Ok, I'm not sure how I feel about this article from the LA Times contending that reigning national champion Mirai Nagasu's problems this season are of her own making. Now, I'm sure that it is probably true that Nagasu should have rested her ankle instead of competing and performing so much this season, since it's apparently still bothering her. But I think this is piling it on by coach Charlene Wong:
Her right foot was heavily taped Thursday and she said it didn't affect her. Wong knew otherwise, saying that the injury had been bothering Nagasu for a while and that Nagasu had turned a deaf ear to those who advised her to stay off the ice.
"Coaches, people have done that, but at the end of the day that's a decision for her and her family," Wong said. "And if they choose to allow her to skate, if that's the decision they make, I'm the coach and I can't intervene with the family on health issues and family issues. I can only give them opinion and allow them access or encourage them to have access to the people that are experts in that field."
The doctors told her to rest after her second Grand Prix event but she didn't listen. She continued to train and now must accept that it's almost impossible for her to finish in the top two and qualify for the world championships.
She blamed her brushes with the end boards on the fact that she's accustomed to training on Olympic-size rinks, which are wider than the NHL-size rinks. Wong said that wasn't the case, that Nagasu doesn't always practice on the bigger ice and was merely overexcited Thursday when she overextended her opening triple lutz and nearly tumbled over the boards.
Nagasu also said she was lazy in her training, but that's not the case, either.
If anything she's too single-minded, continuing to train strenuously instead of allowing her foot to heal and putting herself in position to start next season strong and gain some momentum in the final buildup to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
I am just wondering why Wong is being so public in disagreeing with her student. I mean, I feel pretty bad for Nagasu. Is Wong trying to pressure Nagasu's parents into making her sit out for a bit? That is total speculation, but I am just wondering why Wong would take these comments public at this point (waiting until Nagasu is in sixth place at Nationals is a bit odd, why not bring out these complaints before the competition?). Additionally, it seems a bit unethical to me to continue training someone who you truly believe shouldn't be out there skating. But of course, if Nagasu is determined to skate, she'll find another coach. Still, don't know that I see Wong's side here, except that this appears a public appeal to get her skater (or her skater's family?) to listen to something she may have been saying all season. For Nagasu's sake, I hope it works, if that's what it takes to get her healthy.