Scored 113.97 in short program beating reigning champion's record
World champion figure skater Nathan Chen has his sights on a personally-elusive gold medal in Beijing. But he accomplished a feat he didn't expect. The Salt Lake City-native blasted the twice-reigning Olympic champ Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan by smashing his world record.
The 5 foot 5 inch 22-year old Chen scored 113.97 in the short program, which beats the previous record of 111.82 set by the "Ice Prince" Hanyu.
Chen was shocked to learn his performance beat the record, and unusual for his normal humility, pumped his fist in response.
"I was really happy and I guess that just came out," he said.
The top 24 get to move on to free skate and add to their scores.
After strong expectations based on his history, Chen failed to advance through the short program at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games. Nevertheless, he became the first skater to land a quad flip at any Winter Games.
At the 2018 Olympic free skate, Chen became the first male to attempt to land six quads. He landed five.
Also at Pyeongchang, Chen scored 215.08 in free skate. It was the highest score at any Olympics.
Chen holds several figure skating records. In 2017 at 17 years old, he was the youngest U.S. men's national champion since 1966.