Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nagasu's Turn to "Shuffle"... From Wong to Carroll

If you visit this week—as I am prone to do every few days, even though it seems a pale shadow of information these days compared to IceNetwork—you’ll see that the latest participant in the post-season skater/coach shuffle is none other than former US National Champion Mirai Nagasu.

In this particular version of the shuffle Nagasu is leaving Charlene Wong, her coach since October 2006, for Frank Carroll. Who, as you might already know, has coached a backlist of National, World and Olympic Champions that runs as long as Evan Lysacek’s considerable wingspan (Lysacek himself is on Carroll’s current roster).

From the

“At the end of the season I felt like I really needed a change,” Nagasu said. “After a lot of thought and deliberation, we decided that the right choice was to begin training with Mr. Carroll.”

I’ve got to admit, I worry about moves like these. While I fully understand the desire to change something after a sub-par season, getting on the coaching-go-round right away seems like a risky choice—particularly in an Olympic year. And I can’t help but wonder if she’d have chosen Carroll in a parallel universe where, say, his student Lysacek had NOT just won Worlds.

I’m not one to begrudge an opportunity, and Nagusu freely admits that training alongside a guy like Lysacek in an Olympic year is “great motivation”... I do hope it’s a win-win situation, as they say. But for a girl who is all of 16, has already gone through the rise-and-plummet cycle in Senior Ladies, and has reportedly endured a chronic ankle injury and a four-inch growth spurt to boot in the past year (many would attribute her troubles to this last fact alone)… I can’t help but wonder if drastic change like this is really the solution.

Anyway—you can read a slightly different article about Nagasu’s decision over at And if you go there, you might see this little blurb about some guy named Plushenko “officially” announcing his plan to compete in Vancouver much as some lady named Sasha Cohen just announced her plan to do the same. Yeah, I heard about it…I just preferred to post the USFS article so you don’t have to see the big Plushy proclamation. (But if you want to, now you know where to find it…)

As for Nagasu, here’s her FS at last year’s Nationals as the
Clip of the Day.

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