Congratulations to Nathan Chen on winning the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in the men’s free skate category. According to Team USA, the event took place in Las Vegas on Sunday. He had a shaky start but rallied in his further sets to become champion once again. The 21-year-old amassed 208.36 points on free skate and a total of 322.28 points leaving behind rivals Vincent Zhou and Jason Brown.
“It is something I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Chen said after his amazing performance.
This win nabbed Chen his fifth straight U.S. title which is the longest winning streak short of Olympic gold medalist Dick Button who won seven in a row from 1946 – 1952. Chen so far has won three national titles and two world championships. The last time Chen lost was in the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang in 2018 where he placed 17th. But due to a change in training that strengthed his balance, he has remained flawless.
“I thought I had a chance in 2018, that didn’t happen,” he said. “Of course I would love to win the next Olympics (but) if that doesn’t happen, it doesn’t diminish my legacy. … Whether or not I get that title at the Olympics doesn’t define me as a person.”
Nathan Chen is currently taking a leave of absence from Yale University to focus on the 2022 Beijing Games.
“After I retire, I will have a life outside of skating,” he said. “So while I am here, just enjoy every single time I am out on the ice, enjoy being able to perform for people, enjoy performing before cardboard cutouts, and think less of, ‘Oh, if I fail at this competition, my life is over.’ It’s not. I will still move on, I will continue, I will still lead a fulfilling life. That’s how I changed my mentality, and it’s helped a lot.”