American figure skater Ilia Malinin lands historic jump in competition

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In February 1980, a group of unsuspecting American hockey players defeated the Soviet Union at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, to win the gold medal in a victory famously christened as the “Miracle on Ice.”

On Wednesday, history was made again, this time on a different pair of skates.

Ilia Malinin of the US competes in the Junior Men’s Free Skating during day 3 of the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships at Tondiraba Ice Hall in Tallinn, Estonia, on April 16, 2022.
(Joosep Martinson – International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

World Junior champion Ilia Malinin, 17, became the first person in history to land the quad axel in competition during his winning performance in the lower-level US Classic in Lake Placid.

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“It felt really good. When I’m practicing it, it’s pretty easy for me to figure out how to get the right timing and everything to have it be a good attempt,” Malinin said. “To do it in competition is a different story because you have nerves and pressure that can get in the way of that. So I have to treat it like I’m at home, and it feels pretty good.”

Malinin is the son of Uzbekistani singles skaters Tatiana Malinina and Roman Skorniakov,

Malinin is the son of Uzbekistani singles skaters Tatiana Malinina and Roman Skorniakov,
(Joosep Martinson – International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images)

Malinin, the son of Uzbekistani singles skaters Tatiana Malinina and Roman Skorniakov, began his free skate with the four-and-a-half revolution jump. He finished with a score of 185.44 points for his free skate and 257.28 points in total to win the competition.

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Teammate Camden Pulkinen finished third with a score of 219.49 points.

“I had an idea for trying it for a little while now. March or April was when I really started to work on the technique and try to improve it,” Malinin said. “(Figure skating legend Yuzuru Hanyu) definitely inspired me to try it here.”

Malinin won Junior Grand Prix events in France and Austria, along with the world championship last year.

Malinin won Junior Grand Prix events in France and Austria, along with the world championship last year.
(Joosep Martinson – International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images))

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Malinin won Junior Grand Prix events in France and Austria, along with the world championship last year, and was second to three-time Olympic medalist Nathan Chen at the US championships.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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