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Redemption – Mirai Nagasu Named to U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team

Mirai Nagasu
Photo by Darla Rudakova

It’s official this morning.

Mirai Nagasu is one big bad ass.

Four years after being denied a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team despite placing third at the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Nagasu was not going to be denied.

The U.S. Olympic Committee named her to the team this morning after her second place finish Friday night in San Jose at the 2018 Championship.

She’ll be joined by first place finisher Bradie Tennell and last year’s U.S. Women’s Figure Skating champ, Karen Chen.

The three team members spoke exclusively this morning on Today.

“I really took time to remodel myself because I didn’t want to feel that regret.  This has been about my journey , my goal to get here and  last night was my dream come true, ” said Nagasu.

Chen who is mentored by skating legend Kristi Yamaguchi says the two have exchanged huge hugs and admitted both were in tears. Both are from Fremont near San Francisco.

All three teammates said they are ready to soak in the culture in South Korea at Pyeongchang

Chen was the most outspoken, simply saying “I think we got a great shot. We’re all very strong and we got this.”

In 2014, Nagasu was passed over for Ashley Wagner who was the fourth place finisher. At the time, Wagner was chosen based on her overall skating record and greater experience in international competition.
 


 

Last night, Wagner, 26, was “furious” at the judging and results.

“I know when I go and I lay it down — and I absolutely left one jump on the table — but for me to put out two programs that I did at this competition as solid as I skated, to get those scores, I am furious,” reported the Mercury News. “And I think deservedly so. I am a performer, and that second mark [for program components] is just not there.

“I am absolutely OK with them being strict on my rotations,” she added. “That’s what I think U.S. Figure Skating should demand from their judges. But you know, it has to be across the board, and I don’t necessarily feel like it’s been that way at this event. So we’ll see how things pan out.” “I feel like I need to stick up for myself, and I think I delivered when I needed to. But I want to be on that Olympic team, and I’m really mad that I’m in this position again.”

Nagasu last night had a different take on the results.

“I’m usually not one to be at a loss for words, but I am super happy with how things have gone,” Nagasu said to Team USA.org. “With mistakes, I scored the highest I’ve scored at a U.S. championships and right now I am super proud of myself… I think I really, really put in my vote for the Olympic team.”

Chen herself had quite a journey. She followed her championship in 2017 with a dud of a season. She finished no better than seventh at the Grand Prix assignments last year. On top of that, she came to this year’s championships with a virus. Despite feeling the aches and pains that comes with being sick, she persevered and put in her best performances of the season.

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