Teen skater makes history with insane routine

Pauline Gross
February 18, 2018

The sequence of quads in his program was quad lutz, quad flip/double toe combination, another quad flip, quad toe/triple toe combination (which garnered 17.63 points), another quad toe and a quad salchow. He finished with a lifetime personal best of 192.16 points in the long program. He has all but been knocked out of medal contention as the competition concludes Saturday (Friday night, Pacific) with the free skate.

He decided on attempting the sixth after a disappointing short program which put him in 17th place overall.

"Only one can have the gold medal, '" Fernandez said.

"This is the best day of my skating life". For an instant, it looked as if this version of the story would end with the protagonist caught and thrown into a forced labor camp, as Chen almost fell on his next jump, a quadruple flip.

"Honestly, it was bad", he said.

"To be perfectly honest, I'm not that interested in figure skating", Watabe said after three training jumps for Tuesday's large hill 10-km race.

On a day Hanyu soared to music from Chopin, his chief nemesis came unnerved in an Olympic debut that was expected to be a crowning moment. The singles event was meant to be when he righted his 18-year-old ship.

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The other two Americans in the competition fared much better.

Button, 88, live tweeting the event, sent words of encouragement to Chen just minutes before his free skate: "Hey Nathan Chen Beyonce fell off the stage at a concert and got right back up, so can you". And Fernandez earned his country's first ever medal in figure skating. "It has been incredible how he's been able to pull this off in such a short amount of time". "Happy that I did what I did and then kind of upset that I did what I did with such a short program and it won't balance out".

Sitting just below Hanyu in mere mortal territory, although exceptional, is Spain's Javier Fernandez, who trains alongside Hanyu.

Hanyu had already achieved superstar status before the Olympics. But Olympic scoring right now awards attempts at quads with a high component score, so even though Rippon was the only American who did not fall during his routine, he quickly slipped behind his USA teammates. One of the most recognisable faces in winter sport, Vonn won the gold in the downhill in 2010 but missed out on the Sochi Olympics four years later through injury. He was credited with four quads, three of them landed cleanly. Adam Rippon, among the most popular US athletes at these Games, skated yet another clean program and was 10th. "Now I'm able to go out in the individual and show the world I'm a cut-through competitor". No fist pumps, no giant smile.

EARLIER: Men's figure skater Nathan Chen said he wanted to leave it all out there. The USA, weakened by the absence of their National Football League stars, are the underdogs this time round and the Russians, who last won the Olympic title in 1992 believe their time has come.

Chen isn't sure what's next. "I've been through so much, it would take me hours to say it all". "I am not sure exactly what to do".

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