When Mirai Nagasu landed her historic triple axel at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, millions of people were watching live on TV, but her parents, Kiyoto and Ikuko, were not. After a busy night running their family-owned Japanese restaurant Kiyosuzu, the couple rushed home to watch their daughter’s performance. “We are very happy because we heard it went well,” Mirai Nagasu’s father, Kiyoto said to USA Today.
It definitely did. Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics. She scored a 137.53, the second-best score of the women’s free skate during the team event. Team USA won bronze in the event. Nagasu’s parents will get a much closer view of their daughter when she competes in the singles portion of the figure skating competition.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mirai Nagasu’s Parents Own A Sushi Restaurant
Restaurant Kiyosuzu is a sushi restaurant in Arcadia, California, just outside of Los Angeles. Mirai grew up hanging around the business. Because her parents didn’t hire a babysitter, she also slept in the restaurants storage closet during late nights, according to NBC. The family is also using their restaurant to help celebrate Mirai’s success. Kiyosuzu’s menu features the Mirai roll in her honor. The roll contains tuna, tuna tatako, avacado, mentaiko (pollock roe), shrimp and tempura, according to USA Today.
According to Mirai, her dad’s imagination knows no bounds when it comes to creating new sushi rolls. “My dad is a very creative type of person so he has rolls that make no sense to most people familiar with sushi, he has a High Five roll. What is that? Don’t ask questions. Just try it,” Mirai told USA Today.
The restaurant has also gotten some positive feedback on Yelp with customers taking note of the Olympic connection. One Yelp review stated: “Excited to try this place after watching the story of their daughter Mirai Nagasu, the first American woman figure skater to successfully complete a triple axel in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Help the family celebrate Mirai’s accomplishment and enjoy a great dinner here.”
2. They Didn’t See Her Historic Triple Axel Live
The night of Feb. 11, when Mirai executed her triple axel, her parents were dealing with a busy Sunday night dinner rush at the restaurant. Mirai’s father, Kiyoto, was behind the counter at Kiyosuzu, greeting customers and taking orders. “It’s so busy at the restaurant, so we are waiting to go home and watch [on DVR],” Kiyoto said to USA Today.
The restaurant connection has also provided inspiration to Mirai, who shares a similar story to past Asian-American immigrant figure skaters, most notably Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan. “Her parents owned a restaurant and my parents own a restaurant. We’re both from California. So I really looked up to her,” Nagasu told NBC News. “As role models, I think Kristi [Yamaguchi] and Michelle are setting the bar really high.”
3. They Will Be In Attendance For the Singles Competition
Mirai’s parents will be closing the restaurant for a few days so they can fly to Pyeongchang and watch their daughter compete in person during the individual events. The family told US Magazine they will be leaving for South Korea on Feb. 19. “The business is important, but it is special to be able to watch Mirai,” Ikuko said to USA Today. “We will shut the restaurant, go quickly, and come back quickly.”
Despite Marai’s success at the Olympics, her family is still concerned their presence could be a distraction. “I am a little bit worried if I go over there, will she get more pressure, or not,” Ikuko told Us Magazine.
4. Both of Nagasu’s Parents Are Immigrants
Mirai’s parents left their native Japan and immigrated to the U.S. about 30 years ago, soon after the family opened the sushi restaurant in Arcadia. Despite the move, Japanese culture continued to be a big part of Mirai’s upbringing and she still receives texts from her father in Japanese, according to the LA Times. But after Mirai’s second-place finish at the U.S. Championships, her father left his comfort zone.
“My parents are really hard on me, which has made me a strong competitor and determined as a person, so I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for them,” Mirai told the LA Times. “But for my dad to say he was proud of me, in English, is a very big deal.” The Nagasu family has been very appreciative of all the support their family has received thanks to Marai’s Olympic success. “Thank you, everybody, helping us with my daughter, saying good luck to us,” Ikuko told Us. “We are so grateful.”
5. Their Daughter Has An American Boyfriend
Mirai is dating 25-year-old actor Darian Weiss. They have been together for more than three years, according to Us Weekly. “I am very happily occupied in a relationship,” she told Us. “He handles my insanity very well.”
According to his IMDB profile, Weiss appeared in several episodes of Days of Our Lives and one episode of Mad Men. His Instagram profile is very supportive of his girlfriend. In his last post, before the Olympics, Weiss proclaimed: “My queen is three weeks away from going to her second Winter Olympic Games and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She’s been working her ass off over the past few years to achieve her dream again. It truly has been an honor and a privilege to be by her side through this journey and I’m really excited for what is to come. Long live the queen.” There may or may not be a branch in my eye.”