Mirai Nagasu, who captured the U.S. figure skating title at age 14, was named one of America's most promising athletes by Forbes magazine. The article, published on May 2, 2008, features several young soccer, baseball and basketball phenoms.
Nagasu trains with coach Charlene Wong in Southern California. Nagasu won the 2007 U.S. junior championship and the following season, she captured the senior title, becoming the second-youngest woman to do so. Tara Lipinski won the 1997 title when she was a few months younger than Nagasu. She followed up that success with an Olympic gold medal in 1998. Nagasu hopes to follow Lipinski's footsteps as she prepares for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
"Winning junior nationals was really surprising, just like this year at nationals. Last year I came through regionals to sectionals to nationals. So to win in my first nationals [as a junior] was exciting," Nagaus told IFS in a March interview. "After my short program [this year] I was really surprised [to be in the lead]. I was happy I had skated my best. When the scores came up it was like a shock but it was a pleasant shock so I really enjoyed it."
Forbes magazine looked at various sports in an effort to track down the next LeBron James, Venus Williams and Mia Hamm. Nagasu was the only figure skater selected.