Why the triple axel is such a big deal

  • Published on Feb 12, 2018
  • 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: www.espn.com/olympics/news/story?id=1967992
    Follow Vox's full 2018 Winter Olympics coverage here: bit.ly/2nVUSz2
    Subscribe to our channel! goo.gl/0bsAjO
    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 www.vox.com.
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Comments • 2 543

  • frenchie5k
    frenchie5k 3 hours ago

    Then why did she club Nancy Kerrigan?

  • Amina Khan
    Amina Khan 3 hours ago

    Guys I can do a triple roll

  • Dillpickle 97
    Dillpickle 97 5 hours ago

    I hope you guys know that the barbie and next scene were just a filler.

  • Amy Francko & Sandra Bryant

    wow it was 1991, maybe I remeber the news of the two ladies fight more than the show. I was only 5 at the time, but I do remember

  • Me
    Me 6 hours ago


  • Aria Cannon
    Aria Cannon 14 hours ago

    watch this made me so dizzy simply because the shots changed every .4 seconds

  • Arif Sultan
    Arif Sultan 14 hours ago

    The video is unnecessarily long.

  • Justin Voss
    Justin Voss 14 hours ago

    Where is the SavedYouAClick guy from Reddit to quickly tell me why and not have to watch all this useless fluff

  • The Krinklebein
    The Krinklebein 16 hours ago

    I wish you would show the full jump

  • Jesus Garza
    Jesus Garza 17 hours ago

    why did i watch this???

  • harrymason666
    harrymason666 18 hours ago

    This video is so frustrating to watch.

  • Kupokeki
    Kupokeki 19 hours ago

    You never just show the move in normal speed. This video is so all over the place and could’ve been way shorter.

  • blehh853
    blehh853 20 hours ago

    Still confused what it is and why its a big deal lol to me they just spin in the air and look beautiful 😂😍😌

  • brachypelmasmith
    brachypelmasmith 21 hour ago

    Is triple supposed to be hard(er) for women than for men? Because men, more or less routinely, do quadruple axels. Is it just mass/jump height thing or is there more?

  • Andrian Harsono
    Andrian Harsono 22 hours ago

    Her name "Mirai" means "future" in Japanese. How appropriate! She is the future of US figure skating.

  • mycah panes
    mycah panes 23 hours ago +1

    skating videos are so satisfying to watch

  • Raymond
    Raymond Day ago

    One of the worst video edits I have ever seen. Soooooo annoying...

  • Panos Georgoulas

    Triple cork is harder

  • Matteah A.B
    Matteah A.B Day ago

    Too much editing and i dont like your face

  • victor noagbodji

    i know nothing about figure skating but now i have a favorite. Mirai seems like a very cool person. love her smile : )

  • michael greene
    michael greene Day ago

    This has got to be the absolute worst, most insipid and asinine video I have ever seen, blathering on an on about the triple axel for close to 5 minutes and showing less than 10 seconds of actual triple axels footage performed by skaters in real life! The director of this video is a total idiot who caused me to waste 5 minutes of my time.

  • Albin Krevelj
    Albin Krevelj Day ago

    most boring sport of them all...

  • john li
    john li Day ago

    Didnt tonya try to have someone break nancy's legs or something

  • tomnotloki
    tomnotloki Day ago

    hey Vox, I know you're trying to make a hip and interesting video all that, but you're jumpy editing is fricken distracting, man. it's okay if you tone it down a bit, you don't have to be lit af 24/7 yanno.

  • Action Jackie
    Action Jackie Day ago

    you training all life for a triple axel and in the competition fail? damn!

  • Mr. W
    Mr. W Day ago

    Me: "Wow, Mirai Nagasu is so elegant..."
    and then she opens her mouth.

  • Tyler's world
    Tyler's world Day ago

    I get tired when i put socks on.

  • John Johnson
    John Johnson Day ago

    Anyone know the song that plays for a few seconds starting at 12 seconds in?

  • DJLocuaz
    DJLocuaz Day ago

    Like my Facebook page facebook.com/SonidoSirius/

  • dougie odwyer
    dougie odwyer Day ago

    whats the song in the begining bit ive been trying to find it for ages x

  • crankylifter
    crankylifter Day ago

    I'm not interested in the graphics or the music or the millennial narrator's airtime-I wanted to see a triple axel. Was that too much to ask? Jesus.

  • Antero Jokinen
    Antero Jokinen 2 days ago

    The info is good and all but holy hell this video looks awful. Make it clearer next time, please.

  • Ahimtar HoN
    Ahimtar HoN 2 days ago

    Seriously, how can you make an explanatory video about some ice-skating trick and for over 3 minutes not even show what the trick is? Most people don't know what a "triple axel" is, it's not common knowledge. And even if it was, how hard it is to show it and not cut it in the middle 8 times?!

  • Salvador Ramirez
    Salvador Ramirez 2 days ago

    I got frustrated everytime they almost showed the whole jump and cut away immediately

  • joni capo
    joni capo 2 days ago

    amazing www.yko.io/BK00b

  • Eugene Lee
    Eugene Lee 2 days ago

    WTF Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same person?

  • ramonypony
    ramonypony 2 days ago

    This video is trying SO HARD TO HAVE *AESTHETIC* and I'm just left confused 😂

  • Jordan Shane
    Jordan Shane 2 days ago

    What is this cancer editing

  • zonkster909
    zonkster909 2 days ago

    Tonya Harding is kind of a big deal. The greatest skater ever.

  • Conner koskela
    Conner koskela 2 days ago

    (Insert blades of glory reference here)

  • Po A.
    Po A. 2 days ago

    FALSE! Another American Kimmie Meisner landed a triple axel at US Nationals in 2005 or 2006 .

  • Энгельсина Гребенкина

    АХ, как это здорово!

  • Louis Mackay
    Louis Mackay 2 days ago

    Doesn't even show the actual trick

  • Kitten_of_steel
    Kitten_of_steel 2 days ago

    “Physics into poetry.” Bars 😩😤💪💯💦💦

  • Isaac Olander
    Isaac Olander 2 days ago

    Just show us the jump

  • Verity Laurel
    Verity Laurel 2 days ago

    aaah this was like a Radio Lab podcast in video form. Hard to watch.

  • Brooke Leigh
    Brooke Leigh 2 days ago

    And i can barely walk on even ground without falling over

  • Tithe3016
    Tithe3016 2 days ago

    Shes my classmate AAHHH

  • Jarrel Brannon
    Jarrel Brannon 2 days ago +1

    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.

  • SparkleKitten
    SparkleKitten 2 days ago

    We we're born to make history

  • duon44
    duon44 2 days ago

    did they seriously never show the full move in regular speed in this video? i was waiting for it

  • roxo166
    roxo166 3 days ago +1

    I can spin 3 times in 3 seconds!

  • incidentalist
    incidentalist 3 days ago +1

    Street Fighter 2 was off the chain back then! SO FUTURISTIC! LMAO

  • Mochi Pichu
    Mochi Pichu 3 days ago

    for Yuri on ice fans

  • BTS Army
    BTS Army 3 days ago

    Why does this sound like some serious business 😂 like someone's life is at stake or some kind of political issue or something. Must be the bgm 😂

  • parkjihoon
    parkjihoon 3 days ago

    Isn't Kim Yuna the record breaker?

  • camelpissflavour
    camelpissflavour 3 days ago

    i can do a quadruple axel

  • Skype Troubled
    Skype Troubled 3 days ago

    MIrai Nagasu is JAPANESE :)

  • Clo Chu
    Clo Chu 3 days ago

    Yet Yuzuru did triple Axel like it was so easy

  • GreyKnight Tarek
    GreyKnight Tarek 3 days ago

    Is that "jump to it" playing in the background an actual song? if yes anyone know the name pls & ty

  • Rangatira Ahau
    Rangatira Ahau 3 days ago

    What does batman have to do with it?

  • Andrew 07
    Andrew 07 3 days ago

    I can do a triple flop, big deal 😒

  • Mr Whiskers
    Mr Whiskers 3 days ago


  • cute girl
    cute girl 3 days ago +1

    Tonya harding ♡♡♡ chick can skate!

  • Alana Chansky
    Alana Chansky 3 days ago

    everyone watching this video PLZ subscribe to Sofie dossi!!!

  • Alana Chansky
    Alana Chansky 3 days ago

    LOL at first i thought that barbie doll was a real human!!!

  • James Helou
    James Helou 3 days ago

    Took 1:30 to actually mention anything relevant to the video title -_-

  • Jennifer Scott-Checki

    Cracked, you are so awesome! Thanks for the videos. I know nothing about skating, so this was really interesting.

  • Sun Rise
    Sun Rise 3 days ago

    Harding's landing was smoother and more graceful than Ito's.

  • angelica mendez
    angelica mendez 3 days ago

    My friend's name is Axel

  • GV
    GV 3 days ago

    Who the hell cares?

  • boombapboom
    boombapboom 3 days ago

    This did nothing for my understanding, smh.

  • Fatima Wajid
    Fatima Wajid 4 days ago

    should have been more mao asada, queen of triple axles

  • mzs114
    mzs114 4 days ago

    If Triple is such a big deal then what about Quad? !!

  • Paulo Abundo
    Paulo Abundo 4 days ago

    So, are you not allowed to show the full triple axel?

  • Lenni Turunen
    Lenni Turunen 4 days ago

    Share justify engineer salmon absence zone view passage discrimination seize initial native.

  • _Elizabeth Pruyne
    _Elizabeth Pruyne 4 days ago


  • Paloma Harper
    Paloma Harper 4 days ago

    Tonya Harding actually had Jurassic Park music. Where'd you get batman?

  • rj anora
    rj anora 4 days ago

    this video is more difficult than the triple axel

  • 100 Subs No Vids Challenge

    the triple axle is sooooooooo goooooooood

  • John Mgtow
    John Mgtow 4 days ago

    martial arts triple axel is a 1080 hook

    RANDOM MAY 4 days ago

    So it's basically a flat ground 1440 right I don't know because somehow this video explains nothing

  • Taamz Heart
    Taamz Heart 4 days ago


  • Taamz Heart
    Taamz Heart 4 days ago

    I actually love the editing.

  • md sahadat
    md sahadat 4 days ago


  • Brian Lee
    Brian Lee 4 days ago

    The Zamboni is coming. It's going to be loud.

  • chanel8861
    chanel8861 4 days ago

    Totally botched her name... wtf

  • Brayden Majid
    Brayden Majid 4 days ago +1

    Am I the only one that didn’t know what a triple axel was until I clicked this video

  • skoR
    skoR 4 days ago

    Ok, so it's difficult. I still don't understand why people are 'losing their minds' over it.

  • Daniel Darksun
    Daniel Darksun 4 days ago

    If she didn't land: A woman of Korean descent.
    If she lands it: An american woman.

  • Hariz Badrulhisham
    Hariz Badrulhisham 4 days ago

    do one for The Iron Lotus

  • Steven Munro
    Steven Munro 4 days ago

    It would be awesome if you guys did a episode about Skateboarding.

  • Eric [][][]
    Eric [][][] 4 days ago +1

    Seems like being short with thick thighs and a bubble butt is helpful.
    Tonya Harding is white-trash sexy.

  • satish jha
    satish jha 4 days ago

    The jump was around long before these two.

  • syam
    syam 4 days ago


  • Mastermind8634
    Mastermind8634 4 days ago

    I just want to know the name of the classical song that starts at 0:21

  • Roly And Poly
    Roly And Poly 4 days ago

    Is it actually spelled Axel or is it supposed to be Axle?

  • Liam Fenton
    Liam Fenton 4 days ago

    yea well i was the first white teen who has a dog to eat a piece of paper while in public so, quite the accomplishment

  • Abby Ericson
    Abby Ericson 4 days ago

    I feel like I still don't understand the big deal.

  • D Drizzletime
    D Drizzletime 4 days ago

    Watch D Drizzle on TVclip