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2022 Winter Olympics

Figure skater Nathan Chen wins Olympic gold in Beijing

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Trent Nelson
/
The Salt Lake Tribune
Nathan Chen performs his routine in the figure skating men’s free skate program at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022. Chen won the gold medal.

Beijing • Skating to Elton John’s “Rocketman” during the free skate portion of the Olympic men’s singles competition, Nathan Chen entered another stratosphere.

Using his world record short program as a launching pad, the Salt Lake City skater performed equally brilliantly in the finale Thursday at Capital Indoor Stadium to seize the gold medal and — though he wouldn’t call it this — redemption. Together, his winning long and short program came within three points of setting the world record for combined score, which Chen already holds, and reduced his trials at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, where he entered as a favorite but wound up fifth due to an uncharacteristically sloppy short program, to a footnote.

Chen’s triumph came on a day when Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, the gold medalist in 2014 and ‘18, sought some rare air and redemption of his own. Hanyu attempted to lay down the sport’s first quadruple axel, opening the door to a new era in skating. The jump, worth 15 points, had the potential to pull Hanyu onto the podium two days after he finished eighth in the short program. During that event, he reduced his opening quad Salchow to a single and later said he’d gotten stuck in a hole in the ice.

To read more about this, visit sltrib.com.

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aim to inform readers across the state.