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U.S. figure skate Mirai Nagasu cleans up … literally

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 12, 2018

Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs in the ladies single skating free skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (Julie Jacobson / Associated Press)
Mirai Nagasu of the United States performs in the ladies single skating free skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. (Julie Jacobson / Associated Press)
By Helene Elliott Los Angeles Times

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Mirai Nagasu, who soared into Olympic history when she landed a clean triple axel jump that was crucial to Team USA winning a bronze medal in the Olympic team figure skating event here on Monday, has used her skating skills to entertain people – and to clean the ice at hockey games.

Nagasu, a native of Arcadia, Calif., who trains in Colorado Springs, worked for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche as an Ice Girl during the 2015-16 hockey season. Her duties included representing the team at community and charity functions, and scraping snow off the ice during breaks in the action.

The Avalanche paid tribute to her on its website, and the story went viral. Nagasu saw it on Twitter and got a good laugh.

“Gotta pay for skating somehow,” she tweeted.

Nagasu became only the third American woman to land a clean triple axel, a jump that requires 3 1/2 rotations, and the first American woman to pull that off in the Olympics. Only two other women have landed a verified triple axel in Olympic competition. Midori Ito of Japan did it in 1992, and Mao Asada of Japan performed three during her performances at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Nagasu, who finished second at the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, will compete again, in the women’s singles event, Feb. 21 and Feb. 23.

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