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Before Mirai Nagasu's triple axel there was Kimmie Meissner's

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All three USA women intend to skate on.

It's no secret figure skater Mirai Nagasu is a hard worker. She said she hadn't taken a hot shower in weeks because "there a lot of people on Team USA, and somehow I keep trying to take a shower when all the hot water is gone".

That's the kind of rhetoric expected of an overfed and overpaid newspaper columnist, not an Olympic champion.

GOLDMAN: Five-time Olympian Kikkan Randall has heard the cheers so many times like tonight at Olympic cross-country races, cheers that nearly always ended with a consoling pat on the back.

This might be unpleasant to read, but many others in the field encountered the same obstacles she did.

"It really takes the U.S. Skating a next level up and it brings us closer to what the guys can do", added 15-year-old figure skater Ting Cui. They will face tough competition from Russia's Yevgena Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova, who are favored (live starting at 8 p.m., NBCSN/NBC).

In fact, Russian Federation and Japan have combined to win the last 15 women's medals over the last five junior world championships, which traditionally serve as a coming-out party for Olympic hopefuls. It helps her focus, and focusing has helped her build a reputation as a woman who never, ever stumbles.

"It's been really hard for me not to get emotional for so many reasons, especially because of my grandfather", she said.

Dancing with the Stars has announced a shortened all-athlete Season 26 set to premiere in the spring. She thought of Friday's free skate as "an audition for 'Dancing with the Stars'". The decision to train for four more years will have financial implications for her family, logistical implications for the entirety of her mid-20s, and physical implications for a body she's already put through enough triple axels to give her achy joints for years to come.

What the skaters said in the post-competition interviews pointed to another problem: The lack of mental and emotional fortitude. That was evident in their showing in South Korea, where Bradie Tennell finished ninth with teammates Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen right behind her. Skaters migrate to certain coaches, such Rafael Arutyunyan or Karen Chen's coach, Tammy Gambill, in Riverside.

Play-by-play commentator Steve Schlanger on American cross-country skier Jessie Diggins: "She has had two fifth-place finishes and one sixth so far at these Olympic Games".

Olympic athletes from Russia Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medevedeva - who are not in their nation's colours - now occupy the top two spots on 82.92 and 81.61 points respectively with the free routine to come.

The top American, Tennell, finished more than 35 points behind Medvedeva, the silver medalist.

"It's no excuse", she said. The reigning national champion wound up with 64.01 points. It's what I've been working on for 20 years.

She also told an NBC reporter that if she had done a double, instead of the triple axel, she would have been more angry with herself for not going for it.

But after landing her opening triple lutz, Tennell was unable to hold onto her triple toe loop, falling on the second half of a combination that had become so familiar. She is a little less than 12 points out of third. The U.S.is fighting with Canada for what's left.

Nagasu pulled the jump off flawlessly but slipped on the ice and landed on her hands and knees.

Chen: "Yes, please. I have tried it years ago when I was junior, I was able to land it. but I broke my foot not long after, not from doing the triple, and had to take a break".

In figure skating, she might as well have been 54. To be honest, when I first came here I didn't know what to expect.

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