Last night, February 11th, Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axel during the Olympics. And Nagasu’s triple axel helped Team USA place third in the figure skating team competition, increasing the United States’ medal count by one. Here’s what you should know about figure skating’s rising star.
1 She is the second youngest U.S. champion.
In 2008, Nagasu, won the U.S. Nationals at the age of 14, making her the second youngest woman to do so, after Tara Lipinski.
2 She skated in her first Olympics as a 16-year-old.
Nagasu competed in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics when she was only 16. She didn’t earn any medals during the games, though, receiving fourth place for her free skate.
3 She almost quit figure skating.
Despite her third-place finish at the 2014 U.S. Nationals, Nagasu was denied a spot on the 2014 U.S. Olympic team. Ashley Wagner, who finished fourth in the nationals that year, went instead. Nagasu was gutted.
Thankfully, instead Nagasu threw herself into her training at a new facility.
4 A rain storm led her to figure skating.
According to her website, Nagasu’s parents originally wanted her to become a golfer, so they took her golfing every day when she was a child in Southern California. One rainy day when she was 5, her parents took her to an indoor skating rink instead, and she fell in love.
5 When she’s not on the ice, she’s a college student.
Nagasu is working toward a degree in international business at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, which is close to her training center.
6 She has three dogs.
Nagasu’s three rescue dogs are named Liberty, Lincoln, and Lexi, and her Instagram is filled with adorable pictures of them.
7 No, she doesn’t have a tattoo.
Despite rumors that Nagasu has a huge “USA” tattoo on her thigh, the skater tweeted that she doesn’t. What many mistook for a tattoo was actually a strip of athletic tape.
8 She is no stranger to interesting food.
Nagasu told Teen Vogue that she has eaten a variety of exotic foods, including sea urchin, snail, and horse, which she tried in Kazakhstan. But Nagasu’s favorite food is simply a classic hamburger with fries.
Nagasu has already made history, and we can’t wait to see what she does next. We’ll be cheering for Nagasu and Team USA during the rest of the 2018 Winter Olympics.