THe difference between Mirai 2010 and Mirai today is partly that she was an 'underdog' back then. She was 'the future' and 'up and coming'. There wasn't as much pressure to win. Now, she's always considered a potential favorite and people expect her to win. She's never skated well when she's been the favorite and front runner at a major event. When she was in 1st after SP at World's, she caved during her LP because she was thinking about winning, instead of just skating.
It's a stumbling block for many defending champions - i.e. Michelle lost some confidence in 1997 due to growth spurt and worrying about not finishing 1st - thus falling at Nationals and leaving door open for Tara L.
The pressure to succeed is definitely something that's harder on the expected winners. i.e Michelle nor Irina nor Kurt Browning have won Olympic Gold because of the pressure. They lost to Tara (expected to medal) and Sarah who both skated with joy and abandon because it wasn't theirs to lose - IMHO, it wasn't as much the technical details, but the lack of joy and freedom in their movements that lost the gold in 1998 and 2002.
Mirai definitely has had high expectations put on her shoulders and she's got to develop the mental toughness and confidence to use ignore that pressure and get out there and just do her best. As trite as Michelle seemed, she made that attitude work for her - you do the best you can out there and that's all you can really try to do.
I am of the opinion that Mirai's claim to fame is over. She missed her chance to excell the last couple years and needs to stop blaming others for her failures.
So it seems onlookers are describing Mirai's mom as an Asian momster, as has been said of AP McDonough's mom *is she even Asian, *I don't know, but stage/skating mother in the pejorative sense comes up. And it seems everyone knows about Charlene Wong's mother. So, the parents are pressuring for results and Mirai cannot deliver under pressure of frontrunner expectations? This seems to fit with what everyone sees. So, is one born with champion mentality? Can it be coerced into by parents who push and withhold praise unless results are obtained? It doesn't sound like Mirai's parents will be happy unless she competes like Yamaguchi or Kwan. These are rare people/ very rare skaters. No one wants to see Mirai miserable, but what is aggravating about these parents and mother especially is they want her to be a champion it seems and obviously saw the talent, but they are not encouraging her to do what many champions have done...move closer to coach, change coaches, do what you must to attain these high goals they set for her. maybe they are thinking that MK didn't have to leave her family, or kristi didn't move away, so it isn't necesary, but every situation is different. It seems mirai needs Frank a lot and needs to train with a skater with the very best work ethic. Actually tho, didn't kristi train for a while in Edmonton? Who was her coach there? And MK, Karen and Mom were living in a little tiny cottage while they trained with Frank at lake Arrowhead right? The Kwans made so many sacrifices and changes over the years. Of course it paid off big time for them. What can one earn if one owns an ice rink, I wonder?
Well, i love Mirai, she is adorable, and if she never has another great skate I will always remember what she did in the Olympics. She was splendid.
Last edited by skateluvr; 03-21-2012 at 10:29 PM.
I am certainly in the chorus of people frustrated with Mirai. It was frustrating watching her in the final group at Nationals. You could see her superior speed, skills, ease of the blade, etc. She clearly has that special something rarely seen. Yet she seemed to have zero fight. She may just turn out to be another wasted talent who will lose out to harder working skaters with more fire. She was obviously not well trained going into Nationals. Yes, her programs were dull and boring. But she also skated with no fight and was just uninspired. She didn't look like she wanted to win that badly. If she's unhappy skating, she should do something else. Move up or move on!
Well- re. the talk of her family- we don't know anything about them, right? That's really assuming/speculating a lot and IMHO it's somewhat reaching.
I don't find myself emotionally invested in Nagasu like some other posters here, so frankly I don't really care whether she continues to skate or not. But I will say that if she does continue, it won't help her case to continue phoning in performances. She strikes me as very emotional- I think she needs to learn to take control of that trait and make it work to her advantage out on the ice.
Last edited by R.D.; 03-22-2012 at 01:23 AM.
AP McDonough's mother is Asian. She was the wife of a US serviceman and adopted AP from Korea.
Yamaguchi moved to Edmonton with her long time coach, Christi Ness. Ness's husband was transferred there and Yamaguchi wanted to stay with Ness.
I wonder if Yama ever went back to Edmonton? Anyways what about Charlene Wong's mother - this is the Canadian skater - the Susan Lucci of Canada skating - always a bridesmaid???? LOL I hope we aren't saying Asian mothers are monsters? But in reference to dominating mothers it's one thing to want the best for your children but to take the joy of life or skating is another. There needs to be a fine balance. However, the financial sacrificies obvious willc reate issues; I believe Sara Hughes and Emily Hughes, Tara and all came from well to do families as did Sasha. that makes a huge difference. On the other hand patrick chan's dad who is the breadwinner is a Gov't lawyer who I believe makes $160,000 CDN it is public knowledge or published. Sounds like a lot but not when you have two apartments in Toronto (which easily could be 3/4of a million dollars and one in Colorado. Patrick's competing and training fees are $200,000 a year.
I'm going to say something a little racist-sounding here, although I don't mean anything bad by it.
IMO, Mirai is hindered by the fact that there are many, many other skaters who are very similar. At 4CC, there was one "Asian girl, no-bangs, bun, skating to slow "beautiful" elevator music" after another. Had Mirai been there, there would've been one more. There are a lot of that type of skater in the US Nationals, too. Christina Gao and a couple of the youngsters would be in that category as well.
The young Mirai stood out with her cute choreography. No, it wasn't sophisticated, but it wasn't that same old-same old. She will have to either do the hardest jumps or combos--which she doesn't seem able to do, just that same old lutz double toe loop that everyone does (and does she even do it properly?)--or she will have to get a different look, choreography, type of music, something! Right now, there's nothing particularly special or noticeable about her skating.
I say to her: do what you want. At this point, it's more important for her to regain her love of skating than worry that a judge will dock her because she didn't do classical music or wear a tasteful enough outfit. If she wants to be a cute Carmen and not a sultry Carmen again, let her. If she wants to skate to punk rock wearing chainmail, let her. It's like they are trying to force her into a Yu-Na mold, and she doesn't seem comfortable.
I would also give the same advice to Agnes, who mysteriously went from a brassy blond showgirl with big hair and a sparkly top to a subdued, bunned brunette. There must be a lot of pressure to conform to whatever "type" is considered in at the time.
Exactly. And if that is not possible, no matter how much pressure there may be from family/fans/USFS to continue, probably best to find something else that interests her.I say to her: do what you want. At this point, it's more important for her to regain her love of skating than worry that a judge will dock her because she didn't do classical music or wear a tasteful enough outfit.
You know, this "conform to the standard" stuff is really getting old. It's almost making me get bored with skating in general (apart from the US' ladies conundrum)...why not encourage different styles, different personalities? The NJS is already making most programs similar by requiring x number of elements, y rotations in spins, etc...no need to make it even more monotonous by having everyone skate to the same 5 songs/wearing same costumes & looks, etc. One big reason I don't even bother watching the lower-level skaters.
Last edited by R.D.; 03-22-2012 at 01:19 PM. Reason: fix quote box