History was made when Mirai Nagasu did what no other American woman has done before.
Nagasu, 24, became the first U.S. female figure skater — and third woman ever — to nail a triple axel during an Olympic competition.
Only two other female skaters have been able to do that jump in Olympic competition – Midori Ito of Japan landed the jump in 1992 and another Japanese skater, Mao Asada, repeated the feat in Vancouver in 2010.
The Californian was competing in the women’s free skate in the team event when she landed the difficult jump. Nagasu received a score of 137.53 for the routine — a personal best.
“I don’t know if you could tell — it was more something I could feel — but to nail it the way I did, even out of the corner of my eye I could see my teammates standing out of excitement,” Nagasu said to the Associated Press. “And at that moment I wanted to stop the music and get off, but I still had my whole program ahead of me, and to complete the performance to the best of my ability is really exciting.”
Her performance helped the U.S. figure skating team to a bronze medal behind Canada and the Olympians from Russia.
In 2014, she was third in the national championships but was left off the team when the U.S. Figure Skating Federation chose fourth-place finisher Ashley Wagner, based on her overall season’s performance.
With the team competition out of the way, the skaters will be concentrating on their individual events. Nagasu will join the U.S.’s Karen Chen and Bradie Tennel to compete in the women’s individual event.
Despite her historic jump, Nagasu finished behind Alana Zageteva of Russia, who had — by far — the highest score among the women’s figure skaters in the team competition.
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