Figure skater Mirai Nagasu jumped and landed straight into the history books! The 24-year-old became the first woman from the United States to land a triple axel during the Winter Olympics. Her performance on the 12th of February in the ladies’ free program helped her team bring a bronze medal back home to the States, Unilad reports.
Only two other women have ever managed to successfully perform a triple axel at an Olympics event. The other two are Japanese skaters Midori Ito and Mao Asada.
Watch Nagasu’s incredible jump right here
Source: Cool Videos
After an elegant and nearly flawless performance, the Californian triumphantly threw her hands in the air and smiled exuberantly knowing she had just made history. Her routine received a standing ovation from the crowd and finished with a score of 137.53, Nagasu’s new personal best. The Montebello native had previously managed the difficult jump at the U.S. International Figure Skating Classic which took place last September.
“This is definitely history, or herstory, whatever way you want to put it,” Nagasu said after her performance.
The triple axel is the only jump in which the skater has to take to the air while facing forward, which makes it one of the hardest moves in figure skating. Requiring 3-and-a-half rotations before landing, the triple axel is often part of male skaters’ routines. However, there have been only eight ladies who have completed it successfully in international competitions.
The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is Nagasu’s second time as part of the US team, having missed out on being selected for the 2014 Games. Four years ago, she had finished third at the 2014 US Figure Skating Championships, but she was passed over in favor of Ashley Wagner. Wagner was placed fourth in the same event, but thanks to her stronger international resume and despite it being quite the controversial decision, she went on to participate in the competition in Sochi, Russia.
Luckily, this apparently only served to motivate Nagasu and she came back stronger than ever!
— Mirai Nagasu (@mirai_nagasu) February 12, 2018
Nagasu’s feat earned her the congratulations from both fans and peers who tweeted out their praise.
Fellow figure skater Ashley Wagner was feeling very proud.
Just left filming to find out that @mirai_nagasu got her axel called clean in the team comp! So proud of this girl, such an inspiration with what she has done to her career 👊👊👊
— Ashley Wagner (@AshWagner2010) February 12, 2018
Sports journalist Christine Brennan applauded Nagasu.
Now that’s a reaction. Mirai Nagasu really was terrific. Rose to the occasion. 137.53 points. Just what she needed to do for the Americans. pic.twitter.com/B4kFdpyeXA
— Christine Brennan (@cbrennansports) February 12, 2018
Another sport reporter, Lindsay Gibbs also congratulated the 24-year-old.
Four years ago, Adam Rippon and MIrai Nagasu were eating in-n-out burger in California, crying and watching the Sochi Olympics from their couch. Look at them now.
— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports) February 12, 2018
Nagasu is the third American woman to successfully perform the triple axel in competition. The other two ladies are Tonya Harding who managed it in 1991, and Kimmie Meissner in 2005.
Tonya Harding’ story has been told in the Oscar-nominated biopic I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie in the title role. The movie, centered on the life of the disgraced two-time Olympian, includes her connection to the 1994 attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.