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Q&A with Mirai Nagasu

2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu tells all: from her most interesting teammate to her go-to karaoke song

Mirai Nagasu finished fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics but missed out on the team in 2014. She has won two medals at the Four Continents Championships since, and is ready to make her second Olympic appearance in 2018.

What’s the most grueling workout you’ve ever done?

One time, Jason Brown convinced me to do the Incline in Colorado and I had just moved there so I wasn't used to the altitude. It's just a 1,000 steps that lead up to the top of a mountain and then you climb down it which is like two miles of windy mountain trail. Apolo Ohno has the record for how fast he can climb it, but anyways, I saw the mountain and told Jason that I could only go up halfway. He tricked me into climbing the whole thing (I know, I'm an idiot) and then surprised with the 2 mile hike going down. It was awful, and my muscles cried!

Have you ever been seriously hurt? How do you come back from it?

I fall a lot during training. Everyone has been injured, regardless of whether they're an athlete or not. I don't even remember how many times I've sprained my ankle. I've had stress fractures galore and torn my PCL. You just take a little time off if you have the time and if not you keep training until you can take the time off.

What’s your earliest memory of figure skating?

I used to skate around the rink with my mom and we used to race each other until I started getting way better. Then she hung up her skates and resorted to playing my music at the rink.

I just liked going to the rink every day into the freezing cold, I guess. Still like it.

What’s your earliest memory of the Olympics?

Definitely watched Michelle Kwan be amazing in Nagano. She was – and is – my role model.

What something intense about figure skating that people don’t really know?

I try to look really put together and graceful on the ice, but usually, I'm full of nerves and sometimes I think I'm going to throw up right before my program starts.


What’s a misconception about figure skating that you want to correct?

Everyone thinks that figure skating is all about the sparkle, but off the ice I consider myself pretty tom boyish. I have no problems touching bugs and picking up spiders up!

What are you most afraid of at a competition?

Forgetting how to tie my skates.

Who is your most interesting teammate? Why?

Max Aaron… his fashion sense.

What’s the best part of the Athletes’ Village at the Olympics?

McDonald's at your fingertips.

Are you superstitious? Do you have a lucky charm?

I try not to be, because that kind of thing can make you go crazy. And no, because what if I lose it? It'll be the end of the world. Why do that to yourself?

What’s your pre-competition routine?

Nap. Makeup. Hair. Food. Warmup. Compete.

What’s your routine after a competition? How do you unwind?

Eat a cheeseburger, potato chips, and ice cream. And sleep.

Do you collect anything? How did it start?

iPhones. I just keep accumulating them because I make upgrades every couple of years.

What do you like to watch on TV?

Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, and Orange is the New Black.

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

My go to karaoke song is Super Bass by Nicki Minaj

Figure Skating

Hear more from your favorite figure skaters in Q&As:

Adam Rippon | Alexa Scimeca Knierim | Chris Knierim | Evan Bates | Karen Chen | Madison Chock | Madison Hubbell | Maia and Alex Shibutani | Mirai Nagasu | Nathan Chen | Vincent Zhou