Mirai Nagasu’s first performance at the Pyeongchang Olympics quickly became a historic one, as the figure skater is now the first American woman to land the triple axel at the Olympics. What made the moment even more badass is that the 24-year-old landed the move a mere 30 seconds into her routine.
Nagasu finished with a 137.53 overall score, which was second-best of the ladies free skate. Her stellar performance gave the United States nine points in the team competition. The historically tricky triple axel was first made famous by Tonya Harding, who became the first American woman to perform it during the 1991 US Figure Skating Championships in Minneapolis.
The milestone skyrocketed Harding into stardom at the time, but she later failed the move at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. 14 years later, 2006 World Champion Kimmie Meissner became the second American woman to land the jump, but she also failed to do so at the Olympics.
Now, Nagasu follows Japan's Midori Ito and Mao Asada as the only three women in figure skating history to land the triple axel at the Olympics. Nagasu's feat was celebrated on the ice, as she pumped her fist in the air with confidence while her skating team cheered her on. Her reaction to the jump is nothing short of motivational and had everyone, including Olympic gold medalists Kristi Yamaguchi and Meryl Davis, in awe.
Nagasu's incredible moment is made even more significant when one realizes she wasn't chosen for the 2014 Sochi Olympic team despite her third-place finish, which later sparked controversy. She can celebrate with friend and roommate Adam Rippon, who made his debut as the first openly gay man to represent the U.S. at the Winter Olympics.