Karen Chen was the last U.S. figure skater to make her Pyeongchang debut (and her Olympic debut for that matter). A mistake on her opening jump in the short program left her in 10th place going into the free program. Two days later, her free skate also had technical mistakes, and she finished 11th overall. While Team OAR won its first Olympic gold of the Pyeongchang Games and got a silver to boot, the U.S. women were plagued with falls and technical errors, and Chen was no exception.
Just hours after the ladies’ event concluded, Chen took to Instagram to share her frustration, disappointment and newfound perspective.
“I have nothing to say except that I feel like I let myself and everyone down,” Chen wrote. “I’m sorry.”
Her note changed its tone towards the end, saying, “I realized that I need to feel grateful and thankful more than anything else. At the end of the day, what really matters is the amount of endless loving support I receive from all you guys.”
Chen, 18, is the youngest woman on the 2018 U.S. figure skating team. Chen was born and raised in Fremont, California, she cites gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, who is also from Fremont, as a mentor. Unlike most in the world of figure skating, Chen makes her own costumes and choreographs her own programs. Last season, Chen won the U.S. national championship. She skated an inconsistent 2017-18 season, but her third place finish at nationals was enough to land her a spot on Team USA.