Japan’s figure-skating icon Mao Asada on Tuesday hit back at Yoshiro Mori, the chief of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic committee with an ironic statement related to Mori’s remarks over her disastrous performance at the Olympic Winter Games.
The skater, 23, returned to Tokyo from the Winter Olympics with no medal, despite having gone into the singles competition as a frontrunner, according to the international press.
Asada, one of the most famous skaters in Japan, crashed to the ice on her initial jump and completely missed a compulsory part of the dance.
As a reaction, former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who is now leading the team charged with organizing the 2020 summer Games and who is described by the international media as a “habitual choker”, accused Mao Asada:
“That girl, she always falls over whenever it is important,” Mori sniped on Thursday amid national disappointment.
Asada reacted to the 76-year-old’s scoffing:
“I am human. I happen to fail,” Asada said when asked about Mori’s remarks.
“I do not care at all now, but I am afraid that perhaps Mr. Mori is now slightly regretting making such remarks,” a smiling Asada said.
Although he is not unique among senior Japanese politicians for a jaw-dropping inability to judge the public mood, Mori has a track record of going the extra mile with his gaffes.
Asada did not hide her sadness over her performance in Sochi.
“I am full of regrets over failing to bring medals back to Japan,” Asada said, adding that her chance of continuing to perform next season is “fifty-fifty”.