Nagasu, who becomes also the first American woman to ever land the incredibly difficult trick, helped secure her country bronze in the team event.
On her way to securing a medal, the stunning routine saw the 24-year-old pull off eight other triple jumps, including a triple flip and a triple Slachow combination.
“I feel really great,” she said after her performance. “Going into it, I was like a train, get on those tracks and get some speed.”
But it was the famous triple Axel jump that had fans on their feet going crazy for pulling off the biggest trick of all on the biggest of stages.
“To nail it the way I did – and even out of the corner of my eye, I could see my team mates standing in excitement,” she added.
The only other women to land the jump in the Olympics were Japanese skaters Midori Ito and Mao Asada, and Nagasu, whose parents are Japanese, joked that perhaps her ancestry had played a part.
“Maybe it’s the Japanese genetics – but lucky for me I’m American, so I’ll be the first U.S. lady,” she said after her performance.
Nagasu was snubbed for Sochi in 2014 despite finishing third in the U.S. nationals as the selectors handed the Olympic berth to Ashley Wagner, who finished fourth.
“Four years ago I was crying with Adam Rippon because we both didn’t make the team,” she said, referring to the men’s singles skater.
“So for both of us to be on the team… is super exciting.
“I was very upset for a very long time. But I changed myself and became a better skater.
”I honestly don’t think that I would have worked as hard on the triple Axel if I didn’t have that time to really contemplate.”
The United States took bronze behind Canada and the Olympic Athletes from Russia, who took gold and silver respectively.