United States of America once dominated women's figure skating. So what happened?

Mirai Nagasu’s family owns a California sushi restaurant

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Team Event Women's Single Skating Free Skating competition final - Gangneung Ice Arena - Gangneung, South Korea - February 12, 2018 - Mirai Nagasu of the us competes.

The last time an American woman won an Olympic medal was in 2006, when Sasha Cohen took silver.

'I saved the team event with Adam and the Shibutanis.

"You're starting to see a lot of up-and-coming kids trying the triples, trying the triple-triples, and even below juniors", Zakrajsek said. With a free program to go, and world records and a team medal already under their belts, let's apply the same standard to both groups and NOT be so quick to write the women off.

Which is, well, why she isn't an Olympic champion, except in the field of complaining. Tennell skated in the team competition's short program, finishing fifth (68.94), and knocking off the nerves along the way.

"I have watched my roommates go out and compete and I have still had to go to bed at 8 p.m., which is hard for me", she said.

The more the world gets to know her, the more it loves her, too, and the more it roots for her to somehow crack the podium by the time Friday's free skate concludes. "We each struggle with our individual obstacles", Chen said.

Tennell landed everything during her early morning practice - in fact, she had landed just about everything since arriving in South Korea - and that had given her tremendous confidence heading into her short program at Gangneung Ice Arena.

'She really is the best of the United States ladies in skating skill, ' Lipinksi said. She was beaten for the first time in two years at the European championships, when she finished second to Zagitova, her training partner.

Nagasu is one reason teammate Adam Rippon stayed in the Olympic Village. Richard Heathcote  Getty Images
Nagasu is one reason teammate Adam Rippon stayed in the Olympic Village. Richard Heathcote Getty Images

"As a result, developing skaters are taught to value simple, clean skates, rather than taking risks on technically more challenging programs", said Rachael Flatt, a 2010 Olympian who teaches part-time at Solar4America Ice in San Jose.

"I would like to be on "Dancing With the Stars" because I want to be a star", Nagasu told The Washington Post. "This isn't what I wanted, but at the same time, you can't always have what you want".

Meanwhile, the Americans who once dominated the sport have been forced to play catch-up, just like the rest of the world. This is a sport known for eating its young, one that counts its competitive window in dog years, making what Nagasu has done absurdly unlikely. "I thought of this [the women's free skate] as my audition for 'Dancing with the Stars'".

Chen hung onto her opening triple lutz, but was out of position to do her planned triple toe for a combination.

"We've had so many commitments", she said, according to USA Today.

Realistic for the best figure skater from the Black Hills is better than what one percent of her competition ever achieves. "We were behind Italy for a good little bit".

Nagasu's historic triple axel was a product of all her hard work and perseverance. "I didn't know what the media was going to be like, I didn't know what the ice was going to be like, I didn't have an idea of what the village was going to be like, so it was all so brand new and all so different".

She scored 128.34 points to also place ninth in the free skate and finished with a total of 192.35 points. "And things happen, we're all human". Olympic gold medalist and figure skating commentator Tara Lipinski said Chen would be a "contender" if she got her jumps "under control".

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