Ah, the Olympics.
Every two years, they roll around, making us wonder what on Earth we are doing sitting on the couch while people our age (or younger!) are somewhere across the globe, competing for world titles and shiny medals.
Occasionally, an athlete will land a jump on the ice or a flip on the slopes, and the commentators will lose. Their. Minds.
The Olympics are a collection of the best athletes and competitors in the world, and their superhuman powers break records on each of the 13 days the events span over.
Here are some of the greatest stories so far.
The Athlete: Mirai Nagasu (United States of America)
The Sport: Figure Skating – Team Competition
The Story: Mirai Nagasu, the 24-year-old figure skater from Montebello, CA, made history when she became the first American woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics. Only two women have successfully landed the triple axel at the Olympics before – Midori Ito and Mao Asado, both from Japan, have previously been credited with the jump.The jump was made during the long program skate of the team competition. Nagasu’s feat helped her team earn the bronze medal, following Canada and the Olympic Athletes from Russia. Regarding the jump, Nagasu’s coach, Tom Zakrajsek said, “She had a really big, good double axel but there’s a little difference in technique for the double and triple axel. Most of it, if I had to sum it up in one word, is timing.”
The Athlete: Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (United States of America)
The Sport: Women’s Ice Hockey
The Story: Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, a three-time Olympian from North Dakota, scored two goals in six seconds in a game against the Olympic Athletes from Russia. The feat topped Sweden’s Carl-Goran Oberg, who made two goals in eight seconds at the 1960 Olympics. Lamoureux-Davidson’s first goal came as a rebound from a shot taken by her identical twin sister, Monique Lamoureux-Morando. Thanks to three points from Lamoureux-Davidson, the U.S. topped Russia 5-0.
The Athletes: Seun Adigun and Akuoma Omeoga (Nigeria)
The Sport: Women’s Bobsled
The Story: The Nigerian bobsled pair became the first African country to be represented in a bobsleigh. No African nation has ever won a Winter Olympic medal, and the bobsledders unfortunately weren’t going to change that. They finished in last place after two heats, 3.5 seconds behind the first-place Germans. Nonetheless, Adigun, pilot of the sled, said, “You don’t have to quantify things by just the result of first place, second place or any time. You can actually quantify it by your ability to be selfless, your ability to drive and your ability to be innovative. This was just meant to be.”
The Athlete: Nathan Chen (United States of America)
The Sport: Men’s Figure Skating
The Story: Nathan Chen, the 18-year-old from Salt Lake City, came back from a rough couple of performances in the team and individual competitions to set a new world record. Chen landed six quadruple jumps, orchestrating what TIME Magazine called, “the greatest comeback in skating history,” climbing from 17th to 5th place. Chen only got technical credit for five of the jumps, beating out his own personal record. He earned an impressive score of 297.35, enough to move him to the gold medal slot for the time being. Four-time world champion Kurt Browning said Chen’s “long program will be talked about forever.”