An Axel jump is a jump in figure skating. It is the most famous and recognizable skating jump. It starts with the skater going forward. It is the only jump that does and that helps people know that the jump is an Axel jump. Because all skating jumps are landed going backwards, the Axel jump has an extra half rotation (full circle) in the air than all other skating jumps.
The first skater to do a double Axel in competition was Dick Button and Carol Heiss Jenkins was the first woman to do it. The first skater to do a triple Axel in competition was Vern Taylor. The first woman to do it was Midori Ito.
The Axel can be a single Axel (1 and a half rotations in the air), a double Axel (two and a half rotations in the air), or a triple Axel (three and a half rotations in the air). Most Junior and Senior skaters do a double Axel. Many senior-level male skaters do a triple Axel. Only six female figure skaters have been credited with doing the triple Axel in competition: Midori Ito (the first one to do it), Tonya Harding, Yukari Nakano, Ludmila Nelidina, Mao Asada, and Kimmie Meissner.
Because the Axel is the most famous skating jump, many people make a mistake and call all skating jumps as Axel jumps. This has led to many mistakes in sports reporting of figure skating, for example a report in 2006 saying that Miki Ando was the first woman to do a quadruple Axel jump. No one has yet done a quadruple Axel jump. Ando did the first quadruple Salchow, which is a different jump.