Japanese figure skater Mao Asada, currently in first place (Washington Post – requires registration) in the ISU Figure Skating Grand Prix Finals being held in Tokyo, is apparently a LEGO fan. According to her official Web site her hobbies include jigsaw puzzles and LEGO.
What set Japanese bloggers buzzing today was the one item she picked up off the ice after her routine — a LEGO bag.
EDIT (12/22/05): Mao Asada won the Grand Prix championship on December 17, but will likely not be allowed to go to the Olympics in Turin early next year. But wait, there’s good news! Here’s a quick translation of the first paragraph from a follow-up article in a Japanese newspaper:
Mao Asada: Reward for winning is ‘LEGO’
Mao Asada (age 15), who won the Figure Skating Grand Prix Finals for the first time, participated on the 19th in a press conference for Japanese National Championship (12/23-12/25) entrants. “I’m going to do two Triple Axels,” she said enthusiastically. In the midst of the discussion on the age limit that may prevent her from entering the Olympics in Turin, she innocently exclaimed, for winning the Grand Prix Finals “I’m going to get LEGO blocks.”
So her LEGO hobby is even showing up in sports section headlines!