PyeongChang Olympics: Bradie Tennell, Mirai Nagasu & Karen Chen skate Thursday

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Unfortunately, Nagasu over-rotated the jump in the women's short program, tried to save it and fell.

It's no secret figure skater Mirai Nagasu is a hard worker.

"I was working on triple axels and quad toes on the harness so I could try to keep up with the men in the rink", she said.

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

She wasn't the only American to wipe out on the ice at this year's Olympics.

"We've had so many commitments", she said, according to USA Today.

An Olympic historian told USA Today this is collectively the worst performance by the U.S.'s women figure skaters in this event ever. Nagasu is almost 16 points - a canyon of a gap - behind the leader, Alina Zagitova of Russian Federation.

Medvedeva seemed well on her way to Olympic gold as she went unbeaten for two seasons. She traveled four hours last week to attend a Lunar new year party.

But, hey, she wasn't the only one who choked Friday at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

Tennell was followed in the standings by Nagasu, who came into the singles event as a dark horse for the bronze medal after her star turn in the team event.

By the way, if ABC is looking for a contestant for the next season of "Dancing With the Stars", she is available. And that was before her freaky remarks afterward in the mixed zone which included thinly veiled shots at U.S. team-mate Nathan Chen and the revelations her focus during the free skate was "auditioning for Dancing With the Stars".

Tennell likes her routine.

No U.S. woman has had sustained worldwide success since five-time world champion Michelle Kwan's run from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s.

What the skaters said in the post-competition interviews pointed to another problem: The lack of mental and emotional fortitude.

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Nagasu earned a score of 66.93 for ninth place, Tennell scored 64.01 for 11th place and Chen scored 65.90 for 10th place.

With the top six skaters to go, the Americans nearly certainly will wind up ninth, 10th and 11th. Since World War II, at least one American woman finished sixth or higher.

When confronted with the notion that many other skaters who did go on to medal, including Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond and Russia's Evgenia Medvedeva and Alina Zagitova, also competed in the team event, Nagasu gave a meandering answer in which she blamed, among other things, traffic and the lack of hot water in the Olympic Village.

"It's tough to find that talent, that wants to dedicate themselves and challenge themselves to everyone in the world", said Fleming, who won gold at the 1968 Grenoble Games.

Nagasu's chance of individual hardware realistically disappeared the moment she fell on her triple axel during Wednesday's short program.

"It wasn't that ideal Olympic program, but I'm really happy for getting out there and pulling myself together", she said.

But it was after those Olympics, most insiders believe, that the USA began to fall behind. We all make mistakes.

Nagasu's historic triple axel was a product of all her hard work and perseverance.

U.S. Figure Skating officials began addressing the issue in the past few years.

Sasha Cohen ended an American era of excellence in women's figure skating with a silver medal at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

"When I first came here I didn't know what to expect", said Chen, a first-time Olympian at age 18.

"If you keep believing in yourself and keep on fighting - it's not always easy but when you've passed a tunnel you always find light and sunshine".

"My teammates have really supported me and we've helped each other".