SOCHI, RUSSIA – Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said Friday his remarks about figure skater Mao Asada, who placed a disappointing sixth in the women’s singles competition at the Sochi Games, were taken out of context.
Mori, chairman of the organizing committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, said his comment earlier this week that Asada “always falls at critical times” failed to communicate the true meaning of his words.
“It was totally different from what I intended to say,” said Mori. “What I wanted to point out is it was a mistake in strategy (to use her) for the team competition in the women’s event.”
“Even though it wasn’t necessary to have Asada compete in the team competition, and there was little chance to win, having her compete with this faint inclination that if she succeeded (Japan) might come in third, resulted in her falling.”
“She must have felt mentally burdened, and I felt sorry for her. In the women’s singles free skate Asada rallied, and I was glad that she could produce a good result,” Mori added.
Asada, who won silver at the Vancouver Olympics four years ago, fell on her signature triple axel in the team competition early on in Sochi and again during the women’s singles short program before recovering to post her best score ever in the free skate.