NEW YORK — Mirai Nagasu is on an indefinite break from competitive figure skating. Any return would be an abbreviated one.
“I can definitely tell you that I won’t be around for another Olympics,” Nagasu said at a Manhattan event promoting new sponsor DSW on Wednesday. “After three Olympic cycles, I won’t last another Olympics, but I don’t know about competing [in non-Olympic events] right now. It’s definitely something I have to think deeply on, so I don’t have the answer you’re seeking, but I will always be part of the skating community.”
Nagasu, a two-time Olympian who in PyeongChang became the first U.S. woman to land a triple Axel at the Olympics, said she will sit out the fall Grand Prix series but could return later in the season. The International Skating Union said this week that Grand Prix assignments will be published Thursday.
The U.S. Championships are in January. The world championships are in March.
“Other people deserve the opportunity [on the Grand Prix series],” said Nagasu, who was 10th in PyeongChang and earned a team event bronze medal. “After 10 years [of senior competition], I think I deserve a break. I feel like a lot of other Olympians this year have felt the same.
“After a lifetime of skating, I feel like a little break won’t hurt me.”
Other PyeongChang medalists who either retired or said they won’t compete this fall include Adam Rippon, Javier Fernandez, Patrick Chan, Kaetlyn Osmond and ice dancers Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani.
Nagasu’s skates won’t collect dust. She plans to appear in non-competitive skating shows in Japan and Sun Valley, Idaho, this summer.
Nagasu, 25, is going a similar route as friend Rippon, who said earlier this month that he won’t compete this fall and probably won’t compete again.
Rippon is 28. Nagasu and Rippon are among the older elite figure skaters, but Olympic medalists have competed into their 30s.
If this is the end for Nagasu, she will go out with a U.S. title (at age 14 in 2008), a fourth-place finish at the Olympics (2010), topping the short program at a world championships (2010) and rebounding from missing the 2014 Olympic team (despite a third-place finish at those nationals) to finish second at nationals in January to get to PyeongChang.
She is the only U.S. female singles skater to make multiple Olympic teams since Sasha Cohen and Michelle Kwan at the end of the U.S.’ golden years in the event in 2006.
Nagasu said she’s a little nervous for a new venture — public speaking events at businesses.
“I’ve been on the skating scene for a long time but never really gotten to share my background story,” said Nagasu, a daughter of Japanese immigrants, who slept in the storage closet of her parents’ California restaurant when they worked at night until she was 14. “So, to tell people what a journey it’s been is something I’m really looking forward to but also a little bit afraid of. I have taken a public speaking course, but to actually put it to use is something that I haven’t done as much as I have skated.”
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