In 2016 Chen won a silver medal at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Marseilles, France
American Chinese figure skater Nathan Chen has his sights on the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
According to NBC, 17-year-old Chen is known in the skating world as a “tour de force in international men’s figure skating” due to his supreme talent on ice, landing complex quadruple jumps.
Chen was born in Salt Lake City after his parents immigrated from China. He began lessons on ice at age 3 and made his national debut at the US Figure Skating Championships at age 10.
Chen became the first male skater to land four quadruple jumps in a competition at the US Figure Skating Championships in January 2016. In December 2016, Chen won a silver medal at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Marseilles, France, making him the second youngest skater ever to medal in the event.
The young American-Chinese skater won a silver medal at NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan, making him the youngest US men’s skater to medal at a grand prix event.
A cute pic feat. our #TeamUSA Best of Dec. nominees! VOTE for @ShibSibs (thanks for the pic!) and @nathanwchen! https://t.co/8lKu5Waxn4 pic.twitter.com/LqKaOB5JVz
— U.S. Figure Skating (@USFigureSkating) January 6, 2017
Sadly, Chen suffered an avulsion injury in his left hip last year that kept him off the ice for six months following surgery.
“These big jumps take a big toll on the body, especially a young body. So, it’s kind of risk or reward, I guess. I feel like at this level, it’s kind of necessary,” Chen said.
“Ever since I was a younger skater, I’ve been working my way to these big jumps,” he said. “Once you land a jump, you put it straight in the program. That’s the way I’ve always been doing it. Once I landed the triple Salchow, I put it in the program. First landed triple toe, straight into the program. That’s what I did with my quad suite.”
Now aged 17, Chen plans to go to college after his gap year in which he will be training for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“At the moment, I feel like 2018 is more in my sight now. I feel like I have a better chance of making the team and, potentially, even placing,” he said.
“I don’t want to set specific goals, at the moment,” Chen added. “It’s a little bit far away to say where exactly I’ll be during that period of time. But, of course, everyone’s goal is to podium at the Olympics.”
Chen will be competing at this month’s US Figure Skating Championships in Kansas City between 14 January and 22 January and is a favourite to win. If the youngster wins, he will be the youngest US men’s champion in over 50 years.
“Of course, there are more quads that I can put in, whether it’s another quad loop or more of the same quad into the program. That’s kind of the next step, I suppose,” he said. “At the moment, I want to take it one competition at a time.”