What Is a Triple Axel?

What Is a Triple Axel?

A triple Axel is the only figure skating triple jump with a takeoff that starts from a front outside edge. This challenging and physically demanding jump requires three-and-a-half rotations to be performed while the skater is in the air. The Axel jump was invented by Axel Paulsen.

As of 2014, only six female figure skaters have completed a triple Axel in competition: Midori Ito, Yukari Nakano, Mao Asada, Tonya Harding, Ludmila Nelidina and Kimmie Meisner. Mao Asada is the only female skater to perform three triple Axels in a single competition. Many Olympic-level male figure skaters perform the triple Axel.

The International Judging System assigns the triple Axel jump a base value of 8.5 points.