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Nathan Chen Struggles In Olympic Debut

Photo: David J. Phillip/AP

Figure skater Nathan Chen, one of the most hyped American athletes heading into the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, made his Olympic debut tonight, and unfortunately, his performance was a major disappointment.

Chen was competing in the men’s short program section of the team competition, which was not his top priority, but still his introduction to a huge worldwide audience. The 18-year-old favorite for the men’s individual gold did not impress his first time out on the ice, looking nervous and failing to improve after a shaky start.


Despite making the first-ever quad flip in the Olympics, his landing wasn’t quite smooth. Chen followed that up by badly botching what was supposed to be a quad toe (he only got two rotations), then wiping out on the ice during a triple axel.

Photo: Bernat Armangue/AP

Chen’s failure means that the USA has practically no hope in the gold in the team event. But more importantly, he’ll have a chance for redemption in the men’s individual competition next Thursday.

Video rights for the Olympics are, uh, frustrating, but here’s how Chen’s program was supposed to look, from the U.S. Nationals in January:

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