Mirai Nagasu Is Making the Most of Her Olympics Disappointment

25 February, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Gary Shelton
  • Mirai Nagasu is a lesson in perseverance at Olympics

Watching the free skate program was unnecessary to figure out how the women's individual figure skating competition ended for the United States.

Mirai Nagasu is the new "It girl" of figure skating.

"I hope I'll be there with him", she said.

That's the kind of rhetoric expected of an overfed and overpaid newspaper columnist, not an Olympic champion.

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This might be unpleasant to read, but many others in the field encountered the same obstacles she did. The final results marked the worst finish ever for the US women figure skaters in the individual event. Mirai's jump helped propel Team USA to a bronze medal in skating. She calls Medvedeva her all-time favorite skater whom she studies on YouTube videos.

"I was listening to Queen, 'Bohemian Rhapsody, ' " says Tennell, 20, who revealed during the team event that her nine-hour playlist is all 80s. And that was before her freakish remarks afterward in the mixed zone which included thinly veiled shots at USA team-mate Nathan Chen and the revelations her focus during the free skate was "auditioning for Dancing With the Stars". They also note the career-shortening effect of the emphasis on athleticism over artistry: gone are the days of any top skater winning nine straight national championships as Michelle Kwan did in the late 1990s and early 2000s. That was evident in their showing in South Korea, where Bradie Tennell finished ninth with teammates Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen right behind her. The 1964 Games was the last time an American woman didn't finish at least fourth, instead coming in sixth place. When people questioned Weiss' use of the word immigrant, she said she was referencing Hamilton and "thought poetic license was kosher". She scored 64.01 points and is 11th. "That's not ideal. I'm working on it".

But a lot of the discussion around Nagasu post-triple axel did not concern the skater's ability or anything she'd said.

But after landing her opening triple lutz, Tennell was unable to hold onto her triple toe loop, falling on the second half of a combination that had become so familiar. "But I sold my program the best I could, got the most points I could and I'm proud of that".

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But does one disappointing day mean US skating is out of it?

"I can't speak for everybody, but for me, I'm sticking around and I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can to bring us up in the rankings", she said.

I also regret criticizing Rika Kihira, because her impressive jump happened when she was only 14 years old during the 2016 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating. Prior to Nagasu's success, Tonya Harding had been the only American woman to attempt and complete a triple axel during an global competition. In spite of this disappointment, Nagasu continued to train and was rewarded with a spot on the 2018 US figure skating squad. The last American woman to win an individual medal was Sasha Cohen, in 2006. "I have trouble imagining how someone can stay in that shape for a very long time", she said. "I've got no regrets". She met with her mother, so she could sew a hairpiece into her bun. It is highly unlikely she attempts to complete another Olympic cycle and was already the oldest member of the American women's contingent here. She said she missed her dogs. They won the team sprint free final, the first Olympic cross-country medal ever for US women. She became the first woman in history to land a triple axel in Olympic competition during the event.

Medvedeva had set a world mark in the short program, and a few minutes later her countrywoman beat it. Olympic gold medalist and figure skating commentator Tara Lipinski said Chen would be a "contender" if she got her jumps "under control". Canada, Russia, Japan and China have more than one skater competing. "... Maybe it won't be enough for another person, or maybe someone else could have done a better job". Vonn pointed to the sky after her final run and was asked about her grandfather during her interview with NBC.

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Like their rivals, the Canadians and Japanese tweaked the new scoring system put in place by the International Skating Union several years ago to challenge their young skaters.



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