Incredible, special, unique. All this is about the 24-year-old American Nathan Chen, one of the best figure skaters in the world. He is called the king of quadruples, because he is the first to perform six such jumps in one program. Rafael Harutyunyan, a native of the former USSR, is preparing the champion.
He won his first award at the age of 10. Then he became the youngest US rookie champion. A year later, Chen repeated the achievement. Starting confidently at such a young age, he only gained momentum over the following years.
One of Chen's characteristics is purposefulness. The figure skater entered the medical faculty of Yale University. Studying there requires a constant presence in the classroom, and the coach was far enough away to continue the full-fledged training of the skater. But Nathan did not even think about choosing between sports and medicine. Chen went to train at the student skating rink, recorded videos and sent them to Harutyunyan, who advised the skater. Sometimes the coach and the skater called on Skype. This helped Chen stay in shape and even win competitions. Just before the Olympics, he took a sabbatical to prepare for his main goal - gold.
Before going for Olympic gold, Chen became a six-time US champion, a three-time world champion and a Grand Prix winner. In 2018, in Pyeongchang, Nathan won the team bronze Olympic medal. In the personal tournament, he failed the short program, but was rehabilitated in the free program, but did not even enter the top three.
But that's when Chen began his real journey to victory at the next Games. He was the main contender for gold at the Beijing Olympics among singles. Over a four-year cycle, Nathan set world records for points in the short and free programs, won almost every tournament he participated in (except for the Grand Prix stage in 2021) and did it by a huge margin from his pursuers. He dominated men's figure skating for four years, and first place at the Olympics is not a surprise, but a logical outcome of a long cycle from failure to triumph. In the sum of two rentals, the skater received 332.60 points, leaving behind the bright Japanese Sema Uno and Yuzuru Hanyu.
Chen performs even the most complex elements and jumps with ease. Once he told the secret of his success - he allows himself to be ordinary. Outside the rink, he meets friends, studies, plays the guitar. In general, he becomes a simple American guy, turning off the “best skater in the world” toggle switch in his head.
Nathan fulfilled his dream of becoming an Olympic champion. And now he has taken a leave of absence from figure skating: he wants to successfully graduate from the university.
“I want to immerse myself in the learning process, and not try to quickly go through it just to pass the exams. I want to make friends. I didn’t have many opportunities for this,” he said in an interview.
The skater also let in the fog about his future. He is not entirely sure whether he will return to the big sport after the missed season. After all, everything that he has achieved to date, he is completely satisfied.