U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen blew the roof off the ice arena in Pyeongchang on Friday, landing six quadruple jumps, five of them clean, in the men’s free skate. Chen, 18, is the first person to land five “clean” quads in an Olympic program, earning a score of 215.08, which was 11 points higher than his previous personal best
24 hours earlier Chen’s hopes were dashed when he finished 17th in the short program. He also delivered an uncharacteristically average performance in the team competition.
Chen—the only man to have hit seven quads in a free skate—opened with the quad lutz, and then went on to do a quad flip in combination with a double toe loop, a second quad flip (in which he put his hand down), a quad toe loop/triple toe loop, another quad toe loop and a quad salchow.
A gold medal favorite going into the Games, Chen had to wait through several other performances before he learned his fate in the competition. Later in evening, he was knocked off the podium after several stellar performances by other skaters.
“I did what I did and we will see what happens,” Chen said after his stellar performance.
American Vincent Zhou, 17, who finished 12th in the short program, attempted a five-quad free skate. He was credited with four quads, three of them landed cleanly. He also became the first skater in Olympic history to land two quad lutzes, though he was only given credit for one, the second having been judged to be under-rotated. He finished with a lifetime personal best of 192.16 points in the long program.
Adam Rippon, the openly gay media darling who became the subject of controversy during the games as a result of his feud with Vice President Pence, gave a beautiful artistic performance, but it didn’t include any quads, which kept him out of contention for a medal. His long program score was 171.41.
We’ll bring you final results (see below) and the full video of Chen’s performance as soon as they become available. In the meantime, here’s a short clip:
"Nathan Chen is still the quad king!"
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) February 17, 2018
Update Saturday, 12:15 EST, final results:
Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu, Japan, 317.85
Silver: Shoma Uno, Japan, 306.90
Bronze: Javier Fernandez, Spain, 305.24
Nathan Chen, 5th
Vincent Zhou, 6th
Adam Rippon, 10th