Figure skater Mirai Nagasu became the first American to land the triple axel during the team event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang on Monday. Nagasu was awarded a technical score of 73.38 and also helped the US team claim bronze.
The 24-year-old landed the triple axel and became the third woman in Olympic history to achieve the feat. The only other women to achieve it in the Olympics were Japanese skaters Midori Ito and Mao Asada.
The triple axel is said to be one of the most difficult manoeuvres in skating. Only two Americans have ever managed to land one at a competitive event was Tonya Harding in 1991 and Kimmie Meissner in 2005.
Nagasu competed at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver but wasn’t selected for the 2014 Sochi Games. “I feel really great,” she said after her performance. “Going into it, I was like a train, get on those tracks and get some speed. To nail it the way I did – and even out of the corner of my eye, I could see my team mates standing in excitement. Maybe it’s the Japanese genetics – but lucky for me I’m American, so I’ll be the first US lady,” she said after her performance.