2018 Winter Olympics: Nathan Chen has disastrous debut in Pyeongchang
A hyped face of the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team, Chen finished fourth in his first outing Friday
Nathan Chen entered the 2018 Winter Olympics as one of the hottest young faces of Team USA.
His debut as part of the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team, however, painted a different picture.
Starring in team competition on Friday, the 18-year-old phenom managed just a fourth-place finish for his short program, and even that placement came amid an uncharacteristically sloppy appearance on ice. Chen may have been "one of the most heavily promoted athletes in memory" coming into the Pyeongchang Winter Games, as USA Today reported, but his first Olympic action was a letdown of monumental proportions:
Chen, the only undefeated men's skater in the world this season, fell on the jump that has been his nemesis for several years, the triple axel, turned one of his vaunted quads into a double and failed to add a triple toe loop on the end of his first quad.
It was as shocking as it was troubling.
The rough first go didn't entirely ruin Team USA's day, however, as two of Chen's teammates catapulted the U.S. into second place overall. The entire team figure skating competition will occur over the course of four days, with Adam Rippon set to represent the long program for the U.S. on Monday.
A 2017-18 Grand Prix Final champion and two-time U.S. national title winner, Chen became the youngest U.S. men's national figure skating champion since 1966 when he finished No. 1 at age 17.
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