'I Let the Team Down': Nathan Chen Falls in Olympic Debut

Nathan Chen's Olympic debut in Pyeongchang Friday fell flat. Chen was selected to skate the men's program for the U.S. in the team event, but he struggled, falling down during the triple axel.

"I’m really upset that I let the team down with that short program. Definitely not what I wanted to put out," Chen told NBC Olympics after the performance.

Nathan Chen, the top U.S. medal hopeful in men's singles figure skating, had a disappointing debut during the men's short program. While Chen was able to land the quad flip, the first time the difficult trick was attempted at an Olympic event, he fell while attempting the triple axel. Chen finished in fourth place.

(Published Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018)

"It’s not a representation of who I am and what I can do. I need to work harder for the next couple of days."

Chen scored 80.61 points in after his short program, set to “Nemesis” by Benjamin Clementine. Chen executed the first quadruple flip ever seen in Olympic competition, before tacking on a double toeloop in combination. His planned a second quad jump, a quad toe, but doubled it instead. It was invalidated, and then he fell on his triple Axel attempt.

He finished in fourth place in the phase, and earned Team USA seven points. He told NBC Olympics that has to take some time to go over what went wrong during his highly anticipated performance.

In first place is Shoma Uno. Alexei Bychenko from Israel is in second place and earned nine points for his country.Three-time world champion Patrick Chan from Canada finished third overall, earning eight points for his country.

At 18 and already a two-time national champion, Chen is among the favorites for the Pyeongchang Games. Some say there are five reasons why: the number of quadruple jumps he has planned for the free skate.

Canada and the Olympic Athletes from Russia are considered the favorites for gold in the team event. Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim will tackle the pairs program for team USA.

Teams are awarded points based on their finish in each discipline. The dance and ladies short programs are Sunday, when the field is trimmed to five nations. Each will then field a free skate program for each discipline, with medals decided Monday.

Country
Total
1
Norway
1311933
2
Germany
127524
3
Canada
96722