joe, she had TWO. Two great Carmen skates in a row under extreme pressure. Not to mention three great SP skates in a row, including one that put her first in the world. I'm not saying that she doesn't have problems or that she didn't crumble under pressure last year at worlds in the FS. But it's not that hard to figure out why many of us believe Mirai has huge potential and could challenge the best in the world. Maybe this year will be her year and maybe it won't but there's time before Sochi and she has loads going for her. More than any of the other U.S. ladies, in my opinion, including the even younger ones
as for practices it seems to vary with each skater but Rachael seems like the type who competes like she practices.