SEOUL - Four years ago, American figure skater Mirai Nagasu was heartbroken after being left off the U.S. team for the Sochi Olympics in favor of a woman who ranked lower than she had at a key qualifying event.
But on Monday, the woman whose Japanese immigrant parents run a sushi restaurant and mother hand-sewed her costumes, made skating history by becoming the first American woman - and only the third woman overall - to land the fiendishly difficult triple Axel jump at an Olympics.
Skating a stellar routine in the women's free skate portion of the team competition, Nagasu began with a clean triple Axel and then went on to nail eight other triple jumps, including a triple flip and triple Salchow combination as she helped America claim bronze.
Clearly overjoyed, the 24-year-old Nagasu, who was skating at her second Olympics, pumped her fists and grinned as she skated off the ice.
"I feel really great," she said after her performance. "Going into it, I was like a train, get on those tracks and get some speed. To nail it the way I did - and even out of the corner of my eye, I could see my team mates standing in excitement." - Agencies