17-year-old American Olympian Vincent Zhou made history at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics yesterday, February 15th. Zhou pulled off what’s believed to be the hardest figure skating move: the quad lutz. To us, a quad lutz sounds like a deluxe leg machine at our local gym. Or perhaps a car part?
Obviously, none of those are accurate. But we now need to know — what in the heck is a quad lutz?
According to a February 14th Time article, a lutz alone is the second-most difficult jump a figure skater can achieve. The move starts with a competitor skating backwards to pick up momentum. Then, the skater drives the tip of his or her blade into the ice and uses the outside edge of their opposite foot to direct the movement and liftoff. He or she then jumps, spins in the air, and lands on the foot which kick assisted the liftoff.
Yes, it sounds a bit confusing when put into words, so here’s what a regular lutz looks like on the ice. It’s a pretty majestic move, if you ask us, and can earn a skater 13.6 points if done correctly:
When a lutz turns into a quad (short for quadruple) lutz, it means the skater was able to spin four times in the air before landing. This move is incredibly hard to accomplish because a clean landing after those four rotations almost never happens.
And just like that, history was made.
Congrats on landing that quad lutz, Zhou! You’ve risen the bar and dished out some serious competition.