Why the triple axel is such a big deal

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  • Published on:  Monday, February 12, 2018
  • Triple axels can turn skaters into legends. This is why.Watch the rest of Skate Week, and our other sports explainers, here: http://bit.ly/2FfxM17Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjONote: 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/sto...Want to see Tonya' Harding's routine? You can find one version here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdC5G...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.Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyEFollow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06oOr Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H


  • War Pig
    War Pig  a years ago +1928

    Tonya Harding did it in 1991 and it took 27 years for the second American to do it in a competition. Only 8 women have ever done it..... Tonya is badass.

  • Jay Bacallao
    Jay Bacallao  a years ago +4774

    So, you’re telling me you hurl yourself in the air off of one foot moving forwards, make 3.5 rotations while absorbing massive gravitational force, and then landing basically on a knife blade in the opposite direction...
    ....yeah I’ll just take up knitting.

  • househansa
    househansa  8 months ago +656

    I know less about the triple axel after watching this.

  • Riicho Bamin
    Riicho Bamin  a years ago +240

    Why are they just obsessing about "the only American woman" ? What about other skaters of other nationalities who did this ?

  • eizhowa
    eizhowa  a years ago +542

    The expression she makes when she realizes she will be able to fully complete the jump without falling is pure gold.

  • CurveTheRain
    CurveTheRain  a years ago +324

    Is it illegal to show the actual video or something 😒

  • Dirty Poul
    Dirty Poul  a years ago +1112

    0:24 For those that don't care about "first Americans" participation awards, the first woman to land it was Japanese Midori Ito in 1988. The first man to land it was Canadian Vern Taylor in 1978.

  • James Keo
    James Keo  a years ago +1158

    hold my beer

  • lsr asr
    lsr asr  a years ago +171

    If you are going to do a feature on ladies performing the triple axel, Midori Ito comes first. Not only as the 1st woman to complete the triple axel in world competition, but also the 1st woman to complete the triple axel at the Olympics. Her triple axels are always rated the best. Tonya only learned to do the triple axel because she saw Midori do it at the NHK competition in Japan in 1990. If you want to see a perfect triple axel watch Midori's long program skate at the 1990 Worlds at Halifax. In all 3 broadcasts of the competition, U.S., Canada and U.K. the commentators said it was the most incredible jump ever performed in world competition by a female competitor. Toller Cranston, the famous Canadian figure skater who was doing the Canadian broadcast said it was probably the best triple axel done at the competition including the men.

  • Jayyy Zeee
    Jayyy Zeee  a years ago +811

    Tanya Harding is remembered for attacking her competitor, but damn, she nailed that insanely hard jump!

  • MissingNo girl
    MissingNo girl  a years ago +644

    Tonya was amazing.

  • mycahhh
    mycahhh  a years ago +174

    skating videos are so satisfying to watch

  • Awesome Haircut
    Awesome Haircut  a years ago +1099

    This video is just an excuse to use a green screen on a Barbie.

  • Firebrain
    Firebrain  a years ago +70

    Who thinks Yuzu can land a 4A someday?

  • Kohana Antonio
    Kohana Antonio  a years ago +270

    why is it such a big? dude i cant even jump while skating

  • Sumeet
    Sumeet  a years ago +255

    Physics into poetry 🎯👏

  • TheFabulousTodd
    TheFabulousTodd  a years ago +18

    This explained nothing to me. Triple toe loop, triple axel, triple...whatever, they all look the same to me--amazing. I guess you really have to be a figure skater to understand all of this. I'll just take everyone's word for it that Mirai Nogasu is pretty damn brilliant. ;)

  • Peachy Koko
    Peachy Koko  an hour ago +1

    Me before watching: yeah, why is it such a big deal?
    Me after watching: ohhhhhhhhhh

  • Xi
    Xi  a years ago +709


  • i s
    i s  a years ago +40

    ugh this guy annoys me, midori ito was the first women to land the triple axel EVER not just in world competition and why is he so focused on tonyas triple when midori did it first??