January 28, 2008
Written by C.N.
As the number of Asian American (as opposed to Asian) players in big-time professional sports such as football, baseball, and basketball continues to lag, it turns out that Asian Americans are finding much more success in other sports. For example, in women’s professional golf, 10 out of the top 27 money-earners in 2007 on the LPGA Tour were Asian/Asian American (and that doesn’t even include Michelle Wie).
The second notable example is in women’s figure skating where, following up on the successes of previous Asian American stars such as Kristy Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan, CNN/Sports Illustrated reports that emerging Asian American skaters such as Mirai Nagasu, Bebe Liang, and Caroline Zhang are poised to become the sport’s next superstars:
Nagasu pulled off one of the biggest upsets ever at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Thursday night. In her very first senior nationals — heck, her very first competition as a senior — the teenager won the short program with a spectacular performance that showed amazing flexibility, strong jumps and a presence on the ice well beyond her years.
Her score of 70.23 would stack up against anyone in the world. She had a 12.65 lead over Meissner, and it will be almost impossible for the defending national champion to beat her in Saturday’s free skate.
About the only one with a real shot at catching Nagasu is Ashley Wagner, second with 65.15 points. Rachael Flatt was third with 62.91 points. Even if Nagasu wins, though, she can’t go to the world championships because she’s too young.
“It was just fun out there,” Nagasu said. “I’m not going to let any of the pressure from being in first bother me.”
The Associated Press later reports that as expected, on Saturday January 26, Mirai did win the U.S. Women’s Figure Skating Championship. Unfortunately, as also noted in the article, she is too young to compete in the World Championships, but Bebe Liang will be one of those to represent the U.S. in the World Championships.
Congratulations and best of luck to Mirai Nagasu — she looks to have a very bright future ahead of her. It’s nice to see that there are some Asian American athletes out there attaining success and notoriety out there.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Asian American Skaters Finding Success" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2008/01/asian-american-skaters-finding-success/> ().
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