Mirai Nagasu Joins the Elite Triple Axel Club: U.S. Figure Skater Demonstrates Beauty, Power & Determination by Jen Imbaro
Jumping into the air, rotating three and a half times, landing on a thin blade of steel at nearly 20 miles an hour. What’s the big deal? I’ll tell you. In the 26 years since Midori Ito was the first woman to land a triple axel in the ‘92 Olympics, Mirai Nagasu is only the third woman ever to accomplish this feat. There are only eight women who have ever landed this jump in international competition, period. In men’s figure skating, quad jumps are practically a requirement. But for women, the most difficult of the triples has remained elusive.
In a sport where gold medalists are often barely out of high school, Mirai’s perseverance at the age of 24 is inspiring. This is her third Olympic cycle. She competed in 2010, and narrowly missed attending in 2014. As a lifelong fan of the sport (my car in high school was named after Midori!), I can tell you this is rare. Women her age are often labeled “veterans” of the sport. Instead of giving up after being passed over in 2014, she decided to add a new weapon to her arsenal. She did so with grace, elegance and determination.
Congratulations, Mirai! Thank you for epitomizing what I so love about this sport – it’s combination of beauty and power.
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