Why the triple axel is such a big deal

2018-02-12 3,179,113 views 05:10 41,316 8,579
Published by Vox


Triple axels can turn skaters into legends. This is why.
Want to see Tonya' Harding's routine? You can find one version here:

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

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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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Anyone else noticed they never showed the full jump and landing in it's completion
Not Deyvid. 2 minutes and 27 seconds ago.
yuna kim did this so effortlessly i thought it was a normal jump wtf
Myra Togonon. 13 hours and 46 minutes ago.
Still not as good as Chaz Michael Michael's
The Jester. 16 hours and 40 minutes ago.
Total Geek. 20 hours and 53 minutes ago.
Tonya is Iconic
remy paraskovia. 1 day and 7 hours ago.
1:21 anyone know the name of the song?
Carlos. 1 day and 7 hours ago.
She can do a triple but forgets to bring me my vodka
Nestor Gonzalez. 1 day and 18 hours ago.
Didnt they make a movie of this Tonya being straight up ganster who was killing people?
Nestor Gonzalez. 1 day and 18 hours ago.
Love seeing Tonya Harding land that triple. Amazing. Must be such a good feeling. I meanwhile try to skate forwards, at a slow pace, without killing myself!
oranjelibertine. 2 days and 13 minutes ago.
the triple lindy is a much bigger deal
phishfearme2. 2 days and 2 hours ago.
What is the background music from 0:31 - 0:32 anyoneee ????
Ladiesman47100. 2 days and 9 hours ago.
Lol the first guy did it in 1882 but, cool ?
21. 2 days and 10 hours ago.
So, all of that crap and you dont even show a triple axel being done? smh
Peter Walker. 2 days and 18 hours ago.
guys do quads
PWNasaurusREX48. 2 days and 19 hours ago.
You took 5 minutes to tell me that?
kiikat. 2 days and 21 hours ago.
Changed my life... Hahaha
Gixxer983. 3 days and 1 hour ago.
“If you ask her to define triple axle in one word... she has to think about it.” I can’t think of a word that I could define in one word *without* thinking about it.
Justin Ly. 3 days and 3 hours ago.
So to put it simply. It’s hard to do...
gracecallan. 3 days and 8 hours ago.
I can do a triple tumble down the stairs.
Chris Tran. 3 days and 11 hours ago.
very poorly done subject. what a shame.
Riding Stone. 3 days and 17 hours ago.