Sunday night, Mirai Nagasu and seven other members of the United States Olympic team took to the podium to receive bronze medals in the team figure skating event.
In a complicated scoring process, members of the USA skating team all contributed to this victory. In the ladies free skate – what will now be remembered as a historic event for the United States -Nagasu shocked the world by being the first woman from the United States (and third woman ever) to land a triple axel jump at the Olympics.
The triple axel jump, being one of the only front starting jumps and having a total of three and a half rotations, is one of the hardest jumps in figure skating. Seven women in total have ever landed the jump in competition, two being at the Olympics prior to Nagasu (Midori Ito in 1992 and Mao Asada in 2010 and 2014).
This victory is extra special for Nagasu who, four years ago, was “snubbed” – after placing third at the United States National Championship – when she ultimately was not chosen to represent the USA in the 2014 Sochi Olympics in favor of fourth place finisher Ashley Wagner.
Her stunning performance and technical greatness resulted in a second place finish in the event – helping the US obtain bronze in the overall team event.
Nagasu will skate again on Wednesday the 21st in the Ladies single skating short program.