Figure skater Nathan Chen has won gold, joining an exclusive club of U.S. Olympic champions in the sport and capping a four-year journey that started after his medal hopes were dashed at the Pyeongchang Games.
The 22-year-old’s win in Beijing will make him the seventh U.S. men’s skater to step atop the podium. Chen delivered a rousing performance of his “Rocketman” free skate, drawing cheers from the limited crowd of spectators.
Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno won silver and bronze, respectively.
In Pyeongchang, Chen was taken out of medal contention after delivering what he called a “disastrous” short program. Afterward, he worked relentlessly with coach Rafael Arutyunyan to strengthen every aspect of his figure skating. His path back to the Olympics included three straight world titles and his sixth national championship.
Then earlier this week, Chen vindicated his disappointing performance from four years ago with a record-shattering short skate that put him nearly 6 points ahead of his next closest challenger.