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The Queen has returned to the ice

Mao Asada has returned to regain her title as "Queen of the Ice".

Mao Asada has returned to regain her title as “Queen of the Ice”.

By: Yasmine Sadoudi

The skating rink just got a few degrees hotter now that Mao Asada has officially announced her comeback to the world of competitive figure skating. Despite taking a year-long break from the sport, she assures the media that this will be her best year yet.

The skater put her athletic career on hold to finish her education at Chukyo University in Japan, an admirable act clearly demonstrating her dedication to the pursuit of a quality education. Having missed the 2014-15 international competitive season, Asada has returned to her coaches, Nobuo and Kumiko Sato, with the intention of commencing her training immediately. Although her first event is unknown, it is apparent that she has a long road ahead of her before she regains her title as the “Queen of the Ice.”

Her comeback leaves the world of competitive figure skating on the edge of their seat, as it now begs the question: will she be able to do the triple axel? It is the hardest element of figure skating; a height of two feet, three and a half revolutions in the air, and then a clean one-foot backward landing. It takes enormous amount of practice, muscle and dedication to master, a feat which only some men and an extremely small handful of women have been able to accomplish.

It is also the main aspect of Asada’s skating that makes her stand out from her competition. If she is not able to perform the jump in competition, she will have lost her main source of competitive fire, and will struggle to fulfill her reputation as the three-time World Champion.

Her confidence that this competitive season will procure her best result yet is a refreshing change of pace from her seemingly insecurity as her previous events. This was most likely caused by the intimidation pertaining to her main competition: the flawless Yuna Kim of South Korea.

Now that Kim has retired from competition, Asada seems to have acquired a new-found confidence in herself that is sure to drive her forward to the point where she will regain her title as world champion.

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