U.S. Ladies

The three U.S. ladies that will compete in PyeongChang — Mirai Nagasu, Bradie Tennell and Karen Chen — held a press conference in the mountain village late Sunday afternoon. Source: OIS


On whether her bronze in the Team Event will put pressure on her individual performance:

“There is pressure at every competition, and at every competition I put myself out there. It is all part of the game and the package. We will see how it goes and you never know what is going to happen.”

On Nathan Chen’s free skate:

“Wow, he nailed it and showed everyone that he is going to come back stronger than ever. Vincent Zhou as well pulled up some places in the long program. A medal in the individual is soon to come. Nathan deserves a medal. It is hard to watch someone who is so talented not get that medal. I cannot wait to watch him in Beijing.”

On the motivation to continue her career:

“I am not a fade-away person. Most athletes are not that way. In the history of sport in general, people stick around. Look at  Shaun White and Lindsay Vonn — they just continue on, Olympic cycle after Olympic cycle, that is why they are famous. I think I am one of those athletes, and I stand to show that people should not give up — they should keep going.”

On doing the triple Axel more often:

“Maybe I will fall, maybe I will land it. Right now my mindset is, ‘I am going to nail it.’ At nationals, I was landing every single one in practice and then I over-rotated (in competition). I believe in myself and continue to visualize that jump. People would have probably told me, ‘You cannot do a triple Axel, you are too old.’ But here I am doing it.”

On her parents closing their restaurant to come to PyeongChang 2018:

“Both of my parents will be coming for the individual event. To put it into perspective, my dad usually never has time for my skating — which is OK — because they have to make a living. The sushi restaurant is how they make their living.

“I used to sleep there and basically live there. I have a great work ethic because I watched my parents work super hard. I am great at dishwashing. There was little chores I used to do. A lot of times I would ask my mum to pay me, and she paid me in quarters, which in hindsight is not much.

“For them to put their business on hold and come all the way to Korea — especially for my dad who feels responsible not only for my mum and himself, but there are other people who work there. He is always saying, ‘I have to feed the people’.”


On winning bronze in the team event:

“Coming here was such an achievement for me. This was the first season I was healthy on the senior circuit. I am super proud to have something to show and how hard I have worked.”

On her family coming to watch her compete:

“My mum has worked hard to support me and my brothers. She works nights as a nurse. Right now she has two or three jobs at different hospitals…I am not sure. In my first year as a senior we lived in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment for a year.”


On watching the men’s event:

“I was really emotional, they all put out such great performances and it was so inspiring to see them go out there.”

On not having competed yet:

“It was definitely tough but I was cheering for team USA the whole time. Thankfully, I was able to get away from the Village. I got a lot of great training and was able to focus on my skating. But, I definitely took the time to watch the men’s short program and the pairs, so it was all very exciting.”

On having Kristi Yamaguchi as her mentor:

“I remember the first time I met Kristi I was a nervous wreck. I just wanted her to sign my boot and it was a struggle just to work up the courage to do that.

“I am just thankful to say that our relationship has prospered and progressed. I was able to talk to her before the nationals. We just talked and she shared her experiences and all the fun time she had at the Olympics to really hype me up. I am forever grateful to Kristi.”

On attempting a triple Axel:

“What Mirai has done is absolutely amazing and so inspiring. I tried it years ago when I was a junior and I was able to land it — it was obviously very cheated but it was so much fun to try. Unfortunately I broke my foot not long after and had to take a break. I see a potential future where we all could have a triple Axel.”