Nathan Chen had the final say in the men’s individual figure skating competition at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. He earned that privilege with his record-setting short program earlier in the week.
His closing statement Thursday could hardly have been more direct. He left no room for doubt as to who the best in the world is.
The 22-year-old American powered his way to gold as the last competitor to complete his free skate. He hit five quads as a medley of Elton John hits played beind him: “Rocket Man,” “Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road” and “Benny and the Jets.”
He closed the show with a knowing smile and a few dance moves.
What a Free Skate from Nathan Chen!
– NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 10, 2022
Chen rocketed to the top of the standings after earning by far the highest score of the night, 16.7 points better than silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama of Japan. That gave him a 22.55-point victory. Shomo Uno of Japan claimed bronze.
Chen is the first American to win gold in men’s figure skating since Evan Lysacek in 2010 in Vancouver. The victory also wipes away the bitterness of Chen’s fifth-place finish in Pyeongchang in 2018.
“I just had a blast out there. I’m so grateful,” he told NBC after.