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Thread: Does Mirai need a change of coach ?

  1. #136
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    If Mirai skates for Japan, she will probably have a career like Daisuke Murakami, who skated for the US in the JGP then switched to skating for Japan. Daisuke was host-picked for NHK in 2009 and received SA assignments in 2010 and 2011, but no GPs since then. He gets a few Senior B assignments every year. He recently placed 10th at the 2014 Championships.

    Assignments are based on placements at Nationals. Mirai would have to place top 5 at Nationals to be assured of getting GP assignments. And she would have to sit out a full year from competition before skating for Japan, not a good thing at her age.

  2. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    Assignments are based on placements at Nationals. Mirai would have to place top 5 at Nationals to be assured of getting GP assignments. And she would have to sit out a full year from competition before skating for Japan, not a good thing at her age.
    This is an interesting point. I totally forgot about having to sit out a year. That could work in her favor if she used that year to improve her technique to fix UR's. Or a year away from competition could make it more difficult to deal with the pressure when she returns. And I'm pretty sure she would face more pressure at Japanese nationals than US nationals. In general, I don't like when skaters choose to represent different countries, unless they had dual citizenship to begin with and they have never represented another country internationally.

    I really hope Mirai figures out what she wants. If she wants to keep skating, I hope she is able to find sponsors and a support system because I honestly think she has been limited by resources and her (i'm totally guessing here) limited support network with her family focusing on her mother's health issues. I miss seeing the Mirai we saw at the Olympics, who looked like there was nothing else in the world she'd rather be doing than skating. If she has lost her passion for skating, I wish her the best of luck in whatever she chooses to pursue.

  3. #138
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    If Mirai skates for Japan, she will probably have a career like Daisuke Murakami, who skated for the US in the JGP then switched to skating for Japan. Daisuke was host-picked for NHK in 2009 and received SA assignments in 2010 and 2011, but no GPs since then. He gets a few Senior B assignments every year. He recently placed 10th at the 2014 Championships.

    Assignments are based on placements at Nationals. Mirai would have to place top 5 at Nationals to be assured of getting GP assignments. And she would have to sit out a full year from competition before skating for Japan, not a good thing at her age.
    Also, USFS would have to agree to release her which they may not. There were issues with dancers changing countries with one country not releasing...

  4. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    If Mirai skates for Japan, she will probably have a career like Daisuke Murakami, who skated for the US in the JGP then switched to skating for Japan. Daisuke was host-picked for NHK in 2009 and received SA assignments in 2010 and 2011, but no GPs since then. He gets a few Senior B assignments every year. He recently placed 10th at the 2014 Championships.

    Assignments are based on placements at Nationals. Mirai would have to place top 5 at Nationals to be assured of getting GP assignments. And she would have to sit out a full year from competition before skating for Japan, not a good thing at her age.
    "Not a good thing at her age"-----she's only 20!!! Akiko is 28, Mao 23 and the other olympic team member 19

  5. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icey View Post
    My scenario: Mirai's parents, who are not us citizens, will return to Japan as will Mirai, who has until she is 22 to choose Japanese citizenship. She will choose Japanese citizenship and skate for that country. That was the real reason for this recent short visit and stay in Japan (to test the waters).
    That is an interesting scenario, and may well be the case. But I think she'd be better off retaining her US citizenship and skating for us because of the relatively weak field (save for Ashley and Gracie) right now. But staying and training in Japan may be the best thing for her. She's old enough to live on her own if her parents don't go, and may find that a total change of scenery does her some good. Look what it did for Ashley! I realize that Japan is a more drastic move, but it sure proves her dedication to making improvements.

  6. #141
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    I mentioned that earlier (the whole "test the Japanese waters" thing). Sitting out a year might not be that bad for Mirai. She'd have a full year to focus on training and the good thing about moving to Japan is there are a lot more sponsors who back figure skating in that country than there are available here in the states for Mirai right now.

    Next year Japanese nationals will not be the dogfight it was this year. As of now all three medalists are retiring (Mao, Akiko and Kanako). That leaves Satoko Miyahara (the heir apparent) and Haruka Imai (the most complete) as the top competitors in Japan. Satoko is still very tiny and needs time to develop. She's the favorite to take that #1 spot but that's assuming her already tiny and iffy jumps survive her next growth spurt round...and I'm not too sure they will. Haruka is a lovely skater and is definitely the most complete skater out of all of the others left. However, she's been on the scene for a long time now and hasn't really made a mark.

    Japan will need a 3rd lady. Mirai is established already and can score well when she skates well. If you add in the solid jumps (and more personality) plus the backing of the JSF, Mirai could be the #1 in Japan. I don't understand why the USFSA would be reluctant to release her...unless they were scared she'd move to Japan, become awesome and then kick the US skaters' butts. All of their attention is firmly on Ashley, Gracie and Agnes...Mirai is barely an afterthought to them. With Polina Edmunds, Karen Chen and several others coming up, the USFSA won't hold the door open for Mirai...hell, they've already shut it.

    I'd like to see Mirai compete for Japan. I think the support and appreciation from that country would do wonders for her confidence and we might see more of the skater she used to be. Mirai is still young and, if skating for Japan renews her love for the sport, I say she should go for it.

  7. #142
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Deciding to give up one citizenship over another is NOT a light matter. Nor is moving to a country/competing for a country full-time. Mirai grew up in the U.S. and is just as All-American as Gracie Gold or Ashley Wagner. Yes, she has embraced her Japanese heritage, but that doesn't necessary mean it's right for her to give up her U.S. citizenship so she can skate for another country for just a few years.

    I do not think that skating for Japan will necessary solve all of Mirai's problems (or perceived problems, anyway). Yes, skating is extremely popular in Japan, but there's another side to that coin. If the USFSA pressure cooker was too much for her, how is she going to handle the even bigger pressure cooker of Japan? This is the country where Midori Ito had to apologize for getting a OSM. And where its skaters are in the press all the time and, at worse, the subject of tabloid matter (see Miki Ando). If Mirai is just as inconsistent in Japan as she's been in the past here, she will get an even bigger beating there.

    Definitely more power to Mirai if she feels like skating for Japan is the right move for her, but I'm find it presumptuous that some think that doing so would be a guaranteed slam dunk for her skating career.


    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    Next year Japanese nationals will not be the dogfight it was this year. As of now all three medalists are retiring (Mao, Akiko and Kanako). That leaves Satoko Miyahara (the heir apparent) and Haruka Imai (the most complete) as the top competitors in Japan. Satoko is still very tiny and needs time to develop. She's the favorite to take that #1 spot but that's assuming her already tiny and iffy jumps survive her next growth spurt round...and I'm not too sure they will. Haruka is a lovely skater and is definitely the most complete skater out of all of the others left. However, she's been on the scene for a long time now and hasn't really made a mark.

    Japan will need a 3rd lady. Mirai is established already and can score well when she skates well. If you add in the solid jumps (and more personality) plus the backing of the JSF, Mirai could be the #1 in Japan. I don't understand why the USFSA would be reluctant to release her...unless they were scared she'd move to Japan, become awesome and then kick the US skaters' butts. All of their attention is firmly on Ashley, Gracie and Agnes...Mirai is barely an afterthought to them. With Polina Edmunds, Karen Chen and several others coming up, the USFSA won't hold the door open for Mirai...hell, they've already shut it.
    Satoko and Haruka are the most well-known because they are in seniors now, but that does not mean Japan lack up-and-coming skaters. The reason we're not aware of them is because the top three senior spots has been locked by the same four skaters (Miki, Akiko, Kanako and Mao) for the entire quad. Rika Hongo (who finished 6th behind the top skaters) has done quite well on the JGP (finishing 3rd and 4th in her events this year and 2nd and 5th the season before that). She also has several combos under belt: 3T-3T, 2A-3T, 2A-1L-3S. In addition, nearly everyone in the top 12 were able able to execute a 3-3 or 2A-3T combo during one or both segments of the competition.

    Beyond that, Marin Honda is a promising skater who can do 3Z-3T, though we'll need to see if her technique and such can hold up as she gets older.

    So while I think the competition field will be much lighter, I don't quite think it as depleted as it seems.

  8. #143
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    Kwanatic, you make some really good points. At her young age of 20, a year off to train and focus on life in a new country could be a good thing. It would be a tough decision for her. But I hope she chooses what she feels is best and we see her out on the ice skating with joy soon!

  9. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    Also, USFS would have to agree to release her which they may not. There were issues with dancers changing countries with one country not releasing...
    A skater does not need a release to skate for a country they are a citizen of. The ice dancers you mentioned had difficulty getting releases because they were not citizens of the country they wanted to switch to. Pair skaters/ dancers have to sit out one year to switch countries; single skaters must wait two years before switching, per ISU rules.

  10. #145
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    Deciding to give up one citizenship over another is NOT a light matter. Nor is moving to a country/competing for a country full-time. Mirai grew up in the U.S. and is just as All-American as Gracie Gold or Ashley Wagner. Yes, she has embraced her Japanese heritage, but that doesn't necessary mean it's right for her to give up her U.S. citizenship so she can skate for another country for just a few years.

    I do not think that skating for Japan will necessary solve all of Mirai's problems (or perceived problems, anyway). Yes, skating is extremely popular in Japan, but there's another side to that coin. If the USFSA pressure cooker was too much for her, how is she going to handle the even bigger pressure cooker of Japan? This is the country where Midori Ito had to apologize for getting a OSM. And where its skaters are in the press all the time and, at worse, the subject of tabloid matter (see Miki Ando). If Mirai is just as inconsistent in Japan as she's been in the past here, she will get an even bigger beating there.

    Definitely more power to Mirai if she feels like skating for Japan is the right move for her, but I'm find it presumptuous that some think that doing so would be a guaranteed slam dunk for her skating career.
    Very true. I don't think it'd be an on-a-whim decision. It'd be something she'd have to truly think about and discuss with her family...but it is an option. Sometimes change is good for people.

    Japan's landscape has changed quite a bit since the times of Midori Ito. Midori was the trailblazer for Japan which means she had more pressure than anyone b/c she was the only one. 20 some odd years later, Japan is one of the top figure skating countries in the world. The road is always easier to navigate if someone has been down it before.

    That's not to say if Mirai decided to skate for Japan that all of her issues/troubles would evaporate. Mirai already has some popularity in Japan but I'm sure she sees the media circus that surrounds Mao and the other top ladies, so she'd have to decide if that's something she'd want to handle. There would be more public scrutiny placed on her as well...again, something to weigh in a Pros and Cons list as well as moving across the world, leaving her friends and family in the US, etc.

    The upside to doing it is the resources that would be at her disposal. Unlike the US, Japan is much more invested in their skaters which means Mirai would probably be afforded better opportunities there than she receives here in the US. In addition to that, figure skating is commercially lucrative in Japan so sponsorship alone is an incentive. More sponsorship equals more money and more money equals more/better training and instruction and security once she decides to retire competitively. She could go into show skating, commentating, etc. There are a lot more opportunities for a figure skating in Japan versus the US.

    Skating for Japan probably isn't the magical band-aid Mirai needs for her skating career but it is an option that comes with both good things as well as certain unwanted things. It's all based on what she wants to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    Satoko and Haruka are the most well-known because they are in seniors now, but that does not mean Japan lack up-and-coming skaters. The reason we're not aware of them is because the top three senior spots has been locked by the same four skaters (Miki, Akiko, Kanako and Mao) for the entire quad. Rika Hongo (who finished 6th behind the top skaters) has done quite well on the JGP (finishing 3rd and 4th in her events this year and 2nd and 5th the season before that). She also has several combos under belt: 3T-3T, 2A-3T, 2A-1L-3S. In addition, nearly everyone in the top 12 were able able to execute a 3-3 combo.
    Unlike in Russia, where every single season there is at least one junior skater who is making waves and winning, Japan doesn't have any major prospects ready to break onto the senior level right now. More importantly, with Mao, Akiko and Kanako gone, Japan will be without a star. Satoko and Haruka will be the top ladies but neither has star quality.

    Rika Hongo can jump but that's all she can do right now. She reminds me a lot of Gracie Gold last year: jumps and speed but is quite boring overall. When her jumps go south, she has nothing to fall back on. Rika is a decent prospect but she needs a lot of work. More importantly, she lacks that star quality.

    Riona Kato and Miyabi Oba have potential as well but none of them stand out from the pack. No one is that star Japan will be looking for next season.

    As of right now, Marin Honda is the only up-and-coming star I see for Japan. She has that "it" factor in spades, but she's only 12 years old which means she has several years before she'll make it to the senior level. That's not to say another skater won't emerge next year or that Mirai could be that star Japan needs, but the point is there will be a vacancy at the end of the season.

  11. #146
    In search of a summer sport to love <3 desertskates's Avatar
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    This strays a bit from the topic at hand, but along with Mirai's eligibility to choose Japanese citizenship, Agnes is also able to claim citizenship in Poland. That could at least allow her to compete at Europeans and maybe make it to Worlds at some point.

  12. #147
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    2 years is too long for Mirai to be away from skating at this point. I'd like to see her keep US citizenship but train in Japan. I think it might help her focus and pick up a Japanese sponsor

  13. #148
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    I agree with Ivy I think training in Japan and picking up a sponsor at Japan will help Mirai out a lot.

  14. #149
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivy View Post
    2 years is too long for Mirai to be away from skating at this point. I'd like to see her keep US citizenship but train in Japan. I think it might help her focus and pick up a Japanese sponsor
    Meryl and Charlie have a Japanese sponsor! Airweave, a Japanese mattress company.

    https://twitter.com/HaileyIMG/status...768896/photo/1

    So certainly Mirai can get a sponsor as well.

  15. #150
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    It would be tough for Mirai to lose the prime years of 20-22 due to ISU rules re country jumping. Those are the years when a skater should be nearing her peak competitively.

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