World champion figure skater Mao Asada will take a year off from the sport, is “50-50” on retiring and can’t see herself competing at the next Olympics.
“I worked very hard from Vancouver to Sochi,” Asada said at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday, according to The Associated Press. “Now I feel it’s time to take a year off and rest. We’ll see how I feel after a break. At this point it is 50-50.”
Asada, 23, won silver at the Vancouver Olympics behind Yuna Kim, but she lost any shot of a medal in Sochi with a 16th-place showing in the short program. She rebounded to finish sixth at her second Olympics and then won her third World Championship one month later in Saitama, Japan, without Kim and Russian Olympic champion Adelina Sotnikova in the field.
Asada said she is mentally and physically tired and wants a chance to focus on other things, like college. Her longtime rival Kim retired and has applied to college.
“I’m taking a year to slowly think about what my next goal will be,” Asada said, according to Reuters. “I don’t know what the future holds.”