PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) _ When Mirai Nagasu became the first U.S. woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics during the team competition last week, her parents were in Arcadia, California, preparing and serving food at their sushi restaurant.
They won't miss it if Nagasu repeats the feat in the individual competition this week.
Kiyoto and Ikuko Nagasu have made the rare decision to close their restaurant, Kiyosuzu, so they can be in South Korea for the women’s competition. They’re expected to land in South Korea on Tuesday ahead of the women’s short program the next morning.
How rare is it for the Nagasus to close Kiyosuzu for Mirai’s skating?
”My dad usually never has time for my skating,” Mirai said. “Which is OK, because they have to make a living somehow, and the sushi restaurant is how they make their business. “
Mirai says she “used to basically live” at the restaurant. Her mom would pay her in quarters for doing some chores there as a child, and Mirai bragged Sunday about her abilities washing dishes from her time there.
Mirai says her dad’s reluctance to close the restaurant isn’t about greed, but concern for employees who can’t get paid if Kiyosuzu isn’t open.
”He’s always saying that 'I don’t have time for you. I have to feed the people,’” Mirai said.
”A lot of things go on hold for the Olympics," she added, "so I’m glad my parents will be able to experience this with me.”
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