Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman and the third woman ever to land a triple axel at the Olympics when she nailed the jump early in her free skate as part of the figure skating team competition in PyeongChang.
The 24-year-old veteran is on something of a redemption tour at these Games after being controversially left off the 2014 Sochi team – despite finishing just off the podium in Vancouver in 2010. Those memories of sitting at home with close friend Adam Rippon, eating In-N-Out and watching their friends and peers compete for sports immorality, were no doubt in the back of her mind when she decided to include the vaunted triple axel in her program.
Nagasu is one of very few women in the history of the sport who can regularly land the jump in practice, let alone in competition. It’s even more rare for a woman to land the jump in international competition: only eight women in total have ever done it, including Tonya Harding – the only other American member in the elite group. She did it 27 years ago at the 1991 World Championships.
Here’s a look at an ecstatic Rippon at the moment he realized Nagasu had nailed the most difficult move in women’s figure skating:
Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu are roomies at the Olympics. They ate In and Out Burger when they didn't make the 2014 Olympics. Today, he almost cried when she landed her triple axel. #Olympics pic.twitter.com/gHmwemEMnM
— Rachel Rose Gold (@RachelRoseGold1) February 12, 2018
A few of figure skating’s greatest legends took time to congratulate Nagasu on her milestone:
— Kristi Yamaguchi (@kristiyamaguchi) February 12, 2018
So thrilled for @mirai_nagasu becoming the first woman from the @TeamUSA to land a Triple Axel in @Olympics competition.
Also for her perfect skate on Olympic Ice! @NBCOlympics #Pyeonchang2018 #FinishFirst Great things happen to good people!
— Scott Hamilton (@ScottHamilton84) February 12, 2018
In fact, the entire figure skating community was on their feet for the woman who helped the United States win team bronze with her momentous triple axel:
Just left filming to find out that @mirai_nagasu got her axel called clean in the team comp! So proud of this girl, such an inspiration with what she has done to her career
— Ashley Wagner (@AshWagner2010) February 12, 2018
— Madison Chock (@chockolate02) February 12, 2018
— Polina Edmunds (@PolinaEdmunds) February 12, 2018
— Meagan Duhamel (@mhjd_85) February 12, 2018
— Jeremy Abbott (@jeremyabbottpcf) February 12, 2018
Celebrities outside of the sports world joined the chorus as well:
— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) February 12, 2018
— Arden Cho (@arden_cho) February 12, 2018
Tonya I love you bitch but this is the first American woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics pic.twitter.com/yVVPBCOOqE
— AWKWAFINA (@awkwafina) February 12, 2018
She even got a shout out from Tonya Harding’s movie:
— ITonyaMovie (@ITonyaMovie) February 12, 2018
That wasn’t the last time that Nagasu will attempt the triple axel in these Olympics, either. She’ll skate that program in the ladies free skate, which will take place on January 23rd at 8pm ET. If she skates as well as she did in the team competition, she’ll have a legitimate shot at the podium.