Mirai Nagasu is hoping for a chance at redemption.
Karen Chen is trying to bounce back from a poor season.
Both are close to skating over the mountain top with Nagasu placing second and Karen Chen third in the women’s short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Wednesday night in San Jose.
Nagasu placed third at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 2014, but in a controversial move, the U.S. Olympic Committee chose not to put her on the Olympic team, passing her over for fourth place finisher Ashley Wagner based on her stronger international record.
Nagasu placed .7 points behind first place finisher Bradie Tennell. Nagasu just missed landing her triple jump, reported SF Gate. She stepped forward on it, but was pleased with her performance.
“I was so nervous and I fight against my nerves. I feel so good; it takes so much to go out there and to still be here, it takes a lot. I’m happy I’m still out there fighting.”
Nerves were also on the mind of Chen, according to the Mercury News.
“I’m not going to lie, I was extremely nervous,” she said after waiting through 21 other performances before skating last in Wednesday’s competition.
Chen is San Jose’s hometown girl and clearly an audience favorite despite having difficulties on the ice this season.
She stepped out of her triple toe loop at the beginning of her program, but recovered to have a good night.
“I’m glad I didn’t land on my butt,” said Chen. “But there were some little mistakes that I can fix for the long program.”
She made the Risky move of changing her free skate program three times this season before settling on what she used last season.
“I’m in better shape than I was last year at this time,” Chen said last week. “I do have nothing to lose. That’s my mindset and that’s when I skate best.”
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