GANGNEUNG, South Korea - Before the Olympics began, the idea that Mirai Nagasu would be in any discussion about potential women's singles medalists was fanciful, even a bit preposterous.
That all changed last Monday.
"I've had her in the conversation for a week," said Robin Cousins of Great Britain, the 1980 Olympic gold medalist and BBC commentator.
A history-making triple axel jump in the team event free skate put Nagasu's name on the Olympic sports world's lips -- and on those of entertainment world celebrities like the Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik and Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who have congratulated her about it on Twitter.
"What Mirai has done is absolutely amazing," said teammate Karen Chen, speaking of the triple axel. "I think she will inspire many younger skaters that the impossible is possible."
But it was the 3 minutes, 45 seconds of near-flawless performance following her triple axel that convinced the sport's observers she was not a one-trick pony but a skater with renewed mastery of overall skills to match the resolute will that has generated one of the most endearing comebacks in figure skating history.
"When I saw her at the team event with a triple axel as big as many men's, I said, 'That girl came for one thing, to prove she is part of history,''' said Tomas Verner, 2008 European champion and Czech TV commentator.
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