April 23, 2018

Nathan Chen Makes a Comeback With an Unprecedented 6 Quads

18 February 2018, 05:35 | Franklin Nunez

Nathan Chen Makes a Comeback With an Unprecedented 6 Quads

Nathan Chen Makes a Comeback With an Unprecedented 6 Quads

THE Japanese ice skater made history on Saturday when he won the men's figure skating title in PyeongChang.

Yuzuru Hanyu won the Olympic gold medal for figure skatingHow did he win gold?

Nathan Chen had one of the all-time great redemption performances in the Winter Olympics when he landed six quad jumps in his long program on Saturday in Pyeongchang.

The 23-year-old Hanyu, lithe, poetic, powerful and mysterious, had come into the Olympics on the complete opposite end of the spectrum as Chen: He hadn't skated competitively since October because of an ankle injury.

Chen learned that what figure skaters have known for decades, that it's easier to perform without pressure than with it on five-ring ice - becoming the first person to land five quadruple jumps (and almost a sixth) in an Olympics and posting a career-best score of 215.08 for a free program. "I stayed calm after the mistake and was able to give a good performance".

Thousands of miniature Japanese flags featuring the rising sun waved in the stands to greet Hanyu when he got onto the ice. "I might as well just go for everything right now, I have literally nothing to lose so I might as well just go for it".

"I'm so glad more people are seeing how wonderful Yuzuru's character is, not just his skating".

But in the free skate he nailed virtually every element.

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Hanyu's countryman Shoma Uno was third at 104.17, followed by China's Jin Boyang at 103.32.

"Those were really extremely rough days", he said.

Chen finished fifth overall and said he was satisfied with his performance. "I can find one word and that is happy", the 23-year-old, who also became the 1,000th gold medal victor in the history of Winter Olympics, added.

In the "kiss and cry" corner he bowed again, this time to his coach Brian Orser as his score of 206.17 points came over the tannoy.

Adam Rippon doesn't do quads, but his presentation and dramatic flair earn him points.

"I definitely did want to redeem myself after the two short programs and I think I did here", he said.

"I think I'm leaving showing the world that you can also have a big personality and be who you are in the process", he said. "It just didn't go how it should have". "It felt like a lot of my ups and downs, my hard work, all kind of culminated together in that kind of special Olympic moment", said Rippon, who lay flat on his back soaking up applause at the conclusion of his routine.

Kerry - the son of Monica MacDonald, who represented Australia in ice dancing at the 1988 Winter Olympics - was scheduled to begin his long program with two quad jumps, but his toeloop ended up as a double, and his salchow was three rather than four revolutions. I feel like I should be able to skate regardless of the time, regardless of the place. Unfortunately I had been having a really bad time.

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