Meet Mirai Nagasu, America’s hope for gold in figure skating at the 2010 Winter Olympics. See photos, video, and read a biography of Mirai Nagasu here.
Mirai Nagasu made news recently, as the 16-year-old from California made the switch from her coach of three years, Charlene Wong, to Frank Carroll, who has coached Michelle Kwan, Linda Fratianne and Christopher Bowman.
She will train with him at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California. Carroll also coaches U.S. and world champion Evan Lysacek.
“I’m very excited to be training with Evan,” Nagasu said. “Training at the same rink as the current world champion is a great motivation — exactly what I need moving into the Olympic year.”
Carroll is excited to be working with Nagasu and said:
“I think she is the best package America has, when she is well and in one piece,” Carroll said. “It will be interesting to see what I can do with her.
“She has never been able to be in a real training program before, because she was skating on a rink filled with little kids, and it was impossible for her to do full run-throughs of programs.”
As a biography, Mirai Nagasu was born in Montebello, California on April 16, 1993, so her age is 16. Her parents immigrated from Japan and own a sushi restaurant in Arcadia, California. The Japanese meaning for her name is “future”, which is fitting, since this beautiful youngster is destined to be the future of women’s figure skating. She currently attends Aracadia High School.
Nagasu began her career in figure skating at the tender age of five, where during the 2002-2003 season, she garnered a 5th place finish at the Southwest Pacific Regional Championships at the Juvenile level, and would compete at this level through the 2003-2004 season as well. She moved to the Intermediate level during the 2004-2005 season and won the Southwest Pacific Regional Championships. She competed at the 2005 U.S. Junior Championships, but unfortunately did not move on to the short program.
During the 2005-2006 season, she started at the Novice level, and the following season moved up to the Junior level. She was the Southwest Pacific Regional champion and moved on and won the Pacific Coast Sectional Championship. With that win, she qualified for the 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where she won the junior level short program and free skate, winning the overall title. She competed at the 2007 World Junior figure Skating Championship (although she had no prior international experience), and ended up winning the silver medal, with fellow Americans Caroline Zhang winning the gold and Ashley Wagner winning the bronze.
During her 2007-2008 season, she stayed at the Junior level internationally, but positioned herself at the Senior level in the U.S. She won the gold medal at the 2007-2008 ISU Junior Grand Prix event in Lake Placid, New York, the Junior Grand Prix event in Zagreb, Croatia and the 2007-2008 Junior Grand Prix event in Gdansk, Poland.
She won the title at the 2008 United States Figure Skating Championships (senior level), and with that win she became the first skater to win a Junior and Senior National title back to back since Joan Tozzer did in 1937 and 1938.
This past season we saw Nagasu advance as a senior on an international level, but an ankle injury and a growth spurt made it difficult for her to win any titles, much less make it to the Top 3 – she placed fifth at 2008 Skate America, eighth at the 2008 NHK Trophy and fifth at the 2009 United States figure Skating Championship.
See photos and video of Mirai Nagasu below.
Mirai Nagasu Video