When Mao Asada emerged on the junior scene in the fall of 2004, she was one of skating’s new wunderkinds.
Asada and Korea’s Yuna Kim kicked off their careers competing against each other much as Russia’s Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Adelina Sotnikova do today.
In the early days, everyone marveled at Asada’s jumping ability, her consistency and lightness on the ice. In 2005 she took the senior Grand Prix by storm, followed by significant controversy because she was still too young to compete at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
Originally published in February 2012