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Thread: Jennifer Kirk: Should we be worried about Mirai Nagasu?

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Jennifer Kirk: Should we be worried about Mirai Nagasu?

    http://trueslant.com/jenniferkirk/20...gasu/#more-629

    Jennifer sounds like a good older sister .

    “There are always moments when I think about leaving skating, but when I think about that I’m not very smart and I’m not very pretty and there’s nothing else that stands out about me besides my skating.” she said, though she certainly comes across as bright and funny and is unquestionably attractive.

    “So it’s like the love of my life. It’s like loving someone. You want to break up sometimes but if you get past those hardships everything will come together.”
    BTW, I didn't quite get how Mirai's self-esteem seems alarming. Isn't she just being Japanese here?

    If she had said her first statement in Japanese (i.e., "I'm not very smart and I'm not very pretty"), people would just take it as socially appropriate manners for a bright, charming girl like Mirai.

    She actually makes a positive comment about her skating ("stands out"). She then talks about love with a great insight (that's how she is smart). She expresses her faith in ultimate success with a resilience to overcome hardships ("if you get past those hardships everything will come together").

    I just read her comment as being mature enough to face these conflicting emotions. It seems that she sees her skating as something worth living for ("love of my life"), that she wants to shine through it ("stands out"), and that she is committed enough to go through hardships because she loves skating so much.
    Last edited by Bennett; 09-18-2009 at 09:57 AM.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    Mirai does strike me as a rather emotional girl...taking the ice in tears at nationals and then coming off practically crying with joy. There is nothing wrong with this, and I do admire her honesty. She has had a really rough year and I really hope that she gets a break of two this year. She seems to be a very hard worker and just an adorable girl I can't help but wish her the best with everything.

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    Tanguera feraina's Avatar
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    BTW, I didn't quite get how Mirai's self-esteem seems alarming. Isn't she just being Japanese here?
    Maybe, but she grew up here, and it can come across a little alarming to American ears.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feraina View Post
    Maybe, but she grew up here, and it can come across a little alarming to American ears.
    Yeah, but her parents run a Sushi restaurant and she does often convey very traditional Japanese values for her age. That's one of the reasons why she is so well-accepted over there. Her interviews would perhaps always sound perfect for middle- to old-aged Japanese people because she sounds such a polite, humble, hardworking, and gracious kid. In particular, most of her interviews in both languages come across as extremely humble except when she is talking about her goals. Here, for example, being humble about her current self (but she didn't say she thought herself as stupid or ugly or anything and she did say she "stands out" in skating), expresses devotion and commitment to the sport ("nothing but skating"), and emphasizing the importance of hardworking are model answers for Japanese athletes.
    Last edited by Bennett; 09-18-2009 at 06:31 PM.

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    Custom Title ks777's Avatar
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    I think Mirai's low self esteem has a lot to do with her parents. My parents never told me how goodlooking or how smart I was when I was growing up in Japan, instead they told me how stupid and ugly I was most of the time. It's normal over there. I really thought I was really really ugly growing up until I moved to the US. I am not saying Mirai's parents are just like mine but my parents never told me that they love me not even once.. but it's very normal there.
    The problem might be that Mirai is being raised very much like a Japanese kid but she isn't in Japan.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    I do not know details about her parents, but she said in an interview that her father serves the most expensive Sushi for his young daughter in his restaurant, so that she tries not to indulge herself . These interactions do not sound that her father treats Mirai to feel herself worthless or not loved.
    Besides, being humble and having low self-esteem are two different things. Humility is a strength for a figure skater who gets so much attention. Indeed, few 16-year-olds stand out as much as she does in any fields. Besides, people often do comment on her intelligence and charms. She may be just setting high goals.
    Last edited by Bennett; 09-18-2009 at 07:31 PM.

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    I don't know. I'm pretty sure lots of us went through the same phase when we were at Mirai's age. I pretty much spent my entire high school years getting over there's always someone prettier than me. A competitive athlete like Mirai is extremely exposed to the media and public, and she's bound to feel self-conscious even more so than a normal sixteen year old. I do concede that voicing her thoughts to the media has some cultural element to it.

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    I completely agree with Wrlmy-- whats being a teenager without some angst? Especially when you consider how much she's put into her skating...it definitely would make me emotional too. I think the difference between Mirai and the other young skaters is self-awareness....To me at least, she comes across as much more self aware than the others. It kind of reminds me of Kimmie when she was/is going through tough times. I think a part of the reason why I root for Rachael less is because she seems so well-balanced and grounded in things besides skating that I feel like she would feel perfectly happy/fulfilled to go to a great college and be on her way to becoming a scientist even if she didn't become a National or Olympic champion. Anyhow, Mirai's candor has already won over this ESPN columnist:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/figure...e_d&id=4472998
    They're really all such great girls and I definitely hope things turn out right!

  9. #9
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    I totally agree about her self-awareness. She has the great intelligence, vocabulary, and maturity to reflect on, analyze, and communicate what she has gone through. That means that she has her calm Self and has not been overwhelmed without a clue or anything. I like her sensitivity and strength.

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    I had forgotten Mirai was now with Frank Carroll. I hope that brings them both good luck. Nice article about her! The thing is that so many of those skaters are so petite (though I gather Mirai has grown) and look so much younger than their age that their poise can be extra surprising. Not that 16 or 17 is that elderly, but when someone looks maybe twelve, even sounding like a 16-year-old is unexpected.

    I'm not thrilled Mirai is doing Carmen--it's been wrung dry--but here's hoping it works its magic one more time for her. I shouldn't prejudge, anyway. Just today, I looked up the 1976 long program of John Curry. His music was from the ballet Don Quixote, which I had long given up on. Watch how Curry makes it gleam like a diamond. It's all in the interpretation!

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    I totally agree about her self-awareness. She has the great intelligence, vocabulary, and maturity to reflect on, analyze, and communicate what she has gone through. That means that she has her calm Self and has not been overwhelmed without a clue or anything. I like her sensitivity and strength.
    She is simply the Coolest new skater I have ever seen or heard of.
    地平線の空のライト

    ...other than that I have no substantial thought on why, can only

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    Tripping on the Podium Star85's Avatar
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    I wasn't aware that this kind of thing is normal with the Japanese. I was a bit concerned when I read that part of the article. She reminds me a lot of me when I was a teen. I still don't think I'm all that, but my self esteem is better compared to then. I am a bit concerned for Marai, because my low self esteem held me back, including in my career goals. I hope it's not holding her back. I'm sure she's not the only teen skater who feels like that - I give her credit for being the only one to come out, and say what she really feels. She's really the only current skater I can think of off the top of my head who doesn't give pollished, politically correct interviews.

    What really concerned me more than her low self esteem though, was her love of figure skating. From what she said, it makes me wonder if she really loves what she does 100%. Many people have a talent at something, and develope it, and do it for a long time - and they keep doing it because it's what they are good at, and it's something they like doing, but they aren't really sure that they love it. Those people can still continue, and be great, but that "love factor" can sometimes prevent them from reaching their full potential... Maybe I'm just overthinking things, but I hope Marai isn't one of those people.
    Last edited by Star85; 09-24-2009 at 05:53 PM.

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    I've been out of the loop since 2006, when Irina and Michelle decided to end their skating careers. I've been hearing a little about Mirai and i'm eargered to find out what she's all about.

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