The ladies' figure skating
competition begins today with the short program. The United States will be represented by two teenagers; 2010 national championRachael Flatt
and runner-up Mirai Nagasu
. Flatt was the highest U.S. finisher at 2009 worlds in fifth and in January won her first national title after silver medals in 2008 and 2009. While many preferred Nagasu's style to Flatt's athleticism, "Reliable Rachael" has an outside chance at a medal as the most consistent of the U.S. ladies. If the leading contenders falter, Flatt could jump her way to a bronze medal and continue the American ladies Olympic medal streak. The last time a ladies podium was without an American was in 1964. Nagasu may not be podium ready in 2010, but she is a tough competitor with different strengths than her teammate - displaying fully split spirals, fast spins, and an infectious personality - what some call the "it" factor. The daughter of Japanese immigrants, "Mirai" translates to "the future," and in her quest to become America's next big name in ladies figure skating valuable Olympic experience can only help.