Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correctly report that Nathan Chen is the first man to win five consecutive figure skating championships. Michelle Kwan holds the record for the most consecutive U.S. titles at eight and most consecutive U.S. Championship medals at 12.
Chinese American figure skater Nathan Chen remains undefeated, becoming the first man to win five consecutive figure skating championships since two-time Olympic champion Dick Button over 60 years ago.
The 21-year-old figure skater recently won gold at the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships held in Las Vegas on Sunday. He had a total score of 322.28, beating runner-up Vincent Zhou by 30.9 points.
“It’s incredible to try to follow in [Button’s] footsteps,” Chen shared via Associated Press. “It means the world. Dick is a true skating icon, and it just feels incredible to be trying to chase something that someone like that has done. I’m nowhere near the level he was at, but it’s just cool to be able to be even mentioned in his sort of realm of legendness.”
Chen had a rough start during his routine on Sunday. Despite stumbling after a quad lutz, he still managed to hit four quads, three in combination and a triple axel deep. Chen admitted he was focusing on other matters while he made the error.
“I was a little timid today. Honestly that’s on me,” Chen said. “I feel like I didn’t really tackle my elements. I was focusing on conserving energy. That’s not the right approach. I think that’s what caused the first element to have an error. The rest of the program I was trying to make sure I stayed on my feet. That was my mindset throughout the program. Wasn’t really exactly the skate I’d like to have, but at least I was able to stand up on all the rest of the jumps and I guess move on from here.”
According to NBC Sports, Chen and Zhou will represent the United States along with Jason Brown at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm in March.
Feature Image via Getty