Beijing – Nathan Chen remembers a long drive with his mother from his home in Salt Lake City to the Raphael Artionen training base in Southern California. She started using her sister’s skates a few years ago and started sleeping in the car to pursue her Olympic dreams.
Ten years later, Chen sat down with Artion on Thursday morning when his scores were read and that dream finally came true.
With almost perfect free skate on heelsThe 22-year-old Yale student won the gold medal. Thursday. He became the first American figure skating champion since Avon Lazic in 2010 and scored the most four-year runs in the history of the sport.
“My mother and I grew up very poor. We didn’t really have much money,” Chen said after his tumultuous sense of victory slowly subsided. “She would only raise a few dollars to try to pay off Ruff, and Ruff obviously knew the situation, and thanks to her kindness, she could take me in, and more. It could cost as much as we could afford. “
“Sometimes I tried to get my money back, but I always tried to keep it in my pocket,” Chen said.
Chen was able to give something invaluable to his old coach.
“I’m happy. I’m just emotional,” Artionian said. “She did.”
Inside China’s historic Capital Indoor Stadium, the nation from which both his parents emigrated, Chen landed his five quads on Elton John’s rising film score during his “Rocketman” program. The Major of Statistics and Data Science finished with an invincible total of 332.60 points, just three points ahead of his own world record and 22 points ahead of his nearest competitor. Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama and Shuma Yono won silver and bronze medals.
Chen vividly recalls any of his long-standing memories of being out of medals in Pyongyang four years ago.
At that point, Chen made an unusual mistake that put him in fifth place after a strong start. CBSSports.com explains.But has been. It has been at the top of the men’s figure skaters ever since. And it was a favorite title at this year’s Games.
This gold may not be the last gold to be taken to Chen’s house.
The American, who won a silver medal over Russia in the team event on Monday, was awaiting confirmation from the IOC and the International Skating Union that “legal issues” were one of the biggest “issues” in holding the medal ceremony. The star was linked to doping reports linked to Camilla Valleva. It could eventually lead the United States to a gold medal, one second for Chen.
“I mean, I don’t really feel like I’m the most qualified person to talk about it,” Chen said. “It simply came to our notice then. I was still involved in what I was able to do today.”
He played his part for the American team by winning a short program last Friday.
With a socially distant crowd watching millions return home on TV in Beijing on Thursday afternoon and night, Chen rose through his early quad salcho. He landed four more easy quads, his only light bubble coming late in the mix, and apparently couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as he moved towards the sky.
The words of “Rocket Man” that used to run through the old house of Ping Pong diplomacy – “And I think it’s going to be a long, long time, ‘Touchdown brings me round again’ – seems appropriate for the moment. had been.
Chen crashed into the spotlight in the middle of the snow, then set off to listen to his score, which until then had been a mere formality. Once read, Chen’s longtime coach raised his arm like a winning boxer.
“She deserves it,” said Jason Brown, who finished sixth. “I’ve got to compete with him in the last four years – in all the world championships, in every national championship, in the Grand Prix. No one deserves more than that. He’s worked hard. He’s incredible. Extremely talented. Proud to be a partner. “
While the spotlight on Chen shone as usual, it seemed to be fading away for its longtime hero and Japanese rival.
Yuzoro Haniu arrives in Beijing with the goal of becoming the first men’s skater since Giles Grafstrom in 1928 to win his third consecutive Olympic gold medal. But after missing most of last year due to an ankle injury, the 27-year-old struggled through his short program on Tuesday, which basically put him out of contention for the medal.
All that was left for Honey was to shoot at the Quad Excel, a 4 1/2-revolutionary jump that had never been competed. He approached, but could not stop the landing enough, then fell back on his quad salcho before ending emotionally, wondering what his final performance might be on Olympic ice.
His score dropped Hanio to fourth, leaving only two of his teammates behind for medals.
And, of course, behind the new American champion.