- After rough performances in the team event and short program, Nathan Chen delivered in the long program with six quads.
- Afterward, Chen said he decided to try six quads because he had already fallen so many times previously, he had nothing left to lose.
- Chen finished fifth overall and said he was satisfied with his performance.
After struggling in the team event and men’s short program, Chen entered the long program in 17th place. He had fallen in both of his previous events and lacked the usual explosion and precision that people had come to expect from the 18-year-old star.
But on Saturday, Chen shook off the nerves and delivered an incredible performance. No other skater has ever landed six quads in the Olympics.
Afterward, Chen said he decided to go all-out, attempting six quads simply because he had nothing to lose.
“I’ve been working on it for a while, and it’s never really fully come together, but I was like, I already fell so many times. I might as well go out, throw everything down and see what happens,” Chen told NBC.
After his performance, NBC analyst and former Olympian Tara Lipinski referred to Chen as the “quad king.”
“Putting down such a rough short program and being so low in the placement, it just took all the pressure away from me,” he said. “I no longer felt like I was even striving for that first-place spot. It was mostly just me being on the ice and enjoying myself.”
Chen’s total score of 297.35 would have been enough to win gold in Sochi in 2014. He came up short this time and finished in fifth overall.
“It’s not necessarily happiness,” Chen said of his Olympic experience ending. “But I’m very satisfied, very fulfilled with this experience.”
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