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Mirai Nagasu has never backed down from a challenge. She was one of the youngest competitors to win a national title in 2008 and remarkably has remained one of the top competitors in the world today. Mirai earned a spot to represent the U.S. in the 2018 Olympics at the age of 24, where she made history by becoming the first American woman to land a triple Axel in an Olympic Winter Games. She performed the difficult three-and-a-half revolution jump, helping Team USA win a bronze medal in the Olympic team event.
An only child, Marai was born to parents Kiyoto and Ikuko Nagasu and raised in Arcadia, California, where her parents own a sushi restaurant. As the daughter of Japanese immigrants, she holds dual citizenship in the United States and Japan. She began skating at the age of five, citing the fortuitous beginnings to her love of the ice. She quickly took the skating world by storm. She won the U.S. junior national title at the 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Washington. The following year, in St. Paul, Minnesota, she won the U.S. senior title -- an incredible feat for any skater. In 2010, with the Olympics on the line, Mirai came through like a star by placing second at the 2010 U.S. Championships. She stole the show, lighting up the rink with her energy, poise and infectious smile. She placed a very respectable 4th place finish at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
In the ensuing years, Mirai battled injuries and coaching changes, but her passion for skating never wavered. In 2014, she came so close to qualifying for the Olympics a second time. She placed third at the U.S. Championships in 2014 but was left off the Olympic Team in favor of Ashley Wagner. Some skaters might have quit after such a heartbreaking disappointment, but that setback did not deter Mirai. It only made her stronger.
In January 2018, Mirai was the buzz of the national championships, and she was praised by many for her dedication to the sport and for coming back after the sting of missing the Olympic Team in 2014. She also proved she is still one of the toughest competitors as she won the silver medal. She was so emotional after her free skate that she sobbed in the "Kiss and Cry." This time, they were tears of joy. Mirai had made it back to the U.S. Olympic Team.
Mirai graduated Capistrano Connections Academy in 2011. She is enrolled in the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and has been taking business classes. She has three dogs: Lexi, Lincoln & Liberty, and she is an athlete Ambassador for the charity Right to Play.