Mirai Nagasu finished fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but then was not named to the 2014 U.S. team. The 2008 National champion is determined to make it back to the Olympic stage.
Figure skating beginnings
Nagasu started skating at age 5 because she was unable to play golf on a rainy day. She says her parents were essential to the development of her career. “They made so many sacrifices, so we could afford to skate because the earnings of the [sushi] restaurant business were barely enough to cover the high expenses. Not only would my parents work full hours, my parents both woke up at 5 a.m. My dad left the house at 5 a.m. to go to the fish market to pick out his own fish, and my mom woke up at 5 a.m. to wake me up in order to get me ready for skating before school. After school, during her lunch break, she’d take me to ballet, and then I’d spend the rest of the day at the restaurant doing homework and sleep in the storage closet until it was time to go home. They taught me how to persevere and to always work hard.”
Major competitions/ medals
Though she earned a bronze medal at the 2014 U.S. Championships, she was not named to the Olympic team for Sochi. Many believed Nagasu should be selected instead of teammate Ashley Wagner (who finished fourth) to represent Team USA in Sochi. Instead, the U.S. sent that year’s champion Gracie Gold, silver medalist Polina Edmunds, and Wagner. She calls that the biggest obstacle she’s had to overcome.
In 2015, she finished 10th at nationals, but has bounced back since.
In 2016, she finished fourth and was sent to both the Four Continents Championships, where she won a silver medal, and the world championships, where she placed tenth.
She also finished fourth at the 2017 U.S. Nationals, earning her a trip to that year’s Four Continents Championships. Inside the same venue at that will play host to figure skating at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, Nagasu earned a bronze medal to close the season.