Mirai Nagasu

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Mirai Nagasu
Nagasu 2010 TEB.jpg
Personal information
Full name Mirai Aileen Nagasu
Country represented United States
Born (1993-04-16) April 16, 1993 (age 21)
Montebello, California
Home town Arcadia, California
Height 1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)
Coach Wendy Olson
Amy Evidente
Christa Fassi
Former coach Frank Carroll
Charlene Wong
Sandy Gollihugh
Choreographer Cindy Stuart
Adam Rippon
Former choreographer Lori Nichol
Susan Austin
Skating club Pasadena FSC
Training locations Burbank, California
Former training locations

Lake Arrowhead, California

Pasadena, California
Began skating 1998
World standing 23 (As of 10 January 2014)[1]
Season's bests 2 (2011–2012)[2]
4 (2010–2011)[3]
4 (2009–2010)[4]
28 (2008–2009)[5]
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 190.15
2010 Winter Olympics
Short program 70.40
2010 Worlds
Free skate 129.68
2011 Four Continents

Mirai Aileen Nagasu (長洲 未来 Nagasu Mirai?, born April 16, 1993)[6] is an American figure skater. She is the 2011 Four Continents bronze medalist, 2007 JGP Final champion, a two-time medalist at the World Junior Championships (2007, 2008), and a four-time U.S. national medalist (gold in 2008, silver in 2010, and bronze in 2011 and 2014).

In 2008, Nagasu became the youngest woman since Tara Lipinski in 1997 to win the U.S. senior ladies title, and the second youngest in history. She is the first lady since Joan Tozzer in 1937 and 1938 to win the junior and senior national titles in consecutive years.

Nagasu represented the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics at the age of 16 and placed 4th in the ladies event.

Personal life[edit]

Nagasu was born in Montebello, Los Angeles County, California and raised in Arcadia, California. Nagasu's parents own Restaurant Kiyosuzu,[7] a Japanese sushi restaurant in Arcadia. They are immigrants from Japan,[8][9] but are not U.S. citizens.[10] Their daughter has dual citizenship of the United States and Japan and must choose one before her 22nd birthday because Japan does not allow dual citizenship after that date.[11][12] Nagasu speaks a mixture of Japanese and English at home with her parents.[13][14] Her mother, Ikuko, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the fall of 2009.[15] Mirai (未来) means "future" in Japanese,[10] while her last name is written as 長洲 in kanji.[16]

Nagasu graduated from Foothills Middle School in the spring of 2007 and entered Arcadia High School in the fall of 2007. In 2009, she began attending an online high school.[17] She graduated from the Capistrano Connections Academy in June 2011[18] and was accepted into the University of California, Irvine but said the commute was not feasible.[19]

Skating career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Nagasu began skating at age five.[14] She admires Kim Yu-Na, Michelle Kwan and Mao Asada.[20]

In the 2002–2003 season, she competed on the Juvenile level. She placed 5th at the Southwest Pacific Regional Championships.[21]

In the 2003–2004 season, she moved up to the Intermediate level. She placed 4th at the Southwest Pacific Regional Championships.[22] She competed at the 2004 U.S. Junior Championships, which is the national-level championships for Juvenile and Intermediate skaters. She placed 8th in her qualifying group[23] and did not advance to the short program.

In the 2004–2005 season, she remained on the Intermediate level. She won the Southwest Pacific Regional Championships.[24] At the 2005 U.S. Junior Championships, she placed 11th in her qualifying group[25] and did not advance to the short program.

For the 2005–2006 season, she advanced to the Novice level, which is the lowest level that competes at the U.S. Championships. Skaters qualify for Nationals by placing in the top four at regionals and then going on to place in the top four at Sectionals. At the Southwest Pacific Regional Championships, the first step to qualifying for Nationals, Nagasu placed 3rd in the short program, 5th in the free skate, and placed 5th overall.[26] She did not advance to Sectionals.

Nagasu was coached by Sandy Gollihugh for most of her early career. She changed her coach to Charlene Wong in October 2006.[27] During this period, Wong was her primary coach. Nagasu's secondary coaches included Sashi Kuchiki, Sondra Holmes, Bob Paul, and Jim Yorke, with whom she worked on a once a week basis to refine various details of her skating.[8]

2006–2007 season[edit]

In the 2006–2007 season, Nagasu moved up to the Junior level. She won the Southwest Pacific Regional Championships with a score of 151.77 points, which was 20.91 ahead of silver medalist Laney Diggs.[28] She advanced to the Pacific Coast Sectional Championships, which she won with a score of 135.04 points, 5.74 ahead of silver medalist Victoria Rackohn.[29] This win at Sectionals qualified her for the Nationals. The 2007 Championships were her first time competing at the event and was only her second national-level competition.[30]

At the U.S. Nationals, Nagasu won the Junior level short program with a score of 54.26 points, 0.39 ahead of second place finisher Caroline Zhang, who came to the event as the reigning Junior Grand Prix Final champion and the heavy favorite.[30][31] Nagasu won the free skate with a score of 101.20, 3.19 points ahead of Zhang.[32] Nagasu won the overall title with a combined score of 155.46.[33]

Nagasu went on to compete at Junior Worlds. As she did not have international skating experience, and, thus, had no ISU Personal Best on record, she skated in the first half of the ladies short program. After the short program, she was ranked second with 57.22 points, 1.95 points behind Caroline Zhang.[34] She placed second in the free skate with 106.62 points, 3.46 points behind Zhang.[35] She won the silver medal earning 163.84 points, finishing 5.41 points behind champion Zhang and 6.69 points ahead of bronze medalist Ashley Wagner.[36] Zhang, Nagasu, and Wagner constituted the first ever sweep by the United States of the World Junior ladies podium.[37]

2007–2008 season[edit]

For the 2007–2008 season, Nagasu moved up to the Senior level nationally, but remained Junior internationally. At the 2007–08 ISU Junior Grand Prix event in Lake Placid, New York, the first Junior Grand Prix competition of her career, she won both the short and free programs to win the gold medal with a 26.47-point lead over silver medalist Alexe Gilles.[38] She went on to her second event, the Junior Grand Prix event in Zagreb, Croatia. She won both the short and free programs to win the event with an 11.08-point lead over silver medalist Jenni Vähämaa.[39] These two wins qualified her for the Junior Grand Prix Final.

In the fall of 2007, after winning her two JGP events, she took part in the International Counter Match "made for television" event in Japan. There, Nagasu was part of Team USA and competed against Team Japan.[40]

At the 2007–2008 Junior Grand Prix Final in Gdansk, Poland, Nagasu won the short program with a score of 59.35, 4.72 points ahead of second-place finisher Yuki Nishino.[41] In the free skate, Nagasu placed second by 4.81 points behind Rachael Flatt.[42] Nagasu won the title overall by 2.43 points ahead of silver medalist Flatt and was 12.67 points ahead of bronze medalist Nishino.[43]

Skating as a senior at U.S. Nationals, Nagasu won the short program with a score of 70.23,[44] 5.08 points ahead of second place finisher Ashley Wagner. During the program, Nagasu landed a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination for the first time in competition.[45] In the free skate, Nagasu placed third with a score of 120.18, 5.64 points behind first place finisher Rachael Flatt and 3.23 points behind second place finisher Wagner. She won the title overall with a score of 190.41, 1.68 ahead of silver medalist Flatt.

By winning the U.S. Championships, Nagasu became the first skater to win the junior and senior National titles back to back in the ladies division since Joan Tozzer in 1937 and 1938.[46] She also became the second-youngest American senior ladies champion in history, after Tara Lipinski.[47]

As the U.S. National Champion, Nagasu would have qualified for the World Championships; however, Nagasu was not old enough by International Skating Union rules to compete at that competition, and so she was assigned to the Junior Worlds. Of the four top finishers at the 2008 U.S. Championships, only Ashley Wagner was old enough to compete at senior Worlds,[47] with the other medalists sent to Junior Worlds.

At 2008 Junior Worlds, Nagasu won the short program with a score of 65.07, 2.47 points ahead of Zhang.[48] She placed third in the free skate with a score of 97.82, 14.21 points behind Flatt and 11.42 points behind Zhang.[49] She won the bronze medal with a combined score of 162.89, 8.95 points behind silver medalist Zhang, and 9.30 behind Flatt, who took the gold.[50] The United States team swept World Juniors ladies podium for the second time. Nagasu had been involved in both.

During the off-season, she toured in Japan. She was a recipient of a Michael Weiss Foundation scholarship, which is for young American figure skaters.[8]

2008–2009 season[edit]

Nagasu performs an arabesque spiral during her short program City Lights at the 2008 NHK Trophy.

For the 2008–2009 season, Nagasu moved up to the senior level internationally. She had injured her ankle and had had a significant growth spurt. In her senior Grand Prix debut at the 2008 Skate America, she placed fourth in the short program with 56.42 points, and placed seventh in her free skate with 86.48 points. She finished fifth overall with for total score of 142.90. At the 2008 NHK Trophy, Nagasu placed eighth in the short program with 50.14 points and ninth in her free skate with 74.08 points, giving her a total of 124.22 points to place eighth overall in the competition.

At the U.S. Nationals in January, she placed sixth after the short program. In the free skate, she was credited with four triples, and two triple flips were downgraded by the technical panel.[51] She placed fifth in the long program and finished fifth overall with 159.99 points.[52]

Nagasu was selected to compete at the 2009 World Junior Championships but decided not to participate due to a foot injury. She worked as a television commentator in Japanese for Fuji TV during the 2009 World Championships, which were held in Los Angeles.[53]

In May 2009, Nagasu changed her coach to Frank Carroll.[54] She also worked with ballet coach, Galina Barinova.[55]

2009–2010 season[edit]

For the 2009–10 season, Nagasu has been assigned to the 2009 Cup of China and the 2009 Skate Canada International Grand Prix events. She won the short program at the 2009 Cup of China with 62.20 points, but placed sixth in the free skate earning 93.18 to finish fifth overall with 155.38 points. A few weeks later she competed in the 2009 Skate Canada, where she scored 56.34 points in the short program and 100.49 in the free skate to finish fourth with 156.83.

In January 2010, she competed at U.S. Nationals, where she placed first in the short program with a score 70.06 points.[56] She completed a triple lutz-double toe, a triple flip, a double axel and earned level fours on her spiral sequence and spins.[57] She placed third in the free skate with a score of 118.72 for a total of 188.78 points.[58] She won the silver medal behind Rachael Flatt.[59] Following the event, she was nominated to represent the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics and was also placed on the team to the World Championships along with teammate Rachael Flatt.[60][61]

During the 2010 Winter Olympics, she placed 6th in the short program behind Flatt, with a score of 63.76 points[62] She placed 5th in the free skate gathering 126.39 points and 4th overall with 190.15, earning new personal bests for the free skate score and for her combined total.

At Worlds, Nagasu led in the short program with a personal best score of 70.40 points, positioned ahead of Mao Asada by 2.32 points. In the free skate she came in eleventh place earning 105.08 points, finishing in seventh place overall with 175.48.

During the off-season, she toured in the show 2010 Stars on Ice.

2010–2011 season[edit]

Nagasu performs a spread eagle at the 2011 Four Continents.

A stress fracture kept Nagasu out of training for a month during the summer. She returned to practice in September 2010.[63][64] For the 2010-2011 ISU Grand Prix season, Nagasu participated in the 2010 Cup of China and in the 2010 Trophée Eric Bompard.[65][66] At the 2010 Cup of China she placed first in the short program with 58.76 points after completing a triple lutz-double toe loop, a triple flip and a double axel and receiving level fours on all her spins. She placed fifth in the free skate scoring 87.47 points. Overall, she finished fourth with 146.23. At the 2010 Trophée Eric Bompard she placed second in the short program earning 58.72 points. In the free skate, Nagasu had trouble on a layback spin.[20] She still earned enough points to win the free skate, scoring 109.07, and won the silver medal overall.[67] This was her first senior Grand Prix medal. If she had executed the spin correctly, she would have won the gold.[68]

At U.S. Nationals, Nagasu was in first place after the short program with a small lead.[69][70] In the long program, she received zero points for a botched flying sit spin and finished third overall to win the bronze medal.[71][72]

Nagasu was assigned to the 2011 Four Continents, where she won the bronze medal with an overall score of 189.46.[73] She was the first alternate to the 2011 World Championships but did not compete despite Rachael Flatt being injured.[74]

2011–2012 season[edit]

Nagasu began the 2011–12 season at the Nebelhorn Trophy, where she won her first senior international title. She is assigned to 2011 Skate Canada International and the 2011 Cup of China for the 2011–12 Grand Prix season.[75] She came in fifth place at the 2011 Skate Canada International with 151.72 points[76] and won the silver medal in the 2011 Cup of China, where she earned a total of 173.22 points. Nagasu finished 7th at the 2012 U.S. National Championships. At the time, she was coached several days a week by Frank Carroll in Cathedral City, California (near Palm Springs), and also worked with Rafael Arutyunyan in Lake Arrowhead, with Galina Barinova in Artesia, and on her own in Pasadena.[77][78]

In April 2012, Nagasu ended her collaboration with Carroll because of the distance to the training location.[78] Carroll said: "The two-hour drive each way was too much. She was exhausted by the time she got here."[78] Since then, Nagasu is coached by Wendy Olson and Amy Evidente at the Pickwick Ice rink in Burbank, California, which is a short drive from her home.[77][79]

2012–2013 season[edit]

In the 2012–13 season, Nagasu won the bronze medal at the 2012 Finlandia Trophy. At the 2012 Cup of China, she placed third in the short program after she under rotated her triple-triple combination.[80] In the free skate, she had several under rotated jumps and placed fourth in that segment,[81] finishing fourth overall.[82] Nagasu had the opportunity to compete at the 2012 NHK Trophy after Alissa Czisny withdrew.[83] She won a bronze medal at the event.

Nagasu had the flu before the U.S. Nationals. She placed third in the short program with 64.39 points.[84] In the free skate, she under-rotated a triple loop, a triple toe, two triple flips, and a double toe-loop to place eleventh in the segment with 109.36 points.[85] She finished seventh overall with 173.75 points.[85]

Nagasu was listed as the alternate to the 2013 ISU World Team Trophy.[86]

2013–2014 season[edit]

In 2013–14, Nagasu began her season at the 2013 Finlandia Trophy and finished fourth. She was eighth at her first Grand Prix event, the 2013 NHK Trophy. At the 2013 Rostelecom Cup, she placed fourth in the short program, third in the free skate, and won the bronze medal. Nagasu won the bronze medal at the 2014 U.S. Championships behind gold medalist Gracie Gold and silver medalist Polina Edmunds and ahead of Ashley Wagner. Although the United States was able to send a three-woman team to the ladies singles figure skating competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the U.S. Figure Skating awarded the third position on the team to Wagner, despite her fourth-place finish behind Nagasu, due to Wagner's stronger international competitive record. It was reported in the January 12, 2014, televised broadcast of the championship that Nagasu would file a protest of the association's decision. However, the New York Times later reported that, after inquiring about the appeal process, Nagasu accepted the decision of the U.S. Figure Skating, although she disagreed with it.[87] Nagasu was assigned to the Four Continents Championships, placing tenth.[88]

2014-2015 season[edit]

Nagasu was assigned to Skate America and Rostelecom Cup.

Skating technique and style[edit]

Nagasu is considered a strong spinner, and has received a straight +3.00 grade of execution for her layback spin.[89][90] She often performs the Biellmann spin with a variation in which her hands are on the boot of her skate instead of the blade.

Programs[edit]

Nagasu competes at the 2011 Four Continents.
Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
2014–2015
2013–2014
[91][92]
  • Music from James Bond
    by various artists
    choreo. by Cindy Stuart
2012–2013
[14][79][92]
2011–2012
[93][92]
  • Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia
    (from Ballet Suite No. 2)
  • Variations of Aegina and Bacchanalia
    (from Ballet Suite No. 1)
    by Aram Khachaturian
    choreo. by Lori Nichol
2010–2011
[94][92]
  • Fireflies
    by Owl City
2009–2010
[95][92]
2008–2009
[96][92]
2007–2008
[27][97]

2006–2007
[27]

Competitive highlights[edit]

Nagasu (center) in the 2008 U.S. Championships ladies' podium

2006–present[edit]

International[98]
Event 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15
Olympics 4th
Worlds 7th
Four Continents 3rd 10th
GP Bompard 2nd
GP Rostelecom 3rd TBD
GP Cup of China 5th 4th 2nd 4th
GP NHK Trophy 8th 3rd 8th
GP Skate Canada 4th 5th
GP Skate America 5th TBD
Finlandia 3rd 4th
Nebelhorn 1st
International: Junior[98]
World Juniors 2nd 3rd
JGP Final 1st
JGP Croatia 1st
JGP USA 1st
National[92]
U.S. Champ. 1st J. 1st 5th 2nd 3rd 7th 7th 3rd
Pacific Coast 1st J.
SW Pacific Reg. 1st J.
GP = Grand Prix; JGP = Junior Grand Prix; J. = Junior level; SW = Southwest

2002–2006[edit]

Regional[92]
Event 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06
SW Pacific Regionals 5th Jv. 4th I. 1st I. 5th N.
Levels: Jv. = Juvenile; I. = Intermediate; N. = Novice
SW = Southwest

Detailed results[edit]

Senior results[edit]

(Small medals for short and free programs awarded only at Worlds, Four Continents, and Junior Worlds. Pewter medals for fourth-place finishes awarded only at U.S. national and regional events.)

2013–2014 season
Date Event SP FS Total
20–26 January 2014 2014 Four Continents Championships 9
55.39
10
104.39
10
159.78
9–11 January 2014 2014 U.S. Championships 3
65.44
3
125.30
3
190.74
22–24 November 2013 2013 Rostelecom Cup 4
60.44
3
114.93
3
175.37
8–10 November 2013 2013 NHK Trophy 8
51.01
8
90.70
8
141.71
4–6 October 2013 2013 Finlandia Trophy 4
54.01
4
110.50
4
164.51
2012–2013 season
Date Event SP FS Total
19–27 January 2013 2013 U.S. Championships 3
64.39
11
109.36
7
173.75
22–25 November 2012 2012 NHK Trophy 2
61.18
3
115.50
3
176.68
2–4 November 2012 2012 Cup of China 3
59.76
4
103.70
4
163.46
5–7 October 2012 2012 Finlandia Trophy 3
52.75
3
110.34
3
163.09
2011–2012 season
Date Event SP FS Total
22–29 January 2012 2012 U.S. Championships 5
59.02
8
104.97
7
163.99
4–6 November 2011 2011 Grand Prix Cup of China 2
60.96
2
112.26
2
173.22
28–30 October 2011 2011 Grand Prix Skate Canada International 5
52.73
5
98.99
5
151.72
20–24 September 2011 2011 Nebelhorn Trophy 1
58.38
1
109.02
1
167.46
2010–2011 season
Date Event SP FS Total
15–20 February 2011 2011 Four Continents Championships 4
59.78
3
129.68
3
189.46
22–30 January 2011 2011 U.S. Championships 1
63.35
3
113.91
3
177.26
26–28 November 2010 2010 Grand Prix Trophée Eric Bompard 2
58.72
1
109.07
2
167.79
5–7 November 2010 2010 Grand Prix Cup of China 1
58.76
5
87.47
4
146.23
2009–2010 season
Date Event SP FS Total
22–28 March 2010 2010 World Championships 1
70.40
11
105.08
7
175.48
14–27 February 2010 2010 Winter Olympic Games 6
63.76
5
126.39
4
190.15
14–24 January 2010 2010 U.S. Championships 1
70.06
3
118.72
2
188.78
22–25 November 2009 2009 Grand Prix Skate Canada International 3
56.34
3
100.49
4
156.83
29 October – 1 November 2009 2009 Grand Prix Cup of China 1
62.20
6
93.18
5
155.38
2008–2009 season
Date Event SP FS Total
18–25 January 2009 2009 U.S. Championships 6
54.79
5
105.20
5
159.99
27–30 November 2008 2008 Grand Prix NHK Trophy 8
50.14
9
74.08
8
124.22
23–26 October 2008 2008 Grand Prix Skate America 4
56.42
7
86.48
5
142.90

Junior results[edit]

2007–2008 season
Date Event Level QR SP FS Total
25 February – 2 March 2008 2008 World Junior Championships Junior
1
65.07 (WJR)
3
97.82
3
162.89
20–27 January 2008 2008 U.S. Championships Senior
1
70.23
3
120.18
1
190.41
6–9 December 2007 2007 Junior Grand Prix Final Junior
1
59.35
2
102.74
1
162.09
26–29 September 2007 2007 Junior Grand Prix, Croatia Junior
1
52.12
1
91.40
1
143.52
30 August – 2 September 2007 2007 Junior Grand Prix, USA Junior
1
55.36
1
103.78
1
159.14
2006–2007 season
Date Event Level QR SP FS Total
26 February – 4 March 2007 2007 World Junior Championships Junior 2
57.22
2
106.62
2
163.84
21–28 January 2007 2007 U.S. Championships Junior 1
54.26
1
101.20
1
165.46
16–18 November 2006 2007 Pacific Coast Sectionals Junior 1
53.23
1
81.81
1
135.04
5–8 October 2006 2007 Southwest Pacific Regionals Junior 1
101.08
1
53.21
1
98.56
1
151.77
2005–2006 season
Date Event Level QR SP FS FP
6–9 October 2005 2006 Southwest Pacific Regionals Novice 2 3 5 5
6.5
  • QR = Qualifying Round, FP: Factored places
  • Personal bests highlighted in bold

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ISU World Standings for Single & Pair Skating and Ice Dance : Ladies". International Skating Union. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "ISU Judging System – Season Bests Total Scores 2011/2012 : Ladies". International Skating Union. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
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  5. ^ "ISU Judging System – Season Bests Total Scores 2008/2009 : Ladies". International Skating Union. 18 April 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Her middle name is listed as Aileen in various USFSA documents, including some of her early career results pages. See SWP Junior Ladies Results for an example.
  7. ^ Wang, Stacey (17 February 2010). "Arcadia ice skater makes it to Olympics". Pasadena Star-News. "When Olympian Mirai Nagasu of Arcadia showed promise on the ice, her mother Ikuko made sure her daughter developed her talent as a figure skater. That's why the Japanese restaurant owner worked late at her Arcadia business, Restaurant Kiyosuzu, and made sure her daughter was at practice before dawn." 
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