Mirai is a 2011 graduate of California Connections Academy and an internationally known competitive figure skater. While representing Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics, she made history by becoming the first American woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics. Her performance helped Team USA secure a bronze medal in the team skating competition.
Mirai began skating when she was five years old, on a rainy day in Southern California when her mother, Ikuko, decided to take her ice skating instead of heading to the links. Mirai reminisces, "That's when I knew I wanted to keep skating … bye-bye, golf!" She kept at it, compiling an impressive list of accomplishments as she honed her skill and artistry. In 2008, Mirai became the second youngest in history to win the U.S. senior ladies' figure skating title.
For Mirai, 2009 was an important year. Not only did she changed her coach to Frank Carroll, but she also transferred to California Connections Academy, which "allowed me to follow my extensive training schedule without the stress of missing so many school days." Mirai explained further, "The online learning system let me take ‘school’ with me all over the world, and I could choose when and where to do my schoolwork."
After representing the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics and placing fourth, she was disappointed to be excluded from the team in 2014. After this setback, Mirai even considered giving up skating, but ultimately decided to use it as motivation—and has bounced back as an even stronger competitor.
Mirai’s name means "future" in Japanese, and after her history-making triple axel — a jump with three and a half rotations, and the only one with a forward-facing takeoff — hers certainly looks bright! As the third woman to ever land the triple axel at the Olympics and the first American woman to do so, she’s sure to be remembered. Mirai acknowledge her accomplishment on Twitter, saying "Today was the best day ever…still on cloud nine."
I like Connections Academy because the online learning system lets me take ‘school’ with me all over the world, and I could choose when and where to do my schoolwork.
Way to go Mirai! We are so proud of you!
Competitive Records Highlights:
- 2017 Four Continents Championships, bronze
- 2016 Four Continents Championships, silver
- 2014 Four Continents Championships, 10th
- 2014 U.S. Championships—Bronze medal
- 2013 Rostelecom Cup Grand Prix in Moscow, Russia—Bronze medal
- 2012 NHK Trophy—Bronze medal
- 2012 Finlandia Trophy—Bronze medal
- 2011 Grand Prix Cup of China—Silver medal
- 2011 Four Continents Championships—Bronze medal
- 2010 World Championships—Gold medal
- 2010 Winter Olympic Games—Fourth place