Nathan Chen is center of attention at U.S. Figure Skating Championships
By Scott Reid
SAN JOSE — Fourteen-year-old Nathan Chen was just another face in a frenzied crowd for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships women’s competition four years ago at Boston’s TD Garden.
“It was so packed,” Chen said. “The energy was incredible. I was trying to think about myself in their shoes. And even at that time it was pretty nerve wracking. I’ve definitely grown up quite a lot, and I’m very excited rather than being nervous about this event.”
This event would be this week’s U.S. Championships at SAP Center where all eyes will be on Chen, this international season’s most dominant skater, when the men’s competition opens with Thursday night’s short program.
Chen, the 18-year-old Salt Lake City native who now resides in Irvine, electrified last year’s U.S. Championships by becoming the first skater to land five quadruple jumps in a single performance. He has followed up this past fall by winning the ISU Grand Prix final and another pair of Grand Prix stops.
Chen, the early gold medal favorite for next month’s Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, did nothing to discourage the widely held belief that the real competition in San Jose is for the final two spots on the Olympic team when he admitted he will continue to experiment with both his programs this week.
“Every competition that I’ve done this season has been a test for me to try different things to gain experience at high-level competitions with the quad,” Chen said. “Play around with different layouts, play around with different set ups, entrances, things that I would feel more comfortable with or less comfortable with and just see how things work at practice and competition and I will use all that information I’ve collected all season. Nationals is still another competition I will learn from and then use all of this […]