Nagasu makes history at the Olympics.
Mirai Nagasu, a 24-year-old from Arcadia, California, became the first American woman to pull of a triple axel in the Olympics during the women's free skate at the team competition yesterday in Pyeongchang. Nagasu is just the third woman to ever land a triple axel in the Olympics, according to ESPN.
The triple axel came just 21 seconds into Nagasu's routine, which ultimately ended with a standing ovation from the crowd. Her performance is even more special when you consider the fact that she was left off the U.S. team in Sochi after finishing fourth at the 2010 Olympics.
"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. "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."
"I was very, very nervous, especially because this is the team event. I owe it to my teammates as well," Nagasu said after her skate. "I heard them say, 'Start, start, start!' especially Alexa [Scimeca-Knierim] because she has a very distinct voice. Right before my last jump, she said to me, 'You did it, girl!' I was like, I still have one more jump, but it was a nice little giggle at the end."
Despite her flawless execution, however, the American team took home the bronze medal, behind the Olympic Athletes from Russia who placed second, and Canada who won team skate gold. Nagasu will take to the ice again on February 21st for the women's competition. According to ESPN, she is a "dark horse for a bronze."