Feb 4, 2022 - Sports

U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen says healthier "mentality" will drive him in Beijing

Nathan Chen

Nathan Chen during the U.S. Championships last month. Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen is looking for his first gold in Beijing after failing to reach the individual podium in 2018.

Background: Chen (aka "Quad King") won bronze in the 2018 Olympics team event, but a poor showing in singles left him off the podium. He's heading to Beijing with an attitude adjustment.

The big picture: He's won every World and U.S. National Championship since Pyeongchang, and has lost one event in that time (third place at Skate America last October).

What he's saying: "I was a kid," he told USA Today of 2018. "I didn't really have fun with it." But this time around, he's much more relaxed. "If I win, I win. If I don't, I don't," he told ESPN. "That mentality is much healthier."

  • "Coming here, regardless of how I skate, I want to be able to look back and be like ‘That was a really cool experience,'" Chen told USA Today.

The event: Whether in team or singles, Chen will be focused on two disciplines: short program (two minutes, 40 seconds) and free skate (four minutes, 30 seconds), which are both judged on flow and execution.

  • In singles, the top 24 of 30 skaters after short program advance to the free skate, and your final score is the aggregate of the two. In team, the top five of 10 teams advance to the free portion.
  • His biggest competition, without a doubt, is 27-year-old Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, the two-time reigning gold medalist who could become the first skater to ever land a quadruple axel in competition.

📆 Friday night: Chen will take the ice tonight for his team event short program (8:55pm ET, NBC)

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