Mirai Nagasu Is The First American Woman To Land Triple Axel At The Olympics And She Nailed It

by Emerald Pellot
Emerald Pellot graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in Writing & Popular Culture. She worked as Senior Editor of College Candy for 2 years, covering feminism, popular culture, and college life before joining LittleThings in 2015. Based in New York City, Emerald covers a wide range of topics from human interest pieces to celebrity news.

Mirai Nagasu became the first American female figure skater to land a triple axel at the Olympics. While competing at the Pyeongchang Winter Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena, she made history.

Mirai is only the third woman to successfully land the triple axel at the Olympics — right behind historymakers Midori Ito and Mao Asada, both from Japan.

Mirai is also the third American woman to land the triple axel in any competition, following in the footsteps of Tonya Harding in 1991, and Kimmie Meissner in 2005.

At just 24 years old, Mirai made the complex move seem effortless. With a 137.53 overall score, she placed second in the women’s free skate and helped Team USA earn the bronze model for team figure skating.

What makes the triple axel so difficult? It is the only jump that requires the skater to face forward and then complete three and a half rotations before landing.

“I knew in my heart that this day would come,” Mirai said, according to CNN.  “This is definitely history, or herstory, whatever way you want to put it.”

This is Mirai’s second Olympics, her first being in 2010. When she wasn’t selected for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the decision sparked some controversy. Needless to say, the tide has turned in favor of Mirai this time around.

Watch her land a triple axel in the video below!

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Photos: USA Today

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