It was one of those boilerplate questions that often draws a rehearsed answer from athletes:
"You have listed Michelle Kwan as your inspiration. What do you say to little girls who look to you as their inspiration?" the now two-time Olympian was asked on a media teleconference Tuesday.
This time, though, the response was anything but rote. That's because the subject on the other end of the line was Mirai Nagasu, who speaks from the heart rather than from a script and whose sometimes whimsical-sounding, often rambling responses are always grounded in cliché-free sincerity.
Nagasu, you see, has bounced back not only from the disappointment of being left off the 2014 Olympic team but, with the help of her parents' indomitable support and sacrifice, has overcome financial obstacles that come with being in an expensive sport. And her mother, Ikuko, is a cancer survivor.
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