Nagasu, Rippon help lead Americans to figure skating bronze

18 February, 2018, 06:37 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Maddie Meyer  Getty

While competing in the women's individual in the team event, Nagasu landed a triple axel- a feat that no American woman has ever pulled off at the Winter Olympics. Only two other American women have even landed it at a competition: Tonya Harding in 1991 and Kimmie Meissner in 2005. The axel itself involves a complicated forward takeoff, the only jump requiring such a start, and then three-and-a-half mid-air rotations.

Nagasu, who was born to Japanese parents, follows in the footsteps of Midori Ito and Mao Asada - the only two other women to land the triple Axel at the Olympics.

Likewise, Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi and ice dancer Meryl Davis confessed they were crying with happiness.

According to Ice Network's Philip Hersh, Nagasu began working with her coach, Tom Zakrajsek, four months after missing the Olympic team.

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A daughter of Japanese immigrants, Nagasu is living proof that no matter how hard people try to hold you down, you can always come up on top with determination and hardwork.

"It's kind of like a board game, and that's my king", Nagasu said.

Nagasu was chosen for a spot on the Olympic team by a U.S. Figure Skating committee based on her performance in a series of events, including a second-place finish in last month's U.S. Figure Skating Championships. You know who was on "Dancing" previous year?

"Maybe it's the Japanese genetics €" but lucky for me I'm American, so I'll be the first United States lady", she said after her performance.

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After finishing fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Games and getting passed over for Ashley Wagner four years ago for Sochi, the 24-year-old made a long-awaited return to Olympic ice. "It was rough", Nagasu said about her training. The only sport where the USA owns more medals is speed skating, at 67 (as of press time). Figure Skating Championships that same year, but fourth-place finisher Ashley Wagner was chosen for the Olympics due to her worldwide resume.

U.S. women's figure skater Mirai Nagasu competes at the Winter Olympics.

Rippon's score was 172.98. He was the number-one trend worldwide on Twitter after his performance, set "Arrival of the Birds/Exodus" by The Cinematic Orchestra and "O" by Coldplay.

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