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nathan chen

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Nathan Chen Becomes the First Man to Win 5 Consecutive Championships in 60 Years

Nathan Chen

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.

Figure Skater Nathan Chen Wins Fourth Skate America Title in a Row

Nathan Chen

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.

Asian American Olympians Reveal Their Struggles With Asian Identity Growing Up

The success of Asian American athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang has also shed light on the unique struggles many of them face when it comes to racial identity.

Beyond the challenges of training, competitions, and other physical demands of chasing the Olympic dream, these young athletes also rise above prejudice, just as they are coming to terms with their sense of belonging between Asian and American cultures.

In a heartfelt post after winning their medal, Alex Shibutani wrote that when he and his sister Maia Shibutani were starting, others looked at them as “different.”

“Throughout our career (14 years and counting), we have had to, and will continue to push past stereotypes, labels, doubters, and cynics,” he tweeted.

Vincent Zhou, highly touted as the future of men’s figure skating, also had to deal with some ignorant troll questioning his citizenship on Twitter just days before his Olympic ticket announcement.

Chloe Kim, the 17-year-old rising snowboarding star, is also no stranger to such encounters. At a press conference in September, Chloe shared that she would occasionally get the “No, where are you really from?” response after saying she’s from “Los Angeles.” Brought to the spotlight, they are often forced to answer impertinent questions about their race and identity. “Do you identify pretty strongly with both cultures?” a journalist asked Chloe. “I always get that question; it’s never my first answer to say that I’m from Korea or, like, ‘I’m Korean,'” Chloe replied. “It’s always, like, ‘I’m American.’ Like, I feel like I’m pretty—what do they call it, ‘Twinkies’?” A Twinkie is a term used, often pejoratively, to describe a person who might be “yellow” on the outside but White on the inside. Kristi Yamaguchi, who is Japanese-American, told Bleacher Report, “I totally get where Chloe is coming from when she said, ‘I see myself as a Twinkie.’ It’s not because she doesn’t see herself as Asian. I think it’s not necessarily seeing yourself as White. It’s just identifying as American.” Her statement has since been recorded, published, interpreted and scrutinized for public consumption. While they are indeed bestowed with gargantuan expectations of representing the country, they are also young athletes fulfilling their dreams at an age most are still in the process of recognizing who they are. With such supportive parents, these young athletes will undoubtedly do alright on their own terms. “I think my parents felt us being a minority a little bit more than I did, and they tried to shelter me from that so I didn’t feel it at all,” Nathan Chen said in an interview with Team USA last year. Proud of his heritage, Chen expressed his appreciation for the sport that has welcomed Asian Americans with open arms. “As I got older, there were more and more Asian kids at [skating] competitions that I was going to – that felt cool to me.”

Feature Image (left) via Instagram/alexshibutani,  (right) via Instagram/chloekimsnow

Nathan Chen Just Raised the Bar With a New Olympic Record

Those who have been hating on Nathan Chen for his performance in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics better recognize.

The 18-year-old two-time U.S. champion has been largely criticized for his showing in the short program in both the team competition and the men’s individual competition.

He struggled again on Friday and fell to 17th place in the men’s short program.

Today, he has redeemed himself with a historic SIX quadruple jumps in his men’s free skate program.