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USA Today Sports
1/15
Mao Asada: Just missed the Games
Asada, seen here in 2009, was considered a threat for the Torino Olympics, except there was one problem: she was too young. Asada could not compete in the Games due to the age eligibility rule, making Vancouver her first Games in 2010.
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USA Today Sports
2/15
Mao Asada: Global superstar
Figure skating is wildly popular in Japan, making Asada a megastar in that country and in much of Asia. Though, she says, she only notices paparazzi following her two or three times a year.
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USA Today Sports
3/15
Mao Asada: Written on her face
Though she was going up against one of the best in history (Yuna Kim, center), Asada, left, said she was disappointed with silver in Vancouver. Joannie Rochette, right, won the bronze.
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USA Today Sports
4/15
Mao Asada: A new Mao
Following her disappointment at the Vancouver Games, Asada re-tuned her skating, using different techniques on her jumps and essentially stripping down her skills to build them back up.
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USA Today Sports
5/15
Mao Asada: A terrible loss
In December 2011 Asada was at the Grand Prix Final and received a call that her mother was gravely ill in Japan. Flying back home, Asada did not make it in time, her mother Kyoko passing away at 48.
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