Thursday, 17 October, 2019

United States figure skater Nathan Chen, the 'Quad King,' answers five questions

United States figure skater Nathan Chen, the 'Quad King,' answers five questions United States figure skater Nathan Chen, the 'Quad King,' answers five questions
Shannon Reynolds | 18 February, 2018, 01:24

But to skate like that, to have a successful performance means so much to me. My right foot survived. "I spent time training in places hundreds, thousands of miles from my home, living in apartments that did not have very good conditions".

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan leaves the ice following his performance in the men's short program figure skating in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.

Coming into the free-skate portion of the competition, the top-ranked US skater was Adam Rippon, who turned in another poised and artful performance to secure his 10th-place finish.

He placed fifth behind victor Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, whose final combined score was 317.85, while Japan's Shoma Uno took silver and Spain's Javier Fernandez earned bronze. On Saturday, he nailed virtually every element. "But I was able to focus and do all the jumps I wanted", the gold medalist said.

Shoma Uno could give Japan another medal.

"I don't know if this is the best of my skating life, but I can say from my heart that I skated my best today". "I was just like, 'Oh screw it, I'm going to try it".

Hanyu's adoring fan club have taken to tossing Winnie the Pooh bears at their hero after he began carrying a tissue box in the shape of the much loved A.A. Milne character back in 2010.

"I don't know!" he admitted in an interview.

The top athletes in the men's Olympic figure skating finals are expected to attempt three to five quadruple jumps each.

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Such is Hanyu's presence that Chen was faced with questions from reporters about whether being drawn to perform after him would have any impact on his own routine. One of the most recognisable faces in winter sport, Vonn won the gold in the downhill in 2010 but missed out on the Sochi Olympics four years later through injury.

"My right foot really hung tough. But when I went out to compete, I was not so nervous anymore and I tried my best", Jin said.

On a day that marked reigning Olympic and World champion Hanyu Yuzuru's triumphant return from a potentially season-ending injury, a historic skate by Vincent Zhou and another Olympian meltdown by his USA teammate Nathan Chen, the pre-Olympic favorite, Rippon's performance was throwback to a fading in era in skating about to give way to an all-out arms of race of quad jumps.

Known as the "Pocket Rocket" for his diminutive frame but phenomenal jumping ability, Uno said he was glad to have escaped with just one mistake in the free skate. He landed three clean quads - salchow, toe loop, and quad toe-triple toe - and five other triples.

An unfortunate tumble during practice in November left Hanyu nursing ligament damage and put his Olympic participation under serious threat.

He also becomes the third Japanese athlete to win gold at two different Olympic Winter Games, after Kenji Ogiwara and Takanori Kono in the Nordic combined team event in 1992 and 1994. He ended the night in 9 place, in what is said to be his last competitive competition.

Arutyunyan doesn't want his skaters to play safe (at Chen's first senior Nationals, where he became the first American man to land two quads in the free skate, Arutyunyan clapped him on the back and said, "Now you are a man"); maybe he'll get Rippon to put his quad lutz back. "It's never really fully come together".

"Being in such a low placement going into the long, I just allowed myself to completely forget about expectations and just to be myself".

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