10 blog post that she was hanging up her skates after more than a decade on the ice. At a press conference two days later, the 26-year-old Asada made her decision official amid blinding flashes and a cacophony of camera shutters. Born in 1990, Asada skated onto the scene as a …
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Retiring Figure Skater Asada Has No Regrets about Career (News)

Tokyo, April 12 (Jiji Press)—Japanese figure skating icon Asada Mao, who shocked the country with her abrupt announcement of retirement from competitive skating this week, said Wednesday she made the right decision to end her career. "I've done all I can and feel fine," Asada, 26, said with her signature radiant smile at a press conference. Figure skater Asada Mao talks at a press conference…
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Figure Skating Icon Asada Mao Retiring (News)

Tokyo, April 11 (Jiji Press)—Japanese figure skater Asada Mao, a silver medalist in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and three-time world champion, is retiring from competitive skating. Asada Mao acknowledges the cheers of the crowd after receiving her silver medal at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver on February 25, 2010. (© Jiji) In her blog posting on Monday, Asada, 26, said, “I’ve made a deci…
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Sticking It on the Ice: Hanyū Yuzuru Pulls Off Stunning Comeback to Claim Second World Title (Japan in Photos)

Japanese Olympic champion Hanyū Yuzuru performs at the World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland, on April 1, 2017. Fifth after the short program, Hanyū landed four quadruple jumps during the free skate to claim his second world title with a combined score of 321.59, a season high. (© Jiji)
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Asada Mao’s Skating Comeback Wins HeartsYanai Yumiko

The moment her performance finished, Asada Mao looked up and burst into tears. Then, in the midst of thunderous applause, she gave a little nod and with a beaming smile lifted her hands to the crowd. Asada’s poor showing in the short program on the first day of the ladies’ single skating event in Sochi had left her well behind the field in sixteenth place. She bounced back in the following day’…
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A Post-Plushenko Champion: Hanyū Yuzuru Wins Figure Skating GoldYanai Yumiko

On February 14, figure skater Hanyū Yuzuru delivered a Valentine’s Day present to millions of fans watching him compete in the men’s free skating competition in Sochi, Russia: Japan’s first ever Olympic gold medal in the men’s event. Just 19 years old, Hanyū came into his own just as the great Russian skater Evgeni Plushenko, 31—identified by the young Japanese skater as a hero and inspiration—ann…
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Capitalizing on Japan’s Success at the London OlympicsNinomiya Seijun

The London Olympics came to an end on August 12. Japan’s athletes won a record 38 medals in 13 different events. Sports journalist Ninomiya Seijun analyses the results and the implications for Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Olympics.
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