Sport

Winter Olympics 2018: America loves Adam Rippon after chilling performance

Winter Olympics 2018: America loves Adam Rippon after chilling performance

After figure skater Mirai Nagasu became the first women's skater to nail a triple axel in an Olympic event, all anyone could talk about were the odd markings on her upper thigh.

That wasn't the last time that Nagasu will attempt the triple axel in these Olympics, either.

The axel is considered so hard because it is the only jump in which the skater takes to the air while facing forward. It's even more rare for a woman to land the jump in worldwide competition: only eight women in total have ever done it, including Tonya Harding - the only other American member in the elite group. Tonya Harding landed the jump in 1991, as did Kimmie Meissner in 2005.

This is Nagasu's second Olympics.

The Canadians held the lead with 63 points through the men's and women's free skates, and would not be caught.

She sought to return to the Olympic games in Sochi in 2014, but wasn't selected to the United States team in what was a controversial decision.

The Americans led Italy by four points, and when the Italian ice dancers, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, did not score well enough to win the free dance, the US had replicated its third-place finish in the event at Sochi.




So Nagasu had to sit out of the Sochi games.

But both figure skaters were very determined.

Even Kristi Yamaguchi, the former Team USA figure skater and Olympic champion, said she was shedding "tears of joy" over Nagasu's achievement.

Rippon, 28, who has found himself in the glare of the spotlight since mid-January when Vice President Pence took surprising exception to Rippon's critical comments in a Jan. 17 USA TODAY story, turned in an Olympic debut that he'll remember for a lifetime.

"Tonight, the Olympics are truly magical..."

Daleman's effort guaranteed her country the first gold medal in figure skating.

The two friends were clutching Olympic medals instead of burgers after the team event.


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