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Skating phenom Kamila Valieva is 1st woman to land quad jump at Olympics

The 15-year-old Russian Olympic Committee skater landed two quadruple jumps in her Olympic debut to help lead ROC to the team gold medal.
Beijing 2022 Olympics: team figure skating, ladies' free skating
Kamila Valieva, a 15-year-old skater from Russia, made history in her Olympic debut in Beijing. Sergei Bobylev / TASS via Getty Images

At only 15 years old, figure skater Kamila Valieva produced a sight that had never been seen in the 114-year history of women's Olympic figure skating until Monday.

The precocious Russian Olympic Committee skater made history in her Olympic debut in Beijing when she became the first woman in history to land a quadruple jump at the Olympics.

Not only that, she did it twice. During the team free skate event, she nailed a pair of jumps in which she executed four revolutions in mid-air, a quad salchow and a quad toe with a triple-toe combination.

Valieva's brilliance helped lead ROC to the figure skating team gold medal ahead of the United States, which took silver.

NBC Olympic analysts Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, a pair of decorated former Olympic skaters themselves, were blown away by Valieva's performance.

"If that performance didn’t inspire the whole world to take up ice skating, I don’t know what would," Weir said on the broadcast.

While a quad had never been successfully landed in the Olympics before, Valieva entered Beijing with the expectations that she would land at least one.

She already holds multiple world records, and she was part of a group of seven women at last month's Russian Championships who attempted 18 quads and landed 11 of them, according to NBC Olympics.

Her teammate, Alexandra Trusova, 17, is nicknamed the "Quad Queen" for her ability to do four different types of quad jumps, and she landed five quads at an event in Russia in September.

Beijing 2022 Olympics: team figure skating, ladies' free skating
Valieva made history at Beijing's Capital Indoor Stadium when she became the first female figure skater to land a quadruple jump in the Olympics. Sergei Bobylev / TASS via Getty Images

Valieva’s feat came 30 years after French skater Surya Bonaly first attempted a quad at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville. But her jump was not counted as a successful attempt because the judges deemed she did not complete the full rotation.

Only one other woman is believed to have even attempted a quad since Bonaly: Japan's Miki Ando, who fell on her attempt in 2006. The move is not permitted in women's short programs, but is allowed in the free skate.

Beijing 2022 Olympics: team figure skating, ladies' free skating
Valieva's historic performance helped lead the Russian Olympic Committee to the gold medal in the team figure skating competition. Sergei Bobylev / TASS via Getty Images

Men’s figure skaters have been landing quads at the Olympics since 1998, but Valieva’s seemingly effortless performance on Monday was a breakthrough for the women. American skater Alysa Liu, 16, has landed a quad in sanctioned competition but never at the Olympics, according to NBC Olympics.