Otsukare sama (good job), Mirai-san!

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Mirai Nagasu, middle, poses with Ruka Maeda, 10, left and Cassidy Shiori Idenoshita, 7, right, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo on March 9. (JUN NAGATA/Rafu Shimpo)

By RYOKO ONISHI

Rafu Staff Writer

More than 400 local people celebrated the success of the U.S. Olympics skating team at their home skate rink, Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo on Tuesday, March 9.  The team included the women’s fourth-place winner Mirai Nagasu, men’s champion Evan Lysacek and their coaches, Frank Carrol and Christa Fassi .

One of the participants, the hopeful future medalist, Ruka Maeda who practices in Burbank and South Pasadena was in attendance.

“I happened to meet Mirai-san at the pro shop a few years ago and we’ve been friends since then,” the 10-year-old Maeda told to the Rafu Shimpo in fluent Japanese. “Mirai-san is very kind and fun. I would like to be a skater like Mirai-san in the future.”

Starting Saturday, March 20, Mirai, who will turn 17 on April 16, will compete in the 2010 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Palavela, Turin, Italy.



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