With seamless footwork and high-flying quads, men’s singles gold medalist Nathan Chen easily finished Thursday in the men’s short program of the team event, giving Team America the edge. win a medal.
What’s more, Chen has taken a huge step toward atonement after a disappointing performance at the 2018 Games, where falls and mistakes in team short shows and singles events had not what he expected. After a spectacular performance on the long-running show in Pyeongchang, he placed 5th in singles.
Performing in a black tuxedo and white t-shirt in Thursday’s version of “La Bohème,” Chen performed two quadruple jumps, including a four-Lutz/three-toed ring combination, which helped him score got 111.71 points, his best season yet.
But with the men’s singles event scheduled for next week, he’s yet to celebrate.
“There will be a time and place for that,” said Chen, a three-time world champion who has lost just one game since the 2018 world. “You know, I still have a lot of work ahead of me.”
Friday in Beijing brings the start of the Olympic team skating event, a combined competition in which 10 countries will field skaters in all four disciplines. (As it turns out, not all teams in all disciplines; positive coronavirus tests have ruined the chances of scoring – and thus medal hopes – of teams from Germany and Ukraine.)
The format makes the event feel like an all-in-one mini-Olympic. Each country took part in one man, one woman, one pair team, and one group of ice dancers, and each country performed two moves, just as they do in their main competitions.
However, the team event is more than just a medal event in its own right; it’s also an opportunity for savvy skating fans to dig up clues about who’s in good form for the big events still to come. Countries typically send out their top skaters, but countries can swap up to two skaters or teams between programs. Four years ago, for example, Chen skated the short American show, and Adam Rippon joined the free skating program.
After a day off, the contest will resume on Sunday and Monday. The country with the best total score wins the gold medal.
That most likely won’t be Germany or Ukraine. The Germans will not be able to score any points in each pair, as half of their team, Nolan Seegert, tested positive for the virus and Ukraine will receive no points in the men’s section, because of Ivan Shmuratko disqualified for the same reason.
The event has been contested at the Olympics twice, and the medalists each time have been Canada, Russia and the United States. Japan could also be an opponent this time.
Other events on Friday will do their best to avoid the opening ceremony. The mixed doubles roll match continued with the USA looking for a win over Sweden after starting the competition with a 1-2 record. There are also two women’s hockey games on the schedule, although the major favorites, the United States and Canada, have days off.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/03/sports/olympics/figure-skating-team-event.html Nathan Chen finished first, set for the United States to get a medal in figure skating