Nathan Chen competed three times in the course of a week at the 2022 Winter Olympics. He topped the leaderboard in each of those programs and emerged from the Games with two medals.
As the newly-minted men’s singles Olympic champion and a vital part of the U.S. squad that took silver in the team event, Chen will leave China with the most impressive medal haul any U.S. figure skater has achieved in one Olympic appearance.
He joins American ice dance teams Meryl Davis/Charlie White (2014: ice dance gold, team event bronze) and Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani (2018: ice dance bronze, team event bronze) as the only U.S. figure skaters to earn multiple medals at a single Games.
And when including his 2018 Olympic team event bronze medal, Chen is a three-time Olympic medalist at 22 years old and now just the eighth figure skater — any nation — to have a medal collection that includes one of each color.
Let’s take a look at his three performances at the 2022 Winter Games…
Feb. 4: Team Event Short Program
On Feb. 4, before the Opening Ceremony even began, Chen was the first American to take to the ice in figure skating’s team event as the U.S. entry for the men’s short program. Performing to Charles Aznavour’s “La Boheme,” he earned the highest score (111.71, which was a personal best for him and the second-highest score ever recorded in the current points system) and contributed 10 points to Team USA.
Feb. 8: Men’s Singles Short Program
The men’s singles competition began the day after the team event concluded. All eyes were on Chen to redeem the short program performance from the PyeongChang 2018 Games that he called “disastrous” and landed him in 17th place. With a world record score of 113.97, he did much more than that.
Feb. 10: Men’s Singles Free Skate
Four years prior, Chen won the free skate (to place fifth overall) so he knew he was capable of a stellar performance at the Olympics in that segment. But last time he had nothing to lose, and this time the gold medal he worked much of his life for was at stake. Nevertheless, he went out there with a smile on his face and — putting to use perhaps the biggest lesson he has learned this quadrennium — performed his Elton John medley program in the name of having fun and enjoying himself. It paid off as Chen earned 218.63 points for a 332.60 total. He won gold by 22.55 points.
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