The 15-year-old delivered a near-world record breaking performance, according to NBC.
ATLANTA — On Saturday night figure skaters hit the ice in the women’s short program portion of the Olympics.
While most viewers here in the U.S. were eagerly cheering on 22-year-old Karen Chen, it was hard not to be impressed by the performance of Russian skating sensation Kamila Valieva.
The 15-year-old delivered a near-world record breaking performance, according to NBC, where she became the fourth woman in Olympic history to land the particularly difficult triple axel move.
So, what does this move entail?
Well to begin, we first need to explain an axel; one of the key jumps in figure skating.
Essentially, the skater in question launches themselves from the outside edge of the forward skate and lands going backward on the opposite skate.
The move is considered rather difficult because it requires an extra half-rotation to land backward. In order to make that a triple axel, the skater will need to perform 3.5 rotations.
While the move is more common among male figure skaters, it’s rare to see completed by women in the Olympics competition.
Back in 2018, American Mirai Nagasu became the third woman to land the jump at the games. Before her, Japan’s Midori Ito and Mao Asada landed the difficult maneuver, according to the Associated Press.