Mirai Nagasu Becomes the First American Woman to Land a Triple Axel at the Olympics
Japanese-American figure skater Mirai Nagasu just made history for Team America at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on Sunday night by being the first American woman to ever land a triple axel at the Olympics.
“It’s historical and something no one can take away from me,” Nagasu was quoted as saying. “I wanted to make America proud.”
In figure skating, the triple axel is considered to be one of the most difficult maneuvers, and Nagasu became the first American figure skater to ever do it at the Olympics. Overall, she is the third woman from any country to do so after Japan’s Midori Ito and Mao Asada.
“Midori Ito, Mao Asada and, now, Mirai Nagasu — all Japanese heritage,” Nagasu said with a proud smile. “But I am fortunate that I am American, so I’ll be the first U.S. lady to have landed the triple axel [in Olympic competition]. So today is a day of accomplishment for me.”
Only two other American women have even managed to land one at a competitive event. The first was Tonya Harding in 1991 (as beautifully shown in “I, Tonya“) and Kimmie Meissner in 2005.
Congratulations! You join a very small club that can perfect the triple axle! This woman paved the way for all of you! pic.twitter.com/rlAliyEUO3
Her amazing performance, however, managed to land her only in second place in the team event, her first Olympic appearance since 2010. For her team’s collective efforts, they were able to capture bronze medals for Team USA. Team Canada won the gold while Russia earned silver in figure skating’s team event.