Mirai's Choice: To cheer on the skater who took her spot on the U.S. Olympic team
In the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championship, Mirai Nagasu skated a superb program while fellow skater Ashley Wagner skated a lackluster program in which she fell down twice. Mirai won the bronze medal, but it is Ashley who placed fourth and will be competing in the Sochi Olympics for the U.S. team. What happened?
Mirai's program at 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championship:
At the end of Mirai Nagasu's freestyle program at the Nationals in Boston, the audience gave her a standing ovation, and even 1992 Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi was so impressed that she tweeted that Mirai Nagasu would go to the Olympics.
However, the United States Figure Skating (USFS) committee decided to choose Ashley Wagner for the U.S. team, and said the decision was based on her many wins at international competitions over the past few years. Mirai was not awarded a spot in the three-member team, which also included Gracie Gold and Polina Edmunds.
Born in Montebello, California, the petite 20-year old Mirai wanted to return to the Olympics. In 2008, she burst onto the scene as a 16-year old and finished fourth. Her performance was the best among the U.S. ladies skaters. The committee's decision in January this year left her crushed and confused.
A month later, as Team USA is about to compete in the Sochi Olympics, Mirai can only watch the games as a spectator like the rest of us. Although Mirai is probably still upset by the decision, she has chosen to show first-class sportswomanship by congratulating her team members with good wishes. She posted the following in a Facebook entry:
"I want to wish Gracie, Polina, Ashley and the rest of the US Team the best of luck at the 2014 Olympic Games," she said. "I will be watching and cheering them on."
Let's pay tribute to Mirai Nagasu for her excellent sportsmanship and for her artistry in figure skating. As her name Mirai means "Future," we hope she will continue to skate in her bright future.
Watch Mirai's beautiful exhibition program as she skated to "On Golden Pond" after the USFS committee's decision:
Mirai also posted in her Facebook:
"I will continue to work hard, to train and grow and improve as a skater and realize my dream of once again representing the United States at the Olympic Games. In the immediate, I will jump back into my training in the event that I should be needed in my role as alternate for the Olympics or World Championships."
Read more about Mirai Nagasu: