The U.S. has a history of producing great women’s figure skating champions.
Past champions like Peggy Fleming (1968), Dorothy Hamill (1976), Kristi Yamaguchi (1992), Tara Lipinski (1998) and Sarah Hughes (2002) have all won Olympic Gold.
But none of them did what Mirai Nagasu has done.
Sunday night at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Nagasu landed a triple axel, making her the first U.S. woman to do it in the Olympics.
Only two other women have successful landed a triple axel in the Olympics — Japan’s Midori Ito, who won the Silver Medal in the 1992 Olympics, and Japan’s Mao Asada, who won Silver at the 2010 Olympics.
The 24-year-old Nagasu, from Montebello, California, did the triple axel during the women’s free-skate portion of the team competition.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) February 12, 2018
The axel is the most difficult jump in figure skating because it is the only one where the skater jumps and spins forward. Most jumps require an easier backward spin.
The axel was named after Axel Paulsen, a Norwegian skater who created the maneuver in 1882.
A triple axel requires three and a half full spins in the air.
She got a standing ovation for her performance, which garnered her a personal-best score of 137.53. She had the second-best score in the free skate.
Twitter enjoyed it, too.
— Jeremy Abbott (@jeremyabbottpcf) February 12, 2018
Canada won the team gold medal, while Russia got the silver and the U.S. got the bronze.
Nagasu will look to add to her medal haul this week competing in the individual skating competition.
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