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Why the triple axel is such a big deal
  Published: 8 months ago


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:

Want to see Tonya' Harding's routine? You can find one version here:

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. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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Comments Directly on YouTube

1 week ago
Whatever is said about Tanya Harding - at the end of the day Harding did a triple axel (to the soundtrack of Batman)

2 weeks ago
She didnt attack anybody blame the criminals please!

3 weeks ago
I used to ice skate and let me tell you it takes ALOT of work. Yes it’s fun and graceful and it looks fantastic but one wrong move and your head is bashed against the ice or maybe your ankle snaps because you couldn’t land the jump properly. Forgetting the risks, the prices were also too much. It’s an expensive sport to be in. In my opinion atleast . I applaud these people who are able to do these things.

4 weeks ago
I can do a triple axle upside-down 🙃

4 weeks ago
Wait. Let me get this straight...

@ 4:27

You are telling me Bruce Wayne & Batman are the same person??? 🤯😱

1 month ago
because only the best of the best of the best (with honors) can do it. Some can technically do it, but do it with grace and smoothness takes immense talent.

1 month ago
saw her 2 days ago, 9-7-2018, still looks great....

1 month ago
Physics to poetry

1 month ago
why did they keep cutting off the full clip of tonya harding landing the triple axel?

annoying editing

1 month ago
Tf is this editing

2 months ago

2 months ago
Man there's too much unnecessary in this video.. i'm confused.

2 months ago

2 months ago
Bruce Wayne is Batman?! I need to sit down!

2 months ago



2 months ago
I. Tonya

2 months ago
The iron lotus is more difficult.

2 months ago
tonya was the baddest. l was blown away by her story and her unparallelled raw skills

2 months ago
Just show the dang move.

2 months ago
What is the music used in this video? in the background

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