Mirai Nagasu leaps into history with Olympic triple axel

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Mirai Nagasu made her triple axel look elegant and effortless.

But in landing one of the most challenging jumps in figure skating, she accomplished a feat that made her the first female American figure skater to nail the triple axel at the Olympics.
At the end of her routine, Nagasu triumphantly threw her hands in the air and a bright, exuberant smile spread across her face.

Nagasu became only the third woman to successfully complete the triple axel at the Olympics — the other two being Japanese skaters Midori Ito and Mao Asada.
The axel is considered so difficult because it is the only jump in which the skater takes to the air while facing forward. A triple axel requires three-and-a-half rotations before landing.

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