December 5, 2022

Nathan Chen, US lead group figure skating at Beijing Olympics


It should be an inevitable result that Russia’s strong stable of professional skaters, remembering title holders for three of the four disciplines, would flee with the group gold award at the Beijing Olympics.

Nathan Chen and the other Americans more likely than not protested.

The three-time world champion’s triumphant short program set the vibe for Team USA on Friday, and every other person went with the same pattern. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won the mood hit the dance floor with a season-best score, and Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier covered the first of three days of group contest with an individual best diminutive program.

That left the Americans with 28 places, two in front of the Russians and seven in front of third-place China.

We can leave with a decoration without a doubt. What tone? It’s difficult to say, Chen said. Yet, I have confidence in my partners, and I realize they will do everything they can manage.

Indeed, the main discipline they didn’t win was sets. Knierim and Frazier were third behind China’s Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, who set a worldwide best with their short program, and Russians Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov.

I’m so glad for us, said Knierim, who helped the U.S. win group bronze four years prior in Pyeongchang. When it’s all said and done, there was a ton of push-down tension inside us. We just attempted to overlook it, and we just adapted to the situation.

There is still a lot of work to accomplish for the Americans to climb the platform this time around.

The group occasion enjoys some time off Saturday before the ladies’ short program Sunday, where the Russians will again be the top picks. From that point forward, the main five scoring countries advance to the free skates, with the decorations chose Monday night.

Chen battled to a fourth-place wrap up with his short program in the group occasion in Pyeongchang, and the horrendous beginning to his Olympic introduction four years prior conveyed squarely into the men’s occasion. His short program there was so tossed with botches that not even his splendid free skate could land him on the platform.

Maybe his impeccable beginning in Beijing will send him in the other bearing.

Performing to music from the Puccini show La Bohème, Chen opened with an enormous quad toe circle and handled the triple axel that frequently gives him issues. When he handled his quad salchow-triple toe circle mix, his specialized imprint was such a long ways in front of the field that ahead of everyone else was just about guaranteed.