Mai Mihara: “I didn’t see Yelim Kim’s perfect performance, but I saw her fist pump and knew her score was really good, so I was really happy for her and it also gave me a lot of power to skate.”
Interview with Mai Mihara about World Team Trophy and the past season.
source: hochi.news dd. 20 April 2023
About the free program at the World Team Trophy
Mai Mihara: The audience sent me power from the very beginning, and each applause and “Mai-chan, do your best” from the audience went deep into my heart, and I felt happy to be able to be here. So, I skated with the feeling of being strong from the beginning.
The program was changed according to my physical condition at that time. Today, I surprised myself by deciding to put 3-3 in the beginning of the program. It wasn’t perfect but I skated with strong feelings of gratitude for this program.
Capitan Kaori Sakamoto named your team “High Tension Japan”.
Mai Mihara: I think the phrase ‘High Tension Japan’ is really appropriate for our team’s great teamwork. I just want to cherish each moment and skate with all my strength, believing in everything I’ve done so far.
How do you feel at the end of this season?
Mai Mihara: This season was really surprising for me, and there were a lot of feelings packed into it. I was happy to be able to compete in the most number of competitions I have ever participated in, 13. Most of all, I was really happy to be able to come back to the stage like that. So, I want to move forward step by step with gratitude, because I think that having participated in 13 competitions this season will live on in my future seasons. I think there are still a lot of things I can do, so I want to show a stronger and more grown-up version of myself next season.
Did you want to finish with a guts pose?
Mai Mihara: I felt a little frustrated about my loop and knew that I was quite distorted in the air, but I really wanted to pull it it out, so I tried. It was good to challenge myself, especially since jumps are one of my strong points, but I also felt really frustrated about it. So, I want to reflect on it and work hard to find new challenges, so that I can do it well no matter what.
This was the last competition of the season in which you participated in 13 competitions.
Mai Mihara: I felt that not only this season’s 13 competitions, but also various things in my skating life, were reflected in today’s free program. It was a season with a lot of thoughts and reflections, but I was able to switch each thing I needed to think about in my program. So, I want to use this experience in the next season.
You did a 3-3 combination.
Mai Mihara: There was still some regret from yesterday, and before the 6-minute warm-up, I didn’t directly see Yelim Kim’s perfect performance, but I saw her fist pump and knew her score was really good, so I was really happy for her. We have competed together in many competitions, so it made me happy. I saw a really beautiful 3-3 in the replay and thought I should include it too. No matter what my physical condition was, so I put my heart and power into each thing and was able to skate with all my strength.
As for when I decided to jump, I was planning to decide after the 6-minute warm-up based on my condition, but I felt that I had to be stronger and also my coach told me that “Mai is strong”, so I decided on my program before going on the ice. Seeing Yelim Kim’s performance gave me a lot of power, so I think I was able to take that first step.
Looking back on competing in 13 events
Mai Mihara: Well, I’ve been doing it with the feeling of wanting to be able to do well in any situation, and through that, I’ve had experiences where things have gone well and times where I haven’t reached my goal. But I feel like I’ve gained a lot from those experiences and I think I can have an even better season next year than this one.
Thoughts for next season
Mai Mihara: Well, I don’t know how many competitions there will be next season, but the feeling of wanting to keep moving forward is really strong. So I feel like I’ve gained a lot from that.
Looking back on the season as a whole
Mai Mihara: I think competitions where I was in the best condition and was able to perform to my fullest was the GP in UK, but gradually I faced my challenges and tried to fix my mistakes. I think the Japanese Nationals were a competition where I was able to perform the kind of routine I had in mind. After the new year, I was in a state where I was struggling with every competition, but I was able to skate through those competitions with all sorts of feelings. The second half of the season had more challenges, so I want to use that experience to improve my physical condition and make progress both in the first half and the second half of next season.
Zhulin and Tarasova: “Let Cizeron team up with Scott Moir. I think they will be a good match. And let Cizeron and Moir compete against Papadakis and Hubbell.”