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Mirai Nagasu makes the team for figure skating worlds

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Mirai Nagasu will be going to the senior World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles after all.

No, she won’t be skating for Team USA.

She will be part of the broadcast team for Japan’s Fuji TV.

The 2008 national champion didn’t make the U.S. team after finishing fifth in the 2009 nationals. And she has been advised to rest what has become a chronic ankle problem that began a year ago, so Nagasu withdrew from the World Junior Championships, which opened Monday in Sofia, Bulgaria.

So Nagasu, a Japanese American from Arcadia, will spend her time at Staples Center doing interviews. She is to work from a position in the stands.

Not a bad gig for someone who doesn’t turn 16 until April.

And if Nagasu is as effusive in Japanese as she is in English, the TV audience should get quite an earful.

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It likely will be a huge audience, given the popularity of skating in Japan since Shizuka Arakawa won the 2006 Olympic gold medal and countrywomen Miki Ando and Mao Asada (both on the 2009 Japanese team) followed by becoming the 2007 and 2008 world champions. In 2007, when the world competition was in Tokyo, Fuji got a 38% share for the women’s final.

‘I haven’t been on the ice since U.S. Championships’ in late January, Nagasu said in the Feb. 12 announcement of her withdrawal from junior worlds. ‘I’m not going to step back on the ice until we are confident that my pain is gone.’'

--Philip Hersh


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