Olympian Mirai Nagasu Before Her Historic Triple Axel: ‘I’m the Role Model That Always Makes Mistakes’

All eyes on her. Before Mirai Nagasu’s history-making performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics, she opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about the kind of example she believes she sets for other athletes.

“I’m the type of person, for me, I feel like my stand in figure skating is that I’m the role model that always makes mistakes,” the 24-year-old from Montebello, California, told Us at the Park City, Utah, Olympics media summit. “Then I just like get up and keep going.”

She added: “I don’t tap out, I don’t quit. I just, like, get up and forget about it and then [move] on to the next thing.”

Mirai Nagasu pyeongchang 2018 winter olympics
Mirai Nagasu of USA competes in the Ladies Free Skating during the Figure Skating Team Event on day three of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 12, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

And it’s clear in her journey to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang that she does just that — keeps on going no matter what.

Despite placing third at the 2014 National Championships, fourth-place finisher Ashley Wagner was selected for Team USA instead of Nagasu. She opened up to USA Today earlier this month about that experience. “It was awful,” she said. “I was very close to quitting.”

Mirai Nagusu First U.S. Woman to Land Triple Axel at Olympics
Mirai Nagasu of the United States competes in the Figure Skating Team Event – Ladies’ Single Free Skating on day three of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 12, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

When she finally arrived at the 2018 Olympics on Team USA, Nagasu made history her first night out on the ice. She not only became the first U.S. woman — and third overall — to land a triple axel during an Olympic competition on Monday, February 12, but also helped lead the U.S. team to the Olympic bronze with her overall score of 137.53.

“It’s historical and something no one can take away from me,” Nagasu told reporters. “I wanted to make American proud.”

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