‘Thought He was Going to Hit It’: Nathan Chen Applauds Rival Yuzuru Hanyu for Attempting an Unbelievable Trick at Beijing Winter Olympics 2022

Published 02/10/2022, 11:18 AM EST
2022 Beijing Olympics – Figure Skating – Men Single Skating – Free Skating – Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China – February 10, 2022. Nathan Chen of the United States in action. REUTERS/Toby Melville

American figure skater Nathan Chen made history at the Beijing Winter Olympics today. The 22-year-old bagged his first Gold medal in the men’s single free skating event.


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Moreover, he also set a new world record yesterday in the men’s singles short program event. Thus, Chen has been outperforming the best of the best from the rest of the world, earning his place at the top of the Olympic podium.

His closest rival, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, finished in fourth place today, owing to a performance where he fell repeatedly. In fact, Hanyu was in the running for potentially clinching a third consecutive Gold Medal. Alas, that was not to be for the Japanese star.


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Nevertheless, Chen had nothing but praise for Hanyu at the post-event press conference.

Nathan Chen lauds Yuzuru Hanyu for taking the sport forward

The biggest reason for defending gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu’s defeat today was quite clearly his attempt at a quadruple axel jump. No one has ever performed the risky jump ever at the Olympics successfully.

In fact, Hanyu put so much effort into practicing for the jump that he had even delayed his arrival to Beijing for the same. Thus, when he took to the ice as the world watched, Hanyu attempted the quadruple axel (or 4A) twice.

Sadly, both times, he landed on his backside, before recuperating and moving on with the rest of his dazzling performance. Consequently, Hanyu finished fourth, behind Japan’s Shoma Uno, Yuma Kagiyama, and of course, Nathan Chen.

At the post-event press conference, Nathan Chen was nothing but praises for his competitors. Talking about Hanyu’s failed attempt at the 4A, he expressed how “a few years back, (he) didn’t think the 4F was possible”. The 4F is a quadruple flip, which Chen’s competitor and bronze medallist Shoma Uno successfully landed.


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Thus, Nathan praised Hanyu’s quadruple axel attempt, calling it “extremely close”. “I thought he was going to hit it,” Chen stated. Undoubtedly, the entire world did, too.

Then, Chen appreciated Hanyu for having attempted something unprecedented, which is good for the sport. “It’s great to see how Yuzu is pushing the sport forward,” he said. “It’s really special to see.”

Bronze medalist Shoma Uno’s competitors inspire him

Japanese figure skater Shoma Uno, who won the silver medal at the 2018 Olympics, talked about his motivation to keep going in the sport.

2022 Beijing Olympics – Figure Skating – Men Single Skating – Free Skating – Capital Indoor Stadium, Beijing, China – February 10, 2022. Gold Medallist Nathan Chen of the United States hugs bronze medallist, Shoma Uno of Japan, in the green room as silver medallist Yuma Kagiyama of Japan looks on. Pool via REUTERS/Antonin Thuillier

“My motivation to keep going is Nathan, Yuzu, Yuma,” Uno shared at the press conference. Furthermore, he also lauded them for “getting better and better,” which he admitted “gives (him) motivation”.


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In fact, he even had some special words reserved for Nathan Chen, who took the Gold medal. “No one can expect to be perfect, except Nathan,” Shuma Uno said. Those are certainly some high words of praise for Chen!

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


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Samarveer Singh

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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.