Figure Skater Nathan Chen Wins Fourth Skate America Title in a Row
Asian American figure skater Nathan Chen remains undefeated after placing first at the Skate America in Las Vegas on Oct. 23 at Orleans Arena.
The 21-year-old skater won with 111.17 points after pulling off a quadruple toe loop-triple toe loop combination and a quad flip, according to AP News. This is Chen’s fourth consecutive win in Skate America starting in 2017.
He danced to the Latin piece “Desperadors.” Chen has never performed in that style, but he still managed to win the competition.
“I’ve never done this style of program. There’s still a lot of work and improvement to be done,” he said. “I did the best that I can, considering that this is still very new to me.”
Chen, who is on leave from Yale University through the 2022 Beijing Olympics, admitted he made some errors during his program.
“I made quite a few big mistakes in that program, things that I shouldn’t have made mistakes on,” he said on NBC via Yahoo Sports. “But it is what it is. I’ll learn from it. Move forward from here.”
The two-time world gold medalist and four-time national champion, who hasn’t been defeated since his fifth-place win at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, topped his 110.38 score from Grand Prix last year.
The event was only open to Americans and international athletes training in America as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The athletes also competed in front of a cardboard cutout audience placed in Orleans Arena as a way to maintain restrictions.
“As soon as you step on the ice, I think you notice the lack of audience,” Chen said.
He also said competitions, such as the Olympics, motivate him to compete.
“Of course, Beijing and any Olympics are a huge motivator for me,” Chen said. “I think since I was a kid my family had raised me to be better, even if by a millimeter.”
Skate America, which is part of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating, remains the only competition in the 2020/21 Grand Prix to host its series this year. Skate Canada International, Internationaux de France and the Grand Prix Final, which was set to be held in Beijing, China in December, have all been canceled due to the pandemic.
Feature Image via Getty
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