Why the triple axel is such a big deal

  • Published on Feb 12, 2018
  • 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: www.espn.com/olympics/news/story?id=1967992
    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.
    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 • 2 708

    CHICKENLADY 4 days ago

    1:22 I’m confused

  • Selena Books
    Selena Books 4 days ago

    I can do a triple visit to the fridge.

  • alexander bakulin
    alexander bakulin 4 days ago

    can they just say that unlike other triples, triple axel is not actually a triple, but a 3.5 rotations jump.

  • KK R
    KK R 7 days ago


  • yuzuru hanyu
    yuzuru hanyu 9 days ago

    quad are like 10times harder

  • small footprint
    small footprint 10 days ago

    It was an epic moment. I still remember it to this day and can feel the emotions of watching her make that jump.

  • sportsocks
    sportsocks 11 days ago +1

    show me triple axel please

  • Parshipto
    Parshipto 11 days ago +1

    where the triple axel

  • luisqsk
    luisqsk 11 days ago +1

    Your stupid video just doesn't let me see anything of the diagram, what are you? some type of silly magazine?

  • eizhowa
    eizhowa 12 days ago

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

  • lsr asr
    lsr asr 13 days ago +1

    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.

  • Forrest Taylor
    Forrest Taylor 14 days ago +2

    Why was this video edited like someone with epilepsy wanted to hurt themselves

  • mano fiske
    mano fiske 15 days ago

    The Asian chick is very quirky.

  • The Piper Report
    The Piper Report 15 days ago

    Yeah.. I have no idea what any of this but I just finished the movie I, Tonya and figured I would check out her famous Triple-Axel

  • Zach Schultz
    Zach Schultz 21 day ago

    Kimmie Meissner is shook by Vox's error.

  • Winnie Cho
    Winnie Cho 23 days ago

    the background totally completes this video,so pleasing

  • Minna Christal
    Minna Christal 24 days ago

    Sponsord by barbie

  • Myat Htoo
    Myat Htoo 24 days ago

    it's like you got to be on the right side of the tracks! Yay for Tonya technical only or not, it was a "historical" accomplishment!

  • alex8matt
    alex8matt 25 days ago +1

    Girls are landing quad lutzes, those are harder.

  • Have An Ice Day
    Have An Ice Day 27 days ago

    Physics into poetry

  • isa bel
    isa bel 29 days ago

    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??

  • Jackson Wald
    Jackson Wald Month ago

    The triple axel is the dark souls of skating

  • metalperslfx
    metalperslfx Month ago

    i always do a triple axle every time i step into the ring

  • Alice li
    Alice li Month ago

    I can do a tripple fart 💩

  • Tirion
    Tirion Month ago +2

    i first read it as " why triple axe is such a big deal"

  • StewNWT
    StewNWT Month ago

    Wrong. Kimmie Meissner also landed a triple axel in competition

    • lsr asr
      lsr asr 13 days ago

      Kimmie landed it in competition, but not internationally. As of today's date May 11, 2018 only 8 women have landed the triple axel in international competition, only 3 women to do it at the Olympic games.

  • blahblah bloooi
    blahblah bloooi Month ago

    this is the worst explanation of anything. so many distractions

  • The Tiller Willer!!!

    1:23 I have that Barbie ououtfitthe skates 😂

  • Mahmoud El Arch
    Mahmoud El Arch Month ago

    4:18 "Historical" look at her creepy teeth... !

  • ama deus
    ama deus Month ago

    The editing on this is really obnoxious

  • GoddessZUnique
    GoddessZUnique Month ago

    For anyone lookin for the song at 1:20 it can be found in this list www.emipm.com/en/browse/labels/JM/156. The song is titled Jump, #16.

  • Anne C
    Anne C Month ago

    No. One must skate with a combination of such speed and with a powerful lift and thrust . One must have strong, muscular legs.

    CHECK ENGINE Month ago

    I still don't get it

  • thewitchking84
    thewitchking84 Month ago

    god this video is a mess to watch.
    stop with this unneeded cuts.

  • Isabella Williams
    Isabella Williams Month ago

    Wth!! Why Barbie!!

  • j lee
    j lee Month ago

    Too bad Harding didn't get the gold for that. True champion.

  • souviendra
    souviendra 2 months ago

    Kimmie Meissner landed the triple axel in competition as well (2005 U.S. Nationals)

  • Hannah Clarissa Masilang

    Then you’re gonna think about if one triple axel is historical, what should be 3 or 4 triple axel be? That’s what Asada Mao did in the Vancouver Olympics.

  • Ranjan Patra
    Ranjan Patra 2 months ago

    America ruined her carrier

  • Maeve O'Neill
    Maeve O'Neill 2 months ago

    Now that a man has explained it I understand

  • Chase Lapierre
    Chase Lapierre 2 months ago

    Vox. With the world's hard hitting issues.

  • Mabel Pines
    Mabel Pines 2 months ago

    I watched Yuri on Ice so I know

  • Tomek janecki
    Tomek janecki 2 months ago

    I do triple axels every weekend going back home from a binge

  • Lps Productions
    Lps Productions 2 months ago

    One word fickle

  • Weles Weles
    Weles Weles 2 months ago

    Alexandra Trusova made two quads in one skating program about one week ago.

  • Dizzle
    Dizzle 2 months ago

    I've never seen anyone do it quite like Tonya. The strength, speed, execution, her form and even the landing were phenomenal. When you slow motion other skaters even Mirai Nagasu, you can point out several flaws and the landing looks rough with trying to keep their ankle straight, but not with Tonya. She made it look effortless, but I know it's not Lol

  • zonkster909
    zonkster909 2 months ago

    There's only one way to consider Harding... The only badass woman's figure skating champion in history.

  • Jeon Rosie
    Jeon Rosie 2 months ago

    Also yuju from gfriend just kidding but she can also do it😂

  • Benjamín Gómez
    Benjamín Gómez 2 months ago +1

    It bugs me very much the fact that they never show the actual jump completely or uncut. Why!!! It's incredibly unsatisfying!!!

  • Isis Penafort
    Isis Penafort 2 months ago

    This gave chills! Crazy

  • heyras
    heyras 2 months ago

    name of the song at 2:45, anyone?

  • Gabriela Torres
    Gabriela Torres 2 months ago

    I can do a cartwheel

  • Fanny's LoA
    Fanny's LoA 2 months ago

    What's with all these videos that try to be fancy with flashing images and mixing clips from different events, while NEVER getting to the point of the title?

  • Dee Ca.
    Dee Ca. 2 months ago

    And here I am and I can barely jump. And not even with skates- I mean a normal jump.

  • Fritz Wunderlich
    Fritz Wunderlich 2 months ago

    That girl looks like a Chinese - Maybe she's one of those immigrating atheletes?

  • Syafiq Norkhalim
    Syafiq Norkhalim 2 months ago +3

    Video could honestly have been 3mins long instead of 5

  • Anthony Urbanski
    Anthony Urbanski 2 months ago

    Tonya...did it first...end of story.

    • Anthony Urbanski
      Anthony Urbanski 12 days ago

      In America she sure did,I would die for her. She is a powerful,strong and a real American sweet heart.

    • lsr asr
      lsr asr 13 days ago

      Tonya was the 1st American to land the triple axel in international competition, but the 2nd woman to land the triple axel. Midori Ito was the 1st in 1988 and the 1st in world competition in 1989.

  • Mike Gerry
    Mike Gerry 2 months ago +3

    This vid sucked

  • siukong
    siukong 2 months ago +21

    Some of the most annoying editing I've ever seen.

  • Jair F.S
    Jair F.S 2 months ago

    So todays competitors still dont do this at all??

  • pagan _THE
    pagan _THE 2 months ago

    sexist propaganda... its a commen move in the mens olympic and for some reason when a woman does it, SENSATION!!!! let the world know this... a woman can do this.bla bla bla.. fake propaganda news

  • VL Thacker
    VL Thacker 2 months ago +1

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but men do triple axels all the time, it's the quads that are so important there.

    • Jewlia Skates
      Jewlia Skates Day ago

      VL Thacker Men don't do tripple axels all the time, but they are done more by men.

  • Matthew Tyrrel
    Matthew Tyrrel 2 months ago

    Still a criminal

  • The World's Largest Cubic Zirconia

    Uh oh the zamboni coming. It's going to be loud...

  • Silver Purine
    Silver Purine 2 months ago

    Wow i really am average

  • Veronique Ramirez
    Veronique Ramirez 2 months ago

    "Tanya Harding was the first American woman to land a Triple Axel" ...... who was before her? Was it a man?

    • Bish Tomane
      Bish Tomane 2 months ago

      No, a Japanese skater, Midori Ito

  • Giovandy Fernando
    Giovandy Fernando 2 months ago

    meanwhile, shawn eckhardt thinks triple cheeseburger the real deal

  • Julia McAlister
    Julia McAlister 2 months ago

    The triple axel is impressive sure, but it's no iron lotus.

  • repairdrive
    repairdrive 2 months ago

    Tonya was a beast!

  • avismoon
    avismoon 2 months ago

    Shouldn't the video be focusing more on Midori Ito instead of Tonya Harding. Afterall, Ito was the first woman to do this at the Olympic games.

  • diane cry-anne nguyen
    diane cry-anne nguyen 2 months ago

    rip ankles

  • M.M
    M.M 2 months ago

    Just want to mention Mao Asada who did tripleA in her every performance until she retired.

  • taeyeeol
    taeyeeol 2 months ago

    and people being able to move on an extremely slippery surface with two thin knife blades still stuns me :))))

  • All of Jimin's Jams Namjoon stole

    best part of the video? THE ZAMBONI IS COMING IT'S GONNA BE LOUD

  • SaltyBoi
    SaltyBoi 2 months ago

    try spinning, thats a good move

  • Mohammed Abolilah
    Mohammed Abolilah 2 months ago

    I haven't known anything about triple axel or figure skating until I saw the I tonya movie. It was amazing one.

  • Eumir Valverde
    Eumir Valverde 2 months ago

    That make me think about Mao Asada's magic: to put 2 triple axels in JUST ONE MINUTE of her free prog plus one more in the short and even landed one at the World junior with only 14 yrs ... such a genius

  • evefiamma
    evefiamma 2 months ago

    Thank you so much for this video, explaining the physics but also conveying the magic

  • Ryley BKGames
    Ryley BKGames 2 months ago +1

    A triple axel is a big deal... For WOMEN

  • S.Vermillion
    S.Vermillion 2 months ago

    Ohh look a Barbie...

  • spikes1210
    spikes1210 2 months ago

    video editing of every Vox video is spot on.

  • Josie Lee
    Josie Lee 2 months ago

    Who cares about Nancy. Tonya was feisty and beautiful.

  • SuperToastyToast
    SuperToastyToast 2 months ago +17

    I'm disliking this video not because of the content but the horrible editing.
    It took 4 minutes for us to see the triple axle with no interruption or edgy video editing.

  • j m
    j m 2 months ago +7

    can we just see a clip of the entire jump without slowing down, cutting away?

    • tanner1ie
      tanner1ie 2 months ago

      The following video shows the complete routine, while the channel it's on features plenty more of the skates featured in the new film I, Tonya (among others)...
      The background of which i've spent the last two plus hours reading about and watching videos such as it, despite never hearing about any of the people or events involved before seeing trailers for the film or even having watched a figure skating routine before watching the film today and the various clips on TVclip... :) .

  • Chuck Norris
    Chuck Norris 2 months ago

    I swear male skaters do triple axels all the time?

  • Drastick Rebel
    Drastick Rebel 2 months ago

    Cause it a 1080 on skates. Its not a mystery

  • Phoenix Rising
    Phoenix Rising 2 months ago

    Yawn. Like the Olympics.

  • Barbara 1
    Barbara 1 2 months ago


  • Asi Boy
    Asi Boy 2 months ago +4

    horribly edited video

  • Toast
    Toast 2 months ago

    This was just done by the best artist ever.. Rich Brian

  • jennifer wellman
    jennifer wellman 2 months ago

    Say what you will about Tonya, the fact is she ruled that maneuver. Not many women can say that they have, actually only one other. Because Tonya was the first....you can't take that away from her.

  • Trish Goodman
    Trish Goodman 2 months ago


  • Olympias
    Olympias 2 months ago

    This video serves one purpose: induce epileptic seizures!

  • Fried Rai
    Fried Rai 2 months ago

    Then there's Nathan Chen with 6 quads in his Olympic free skate... Too bad he messed up his short skate.

  • lordofentropy
    lordofentropy 2 months ago +32

    Showing the actual move in its entirety from start to finish at least once would've been nice instead of only a bit here and there.

  • Kenza Bensaid
    Kenza Bensaid 2 months ago

    You have a bad way to explain things

  • NIC and JESS
    NIC and JESS 2 months ago

    Oh my gosh! I don't even know how they do these things!!! Incredible! Hilarious triple axel reaction here! tvclip.biz/video/yYtxTuhcE1c/video.html&t=97s

  • Ruskin
    Ruskin 2 months ago

    This video isnt very helpful, is it?

  • Not Deyvid
    Not Deyvid 2 months ago

    Anyone else noticed they never showed the full jump and landing in it's completion