Nathan Chen Pulled off an Insane Backflip at Gala but Not for Winning- Here’s the Shocking Reason Behind It

Published 02/24/2022, 1:11 PM EST
2022 Beijing Olympics – Figure Skating – Exhibition Gala – Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China – February 20, 2022. Nathan Chen of the United States in action. REUTERS/Susana Vera

The Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 ended on February 20. While many Olympians achieved lifelong dreams of Olympic victory, more left heartbroken. For Nathan Chen of the USA, it was a dream come true.

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The American figure skater won his first Olympic gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics. In fact, he even set a world record with his score in the men’s figure skating short program.

Ultimately, with all the competitive events over, it was time for the customary exhibition gala on the final day. Chen put on an exhibition performance on the ice which, like his competitive routine, took everyone’s breath away.

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Why Nathan Chen didn’t backflip at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics free skate

22-year-old Nathan Chen of the USA stunned the world with his free skate routine at the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022. Moreover, he had also set a world record in the short program before his golden routine.

Thus, when it came time for the exhibition gala at the end of the Winter Olympics, the world looked forward to seeing Chen perform with no stress, unbound from the pressure of Olympic competition.

Naturally, Chen delivered. As he took to the ice, he let loose, as every pair of eyes watched him in awe. In fact, towards the end of his routine, Chen even performed a backflip on the ice!

The stadium filled up with thunderous applause and cheers as Nathan Chen pulled off the dangerous move. On the other hand, it also made many wonder why he didn’t do the same during the competition.

This is because the governing authority banned the performance of backflips in figure skating in 1976. The exact reason for the ban is unclear, but there are certain speculations that make a lot of sense.

DIVE DEEPER: ‘I Don’t Like Watching Him Compete’: Nathan Chen’s Teammate Opens Up on His Performances at Beijing Winter Olympics 2022

On one hand, it could simply be to avoid risking injury to skaters. After all, they skate with zero protective gear, and a bad landing could mean head trauma and/or worse.

On the other hand, it could also damage the ice’s surface, which would make it unfit for the next skater. Whatever the reason, players are simply banned from performing the move, and it also results in a point deduction- something nobody wants to have on their score sheet.

What’s next for Chen?

After leaving Beijing and returning to the United States with a gold medal, Nathan Chen is going to be touring the country. Chen will headline the Stars on Ice annual tour through the US, which showcases top medal contenders and US champions.

2022 Beijing Olympics – Figure Skating – Exhibition Gala – Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China – February 20, 2022. Nathan Chen of the United States in action. REUTERS/Susana Vera

It’s a lot of fun,” Nathan said on the Today show, after sharing his plans to join the tour. He called it a “time for us to celebrate the success that we’ve had over the past couple (of) seasons”.

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Chen will be touring with USA teammates throughout the country. After that, it’s back to school for the Yalie, who will continue his pursuit of a Statistics and Data Science major at Yale.

Are you excited to see more of Nathan Chen through multiple shows across the United States?

WATCH THIS STORY: Nathan Chen Gets Gold: U.S. Figure Skater Dazzles to Win at 2022 Winter Olympics

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Samarveer Singh

470 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. He is also an automotive writer at HotCars.

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