USA skater Nathan Chen dazzles after poor short program
Feb 18 2018 by Dustin Murphy
In figure skating, Japan's Hanyu topped the men's competition with a thrilling short programme, dispelling fears that an ankle injury which has kept him out of competition since November would dent his title chances.
"I always do this at all the competitions; I will present them to the local community in Pyeongchang and Gangneung", Hanyu said. His quads only came back two weeks ago.
"But at the same time, have fun and show everybody, who I am".
American Vincent Zhou was a surprise sixth place finisher, after he stood up on five quads of his own, though one was called underrotated and another had an edge call. I made a mistake on the (quad) flip, so I have to think about that a little bit and I was able to put down the five quads and the triple Axel.
His comeback impressed many veteran figure skaters, including announcers Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, and 1992 Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi.
Even cooler will be to see how what Chen learned Saturday will appear on the ice in four years. But Olympic scoring right now awards attempts at quads with a high component score, so even though Rippon was the only American who did not fall during his routine, he quickly slipped behind his USA teammates. He did at in the short program of the men's competition. "I just did my best today".
Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu clinched the first back-to-back men's Olympic figure skating title in more than six decades on Saturday to cement his status as the "Ice Prince" of the modern era.
"It's never really fully come together". By night's end, Japanese skaters Juzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno won gold and silver, and Spanish skater Javier Fernandez secured bronze.
Afterward, Chen said he made a decision to go all-out, attempting six quads simply because he had nothing to lose.
He skated to Olympic history landing six quadruple jumps in the free program. "So for this to happen, for everything to come to those 4 minutes and 40 seconds on the ice, to put out such an awesome long program, that's why I was so emotional at the end".
"There was just a mix of emotions", he said. Chen held onto the lead after Dmitri Aliev, an Olympic Athlete from Russian Federation, skated, but then Jin Boyang of China, overtook him. The two-time World Champion pulled off three clean quads, but missed a quad toe.
Canadian short-track speed skater Samuel Girard won the gold medal ahead of John-Henry Krueger of the US.
Chen was the first American to compete, and it was clear he was ready to make a statement with his performance scoring 215.08 points in the free program for a total of 297.35 points.
Moments after the 23-year-old Japanese successfully defended his crown at the Pyeongchang Games, there was a sombre moment when he was asked to talk about the quake and consequent tsunami that left more than 18,000 people dead or missing.
Chen finally smiled when his numbers were read.
Rippon has been getting a lot of attention both in PyeongChang and back home, "I think just for being myself", he said.
"They usually say that like, after the Olympic Games, somebody's life changes forever", Rippon said.