Best wishes to the Asada family


Skate family reacts to death of Asada's mom

By Laurie Nealin (AFP)

QUEBEC CITY, Canada — Word that Mao Asada?s mother, Kyoko, died less than a day after the world champ withdrew from Figure Skating's Grand Prix Final, prompted her fellow competitors to pause and reflect on the sad news.

US ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White shared their thoughts Friday after their short-dance performance landed them in the lead in their competition opener.

"Charlie and I were talking a lot before we skated about keeping perspective and what happened with Mao's mom is so sad," Davis said. "We all put so much into skating and it?s so important to us, but things like this put it into perspective about what?s really important."

Davis and White performed alongside Asada and Takahiko Kozuka in their 10-show tour -- The Ice -- in Japan this past July.

"Mao is just a lovely girl and I think that even if we didn?t know her, everybody in the skating world is very close and we all have a similar mentality of work, work, work. This is our lives," Davis offered.

"When somebody in the skating world experiences something that is so much more important than what it is we?re really doing, it makes all of us take note and realize what we?re doing is for fun. I think it really impacts all of us in a small way," she added.

Japanese team official Tatsuro Matsumura said, "We talked to all our skaters about the fact that Mao?s mother passed away. They all accept the fact. They are all grown-ups and they know what they have to do here.

"I am sure that they will concentrate on their own performances and do nothing different after the news."

Asada?s teammate Akiko Suzuki, who skated into second in her opening round, was told of Kyoko Asada?s passing Friday morning before she competed.

"I?m not sure if there was an effect on my performance today. I knew all I could do for now was to perform well on the ice and I think I was able to switch my mind (off the news) once I was on the ice," she said.

Other Japanese competing here are Daisuke Takahashi, 2010 men?s world champion, Yuzuru Hanyu, 2010 world junior champion, and pairs skaters Narumi Takahashi and Mervin Tran, the first Japanese couple to qualify for the senior Grand Prix Final.

Competition host Skate Canada sent its condolences to Asada and her family in a statement issued Friday, which said, "Asada is a seasoned competitor and her talent will be missed in Quebec City. Our thoughts are with Mao and her family during this difficult time."

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