Nathan Chen’s Olympic Redemption


Annice Lyn

Photo via Annice Lyn/Getty Images

In 2018, Nathan Chen was only able to secure seventeenth place after his poor performance at the PyeongChang Olympics. However, on February 10, 2022, almost exactly four years after that crummy performance in PyeongChang, Nathan Chen won gold at Beijing with a winning score of 332.60. 

“It means the world,” Chen said, “I’m just so happy.”

His Coach, Arutyunyan Raf, was just as excited as he was. “I’m happy,” Raf said, “Just emotional. He made it.” 

Chen brought home the gold to the song “Rocketman” by Elton John. He performed multiple challenging jumps such as the quad lutz, triple axel and five extraordinary quad axles which is known to be one of the hardest jumps in the sport. 

This gold did not come easy for Chen though.

“My mom and I grew up quite poor. We really didn’t have much money,” Chen said. “She would just scrap together some dollars to try to pay Raf.” 

Chen describes how he trained with his sister’s skates on his feet and slept in his mom’s car, just to achieve the dream of going to the Olympics. 

As mentioned before, at the PyeongChang Olympics, Chen was only able to get seventeenth place. He described it as one of the worst moments of his childhood career. This time around, he learned how to deal with the pressure and have fun in the sport.

“Just recognizing that within the course of my skating career, I only have a very limited amount of time on the ice and in competition,” Chen explained “So if I can’t enjoy it, then what’s the point of doing it?”

This technique had helped Chen dramatically improve his results.

Though this victory is very well earned, the medal ceremony has been delayed due to the Kamila Valieva doping controversy.

Nathan Chen has been labeled on Weibo (like twitter) as a traitor to the Chinese people and that he is “too white” and he should “get out of China.” Chen has yet to respond.

But this victory was very well deserved. As the music stopped, Chen leaned back and smiled. All the hard work had finally paid off. All the nights spent in his mom’s car. The hours and hours of rigorous training. It all finally paid off.