Figure Skating Legends React to Mirai Nagasu's Historic Olympic Triple Axel: 'What a Triumph'
U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu made history Monday morning in Korea when she became the very first American female to land a triple axel at the Olympics.
The stunning feat was quickly celebrated on Twitter by numerous legends in the skating world, several of whom said they were moved to tears over the accomplishment.
“That was a sloppy cry kind of skate,” tweeted ice dancing legend Meryl Davis, who won gold at the 2014 Olympics with partner Charlie White, and silver at the 2010 Games.
Kristi Yamaguchi, who took home a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, also tweeted that she was crying “tears of joy” for Nagasu over the successful jump.
Scott Hamilton, who took home gold in the 1984 Olympics, tweeted that he was “thrilled” for Nagasu, noting that “great things happen to good people.”
Ashley Wagner, who narrowly missed her chance to compete at the 2018 Olympics after she was named first alternate last month, also tweeted kudos to her friend and competitor.
“So proud of this girl, such an inspiration with what she has done to her career.”
Sarah Hughes, who took home gold in 2002, expressed her excitement through emojis — specifically three biceps — to show the importance of the moment.
Nagasu completed the triple axel at the start of her free skate in the figure skating team event on Monday morning (Sunday evening stateside), which set herself apart from the competition: None of the other women even planned to attempt the triple axel, which requires a forward takeoff and three-and-a-half rotations in the air.
Only two other U.S. female figure skaters have pulled off a triple axel in competition: First was Tonya Harding, during the national championship in 1991, followed by Kimmie Meissner in 2005.
After making history in Korea, Nagasu told PEOPLE “It’s a lot of pressure and stress to come out here — and it was my goal and my dream to be here and to be selected to the Olympic team, so I knew going into it the amount of responsibility that I was given, and so as athletes we want to represent our country to the best of our ability and you know — Midori Ito, Mao Asada and now Mirai Nagasu, all of Japanese heritage.
“But I’m very fortunate that I’m American and so I’ll be the first U.S. lady to have landed the triple axel,” she continued. “And so today is a day of accomplishment for me.”
- with reporting by ADAM CARLSON