Why the triple axel is such a big deal

Triple axels can turn skaters into legends. This is why.

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Note: The video states Mirai Nagasu was the second American to land a triple axel in competition (this was recorded before her Olympic success). In 2005, American Kimmy Miessner completed a triple axel in national competition, though not world competition. You can read about it here: http://www.espn.com/olympics/news/story?id=1967992

Want to see Tonya' Harding's routine? You can find one version here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdC5G7CDvbI

In this episode of Vox Almanac, Phil Edwards explores the triple axel and why it's such a big deal. The figure skating jump is legendary among ice skaters, from Tonya Harding's 1991 triple axel to modern icon Mirai Nagasu's attempts in competition. It turns out that the physics of the triple axel makes it a uniquely difficult jump — and one worth learning about.

As a forward-edge jump, the mechanics of a triple axel requires technical acumen from skaters while they still try to maintain an artistically interesting performance. Pioneers like Midori Ito and Tonya Harding had to jump, ramp up rotation speed, and then land all while trying to look good. This effort set them apart from competitors like Nancy Kerrigan, but it wasn't easy to land a triple axel in competition.

And that difficulty might be why the triple axel endures as the pinnacle of figure skating performance — and why it's sure to light up the 2018 Winter Olympics as well.

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  • proluca

    Correction: Kimmie Meisner was the 2nd American to land a Triple Axel in competition.

  • Doll Face

    Triple axel sounds like a finishing move in a fighting game. "Finish him!" triple axels opponent "FATALITY"

  • Makisu

    Ya know, I was going to take my first ice skating lesson ((at 14)) tomorrow....*throws skates out the window* I’ve never been good at science. Or is this math? Ya know what...I think I’m just going to stick with watching anime characters doing this stuff.

  • foodank_atr

    What type of world would we live in today if Reagan was cognizant enough of pop culture and video games to say "Gorbachev, Hadouken this wall..."

  • ragk miuouig

    I went to the toy store a whiel ago and saw a new Made to Move Barbie doll and the one in the video is the same one i saw (except for the skating outfit tho)

  • Kannibal Kitten

    Quite informative, I definitely know more than I did prior to watching this....the editing didn't bother me. I've seen the triple axel in many other videos on this platform.

  • beached crab

    Don’t know why but the music in this video made it feel like a horror film.

  • Kri MD

    Stop with all the pointless editing omg

  • bubblegumboobs

    I love Tonya forever ❣

  • Coconut ScienceGirl92

    I have seen people doing a quadruple. So this isn’t anything anymore

  • Kayla Ye

    I love how he uses a barbie to demonstrate XDDDD

  • Jeffrey Cruz

    I can't even do 3 turns when i skate.

  • Glen Coco

    nathan chen, rolling up to the party: not anymore bish

  • A 1

    Still underwhelming compared to men’s figure skating

  • QUARTERMASTEREMI6

    Triple axle — Historical. It brilliantly is!

  • RENEE RICEVUTO

    "A triple axel turns physics into poetry." Love that quote

  • Shogun Z

    I can do a teabaggingCTRL CTRL CTRL

  • Tien

    BORN TO SHIP VICTURI

  • househansa

    I know less about the triple axel after watching this.

  • P

    This video is absolutely stupid. What did u learn from this ? ... me, nothing.

  • Mia Kim

    Technically, every jump rotates forwardYou face forward and jump, but I only found out after I started doing doubles.Also, for anyone doing axels, I found it easier to rotate it you think of jumping onto a platform backwards, if that makes sense. Imagine going to a competition and going to get your medal for 1st place. Now pretend your going towards the platform forwards, and jump, landing backwards. Since its a competition, stand tall, use your core. 😊

  • Mietta R

    so ur telling me that a doll flying in the air is apparently a triple axel??😂

  • Ahmed Al Hijji

    Watching the movie I' Tonya made me watch this

  • SamTHK YT

    Wait wait that was 58 frames but how many frames per second is real life 🤔🤔🤔

  • DR ROME

    Kimmie Meissner landed a triple axle and was the 2nd woman figure skater in the US that successfully did it in competetion after Tanya Harding. Mirai Nagasu was the 3rd.

  • Diana Day

    I tried that and I died.

  • give this weeb some oxiJIN

    i came here after YURI ON ICE

  • Anna 5678

    Sad, people only gonna remember her for attacking Nancy instead her achievement. Do good, no one cares, do bad forever remember it.

  • MadamKilay

    Good thing I watched Yuri On Ice

  • JJ Kern

    How come women are less able to do a triple axel? I’ve seen more men land a triple axel in competition, and only a handful of women have done it

  • Annika S

    Right now I’m working on my single axel, it’s sooooo difficult

  • Hannahxx

    All these people talking about Mari's triple axel but no one is talking about Anna Shcherbakova's quad lutz... hmmm

  • Olivia Hsin

    Now there’s Alysa Liu

  • Cody Hill

    Am I the only one that know about Triple Axel from that disney movie Ice Angle ?

  • atikah rostam

    Why am I here? I don't even skate.

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