Mirai Nagasu Is the First American Woman to Land a Triple Axel at the Olympics
She's the third figure skater to ever to land the tricky move.
Last night, American figure skater Mirai Nagasu made history by becoming the first U.S. woman to ever land one of the toughest figure skating tricks at the Olympics: the triple axel. Nagasu is also only the third woman to ever pull off this feat behind Japanese figure skaters Midori Ito and Mao Asado. (Related: How Do Ice Dancing and Figure Skating Differ?)
Out of the six jumps recognized in competitive figure skating, the triple axel is considered the most challenging. It requires a forward-facing takeoff, which means the skater must complete three and a half revolutions midair before landing, whereas all other jumps only require three spins.
The successful maneuver earned Team USA some much-needed extra points, enough to win them a bronze medal for the event.
Nagasu has landed the triple axel in competition before (as did Tonya Harding and Kimmie Meissner) but is only the third American woman to do so at the Olympics. (Related: 12 Badass Female Athletes to Watch Out For at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games)
The 24-year-old was the first of five women to take the ice for Team USA at the Pyeongchang Games-and blew everyone's minds with her near-perfect routine at the free skate team competition.
Everyone from Reese Witherspoon to former Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi has taken to Twitter to share their excitement and support for the young athlete.
While the accomplishment was huge in and of itself, it what made it even sweeter considering Nagasu was cut from the U.S. figure skating team in Sochi. "Four years ago, when I was left off the team, I wanted to make another Olympic team, and I knew I would really have to be something special," she told the New York Times.
Because words can't do it justice here's a video of Nagasu doing her thing:
You can look out for the champ once again when she competes in the Olympic individual women's figure skating event on February 21.