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Olympic figure skater lands quadruple Axel in harness

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 8

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 17: Keegan Messing of Canada competes during the Men’s Single Free Program on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 17, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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A quadruple Axel has never been landed in competition, but Canadian Olympian Keegan Messing looked pretty strong completing one with the aid of a harness.

Messing, a 26-year-old Alaskan who finished 12th in PyeongChang, landed the jump while connected to a harness attached to a pole held by a man in a video posted on his Instagram on Wednesday night.

“My coach and I are going around the idea of starting the quad Axel,” Messing said at the world championships in March, according to Inside Skating. “It’s a dream I’ve had for a very, very long time – as soon as I found out that no one did it, I wanted to be the first.”

Other skaters have attempted quad Axels in a harness, including 2013 U.S. champion Max Aaron (video here) and French Olympian Chafik Besseghier (video here). Russian Artur Dmitriev Jr. tried one without a harness (video here).

Yuzuru Hanyu, the 2014 and 2018 gold medalist, has said he wants to master the quad Axel.

“No one in competition has achieved successful quadruple Axel jumps and there are very few people actually practicing even during training,” Hanyu said in PyeongChang, according to The Associated Press. “I want to continue my challenge towards achieving my dream of successfully performing the quad Axel, even if I may not be the first person to do so.”

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