Nathan Chen, Canada’s Patrick Chan struggle in Olympic opener
By Scott Reid
GANGNEUNG, South Korea — South Korea missed apparently missed its wake-up call Friday morning.
So, apparently, did U.S. champion Nathan Chen and Canada’s Patrick Chan.
What could generously be described as a sparse crowd showed up at Gangneung Ice Arena for the first major competition of the Olympic Games and a morning of dreadful skating from Chen and Chan, viewed by many as the skaters most likely to end of the reign of Olympic and World champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan.
Those who couldn’t make the 10 a.m. (local time) start for the team figure skating opening round missed some bold – and brave – fashion statements, some truly bizarre musical choices and awful skating.
Chan and Chen’s short programs were both marked by falls, leaving Canada in third, the U.S. in fourth with the pairs yet to come on the first of three days in the team competition.
Chan finished with a score of 81.66, well off his season’s best short program score of 94.43. Chen was even further off his best, his 80.61 score Friday, nearly 24 points shy of his season’s best.
“No one wants to skate like that on Olympic ice,” said Chen, who resides in Irvine and trains in Lakewood. “But it happens. Just take it and move on.”
Japan led the competition through the men’s short program after Shoma Uno put up a 103.25 mark, a little more than a point off his season’s best. Israel is second off Alexi Bychenko’s 88.49 score.
A solid fourth-place performance by Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim in the pairs section moved the U.S. up to second in the team standings with 14 points. Canada leads with 17, Japan is third (13).
Hanyu, seeking to become the first man to successfully defend the Olympic skating title since Dick Button of the U.S. in 1948 and […]