American figure skater Nathan Chen came into Thursday’s free skate in Beijing with a goal and heart set in mind and did exactly what he needed to do. Taking home the gold medal with a dominating performance in the Olympic Figure Skating Competition.
Chen posted a world-record short program score of 113.97 earlier this week. Leading by nearly six points after the short program and doubling that lead with his free skate, posting a combined score of 332.60, a new world-record.
“It’s just a whirlwind right now. Everything’s just happening so fast, but I’m so happy.” Chen told NBC’s Andrea Joyce after the win.
Team USA had tweeted “Rocket Chen” after Chen’s performance, skating to the music of Elton John. Putting on a masterful performance that included a quad flip and triple toe loop, a quad flip, and a triple axel.
Chen’s victory makes him the first American man to win a figure skating gold medal in the Olympics since Evan Lysacek bested the field in Vancouver during the 2010 Games.
Prior to Lysacek, the last American man to win a gold medal in Olympic figure skating was Brian Boitano, who did so in Calgary in 1988. Thus, making Nathan Chen the 2nd American man to win a gold medal in 30 years.
Chen has now won gold, silver and bronze medals in the Olympics. “The last Olympics, both short programs didn’t go the way that I wanted, and finally getting the opportunity to skate the program to the way that I wanted — it feels really great, it means a lot”.
Overall, seven American men for Team USA have captured gold medals in Olympic figure skating, with Dick Button, Hayes Alan Jenkins, David Jenkins and Scott Hamilton also winning the event.