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Nagasu puts on a show

July 22, 2015
By CHRISTIE SAUSA - Correspondent , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Mirai Nagasu treated the Saturday Night Ice Show crowd to two elegant and entertaining performances last week at the Olympic Center.

The national and international star skated two programs - one to "Demons" by Sam Tsui and the other to "I've Put a Spell on You" - that showcased her powerful jumps and dazzling spins.

Nagasu had a chance to show off her jumping ability at a new event this past June in Colorado Springs, Colorado that took place during the Broadmoor Open competition. The Freezer Aerial Figure Skating Challenge required the elite skaters to complete several different difficult jumps in several "rounds," that were evaluated by celebrity and International Skating Union judges.

Article Photos

Mirai Nagasu performs during last week’s Saturday Night Ice Show at the Olympic Center.
Photo — Christie Sausa

There were three rounds, with international skaters competing in the qualifying round alongside Team USA skaters like Nagasu. Examples of the difficult jumps being completed included triple-triple combinations (two three-revolution jumps back to back) and triple axels. There was also a back-flip competition, where skaters proficient in on-ice backflips could square off against other daring skaters.

The purpose of the event was to renew interest in the sport of figure skating, in the spirit of the X Games by focusing on the technical side of the sport. It allowed skaters the opportunity to practice their jumps in a low-key competitive environment in preparation for elite competitions.

Nagasu enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the jump competition, although acknowledged that it was a tiring event.

"The event went on for three-and-a-half hours," Nagasu said. "Even though my jumps weren't perfect, I was still happy to come in second place.

I had a really good time at the jump event. I walked away with a little bit of money which will go into my college funding, so overall I was very happy with how I did."

Nagasu is also busy preparing for her competitive season. After competing at the Broadmoor Open, she is scheduled to compete at the Collegiate Figure Skating Championships, the NHK Trophy in Japan, and is also attempting to earn the free spot for another international competition, Skate America.

"I did really well in the short (program, at the Broadmoor Open) and I made a couple little mistakes so I want to try to get myself out there as much as possible, so I can show the judges that I'm willing to do whatever it takes," Nagasu said. "Hopefully they (will) send me to Senior B. There is an open spot for Skate America that the girls who only have one Grand Prix event are fighting for, so Collegiates is my next event and then hopefully I will have a Senior B (event) where I can show my improvement."

Other than competitions, Nagasu's plans include Champs Camp (a camp for Team USA figure skating athletes that helps them prepare for the competitive season), and tentatively, a performance at Harvard's An Evening with Champions show in the fall.

When she isn't skating, Nagasu will be in school at University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, where she is studying international business.

"I think it is a lot going in as a freshman declaring a major, so I figured a business major will logically be the best choice for me at the moment. Once I get into the college groove, I will probably see what I should really go into," Nagasu said. "Everything is so close in Colorado, so it makes going to school a possibility as well."

Prior to the Saturday Night Ice Show, Nagasu was last in Lake Placid in February skating in the Winter Ice Show.

"Last year I was here in the winter, so I was able to skate on the frozen lake," Nagasu said. "I love that Lake Placid is so separated from the rest of the world. It has the cute little shops and it's a way to get away from reality for a lot of people, a place to get back to nature."

The next Saturday Night Ice Show is Aug. 8, starring national and international competitor Ashley Cain. For more information on the Lake Placid Summer Figure Skating program, visit their website at



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