Takahashi's mother praises her son's performance

OKAYAMA - "I want to give him a gold medal," said Kiyoto Takahashi, 64, Daisuke Takahashi's mother, after watching her son's performance at the Sochi Olympics on TV. Takahashi finished sixth in men's figure skating in the Sochi Olympics.

Kiyoto cheered her son while watching the performance on a live telecast at Kurashiki Suisho High School in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, the school Takahashi graduated from. Kiyoto has worked as a barber and at a bento shop to cover expenses for Takahashi's skate training.

Takahashi stood on the skating rink of the Sochi Games for his last Olympics appearance. "His facial expression was so gentle and he was skating so joyfully," said Kiyoto, who was watching her son's performance with her palms pressed together as if she were praying. Kiyoto added with tears: "He had the best facial expression ever. It was splendid."

The day the men's free skating was held in the Sochi Games happened to fall on the very date that Takahashi began skating 20 years ago.

"That day became important to me. I think I'm a happy mother," said Kiyoto. She also uttered words of caring for her son. "I want to let him have a nice chance to rest."

About 50 children from the Kurashiki Figure Skating Club cheered for Takahashi at Healthpia Kurashiki in the city. Takahashi was a member of the skating club from the second grade of primary school to his graduation from middle school.

"I recalled Daisuke skating innocently in this rink when I was watching his [Sochi] performance," said Miyuki Sasaki, 57, the head coach of the figure skating club. She praised Takahashi, saying, "He has come this far even with his injuries."