Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
Watching Mirai as she got ready to skate her LP she looked very intense and the last thing Carroll said to her was "smile."

Smiles don't win you medals - but they don't hurt either.

The quote below from the NY Times is worth mentioning:

"She has a freshness about her skating, a joy,” Brian Orser, who coaches the gold medalist Kim Yu-na of South Korea, said of Nagasu. “I know the style of Frank Carroll, the way he teaches — beautiful line right through to her smile. It’s real and it’s refreshing, and I like that.”


I thought Mirai's LP to "Carmen" was charming, among the very best programs we saw in Vancouver. I thought it was age appropriate, energetic and can't imagine seeing Mirai skate without her captivating smile.

Aside from Yuna - who appears to be in a class of her own - my favorite skaters this season were Mirai and Akiko. There is a joy to their skating that really seems to enhance their programs and sets them apart from so many others.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/28/sp...s/28skate.html
Smiling is a way to relieve tension - it relaxes several facial muscles. Also, taking deep breaths and slow exhales relieves tension through out the body. When you're tight, your muscles will restrict movement and flow. I've noticed that many skaters will look tense as the take their initial pose. If he/she doesn't take a moment for a deep breath before starting, you see them take that tension into their routine.

Anyway. point is that it wasn't about being 'pretty', but a relaxation method.