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Posted: February 12, 2018

2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Mirai Nagasu?

What You Need to Know: Mirai Nagasu

By Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Mirai Nagasu made history in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games as the first American woman to land a triple axel. The Montebello, California, native returned to the 2018 games after making her debut at the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

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Nagasu started skating at age 5, when her parents took her to an ice rink instead of a golf course on a rainy day. Earlier in her career, Nagasu was comparted to Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan. When she was 14, she won the gold medal at the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, making her the second-youngest female skater to have that title.

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 03: Mirai Nagasu competes in the Ladies Short Program during the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the SAP Center on January 3, 2018 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

She took home the silver medal at the Championships in 2010, earning her a spot at the Vancouver Olympics. Although she finished third at the 2014 Championships, the U.S. Figure Skating federation placed Ashley Wagner, who finished fourth, on the Sochi Olympics team.

Other interesting facts:

  • Studying international business at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs 
  • Has three rescue dogs named Lincoln, Liberty and Lexi
  • Scuba-certified

Related

Mirai Nagasu first U.S. female skater to land triple axel at Olympics

Mirai Nagasu became the first American female figure skater to land a triple axel at the Olympics, and just the third woman to ever accomplish the feat.

>> Read more trending news

Nagasu, 24, put the jump at the beginning of her 4 1/2 minute routine Monday, landing flawlessly on one foot. She scored a total score of 137.53, a personal best, the Associated Press reported. 

“It’s historical and something no one can take away from me,” Nagasu told the Washington Post. “I wanted to make America proud.”

Midori Ito and Mao Asada, both from Japan, are the only other women to land the jump at the Olympics, according to Yahoo News.

Related: 2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Mirai Nagasu?

The triple axel is more challenging than a typical jump because it requires the skater to make three and a half rotations in the air, not just three.

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