Three-time world champion Nathan Chen solidified his standing as the best men’s figure skater in the world Thursday, winning gold at the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
Chen, who trains in Irvine, took home the United States’ third gold medal from the Games. Chen finished his free skating program with a score of 218.63, giving him a total winning score of 332.60.
Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno finished second and third, respectively.
Chen pulled off the feat following his world-record performance in his short program Tuesday. The six-time U.S. champion, landed two quadruple jumps in his “La Boheme” program to earn a session-best 113.97 points. His ascent to gold was aided by a shocking mistake by Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, who reduced his planned first jump from a quadruple salchow to a single jump.
The win comes four years after Chen stumbled to a fifth place finish following a disappointing performance in the short program at Pyeongchang, South Korea. This time, the Salt Lake City native managed to get the best of defending gold-medal winner Hanyu and the rest of the Olympic field.
It is Chen’s second medal of the Beijing Games. On Friday, he posted a personal-best score of 111.71 points in the men’s short program portion of the team competition to help the United States capture silver.
Before the Olympics, Chen, 22, said the lessons he learned in 2018 were motivating him in his quest for gold in Beijing.
“I’ve already learned a big lesson in terms of how to address competitions with excitement, with happiness, with just overall joy, and I think being able to maintain that is the most important thing for me,” Chen said last month.
This is a developing story. The Times will have more on Chen’s gold-medal win soon.
Times columnist Helene Elliott contributed to this report.