March 18, 2018

Oh my quad! U.S. skater Chen makes history with six quads

18 February 2018, 05:32 | Darrell Baldwin

Robert Cianflone via Getty Images The mistakes kept adding up in the men's short program for Nathan Chen who's competing in his first Winter Olympics

Robert Cianflone via Getty Images
The mistakes kept adding up in the men's short program for Nathan Chen who's competing in his first Winter Olympics

The fact Chen won the free skate and failed to medal only underscored how terribly he skated in the short program Friday. "Today was super-important for figure skating in Spain", he said. Heading into his fourth event in PyeongChang and in his final Games, Bailey hopes to change that in the men's 15km mass start on Sunday. "And I definitely did that here".

American jumping ace Nathan Chen lived up to his reputation on Saturday, redeeming himself with quadruple jumps after a pair of disastrous skates in Pyeongchang and making Olympic history into the bargain with a brilliant free skate.

Vonn, who won bronze in the Super-G and gold in the downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics but missed the 2014 games in Sochi with to a knee injury, will have another chance to compete for a medal next week in the downhill.

The Olympic figure skating competition between Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu and America's Nathan Chen that gained worldwide attention is trending on Twitter for its colourful ending, filled with flying Pooh bears and applause.

Chen's USA teammates, Vincent Zhou and Adam Rippon, finished sixth and 10th, respectively.

And for Rippon - who has become these Games' quick-lipped quippy king - that meant a clean short that didn't put him in medal contention, but with more reason to smile wryly and call out his list of ever-growing admirers, including Reese Witherspoon and Britney Spears.

The difference for them was they weren't expected to win the gold medal, or any medal for that matter.

"I had a little bit of uncertainty", Hanyu said this week.

"It was a good experience, I know I didn't do the flawless program but I was satisfied with what I did and it got me an Olympic medal, that's all I've got to say. There's not a whole lot you can do at this point and no sense in worrying". It really is that.

Said Chen: "As much as I tried to deny it, I think I did feel the pressure a lot before the short program - especially thinking about medals and placement and all of that-things that were completely out of my control. I wanted to go out there and show that I am a serious athlete", he said.

He was the Padres, 20 games out of first place, sweeping a series from the Dodgers in late August. "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". He landed his signature quad flip, plus a solo quad toe and a quad toe-double toe.

Chen made a decision to add the sixth quad to his planned routine (even without consulting his coach first) shortly before he took the ice. He landed two quads, including a lutz that was the second in Olympic competition; American Vincent Zhou did it earlier.

His technical score of 127.64 was a Winter Olympic record, and his overall score of 215.08 gave him a total of 297.77, good enough to lift him from 17th to fifth - and leave him wondering what if he had managed to do better in the short program. Then he leaned forward and buried it in his hands.

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