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Nathan Chen Hits Six Quadruple Jumps at Winter Olympics

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Aris Messinis /AFP/Getty Images

Aris Messinis /AFP/Getty Images

Aris Messinis /AFP/Getty Images

Sanskriti Adigal, Staff Writer

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  On Saturday February 18, U.S figure skater Nathan Chen rebounded after prior disappointments by landing six quadruple jumps in a single routine – something that has never been done before on Olympic ice.

  While expectations for Chen were set high as he entered competition in PyeongChang, the eighteen-year old was met with initial failure during his first program as he attempted to succeed at only one of the two planned quad jumps in his routine, turned the second jump into a double flip and then fell during an attempted triple axle. Chen was performing eighth in a line up of 10 men’s skaters and was preceded by Canada’s Patrick Chan and Israel’s Alexei Bychenko who had both received high scores.   

  Explaining the incident, Chen states, “It wasn’t a nerves thing, I just wasn’t in the right place mentally going in. I just wasn’t thinking about the right things technically. I wasn’t thinking about how to step into the jump, which kind of threw me off.”

   When asked about his startling redemption which required four complete rotations in the air, Chen explains, “I start every day just trying to narrow down little tasks so I don’t get overwhelmed by the whole picture and that’s the way I approached my long program.”

  The figure skater also completed five out of six quads successfully, which brought him to 5th place from 17th, and propelled him to win that portion of the competition. This was a remarkable improvement for Chen from his prior score of 82.27 points, which had placed him far below the leaderboard.

   Upon his free skate, social media was filled with responses from Chen’s teammates, fans, and other athletes who showed him much support and acknowledgement.

  Melanie Mikkelson (10) also supports Chen, stating, “It is inspiring to see that he progressed from a failure to dominating the game again. He didn’t let the negativity get to him.”

  Chen notes that the failure lifted the pressure which he had upon him the entire time, and allowed him to truly focus, compete, and be himself. He continues to have an optimistic mindset and is looking forward and planning ahead for the 2022 Games in Beijing.

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Nathan Chen Hits Six Quadruple Jumps at Winter Olympics