For Crew USA’s Nathan Chen, ‘blood, sweat, tears’ led to Olympic gold


“Numerous years of labor. Lots of people supporting me, loads of — I do know it is cliche — however blood, sweat and tears, (over) simply many, a few years,” stated the 22-year-old, whose energetic routine within the lengthy program set him effectively above the competitors.

Chen was fast to provide credit score for his success to his mom, thanking her in an Instagram post displaying a photograph of Chen as a small boy in his mom’s arms, clutching a golden medal with a crimson, white and blue ribbon.

In his interview with CNN, Chen referred to as his mother, Hetty Wang, the “hardest working particular person I’ve ever met.” He stated her assist — together with working via the household’s monetary challenges — was what made his profession attainable.

He recalled how, when he was round 10 years previous, she discovered a method for Chen to work with a coach in California, whereas the household was dwelling a whole lot of miles away in Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah.

“We weren’t actually in a fantastic monetary place to have the ability to transfer to California…(and) ice time is considerably cheaper in Salt Lake than it’s in California. However she nonetheless strapped collectively as many {dollars} as she might and would drive me from Utah to California, again to Utah from California, time and again and over,” Chen stated.

“Any hour of the day, whether or not it is 3 a.m., she was simply chugging alongside within the automotive, getting me to my coaching periods, and it was simply, like, unreal,” he stated.

Chen additionally credit his personal work ethic and real love for his sport to his mom’s parenting type — which he stated didn’t fall into the mildew of the “tiger mother” stereotype.

“It was a mixture of enterprise and enjoyable. She holds a really excessive normal for all of us. However inside that normal, she needs us to take pleasure in what it’s that we’re doing,” Chen stated, referring to himself and his 4 siblings.

“I believe having that stability allowed me to like the game determine skating as a lot as I do now, however nonetheless be capable to accomplish the targets that I set out for myself,” he stated.

Chen informed reporters Thursday that his win held particular which means as a result of it came about in Beijing — town the place his mom grew up and the place his mother and father met.

Chen’s victory was additionally a redemption after a disappointing end in PyeongChang within the 2018 Winter Video games, when he landed fifth within the particular person competitors and earned bronze within the staff occasion.

What we can learn from Nathan Chen's redemption

Transferring previous that efficiency was a driver in these Olympic Video games, Chen stated.

“I positively wished to have the ability to get previous that. I wished to have the ability to have two brief applications that I felt very pleased with and fulfilled by, and I am actually glad that I used to be capable of have that have right here. It has been a dream of mine to make it to this stage and I by no means actually thought that it might really be attainable,” he stated.

Within the 4 years since, Chen’s file has given him purpose for confidence. He racked up three straight world championships and sealed a sixth consecutive US title to reach in Beijing as a favourite.

However Chen nonetheless confused that managing feelings — protecting himself “calm and picked up” — was a key a part of doing his finest on the ice.

“I strive to not get let feelings get the higher of me, as a result of I really feel that I can management what I do on the ice the perfect once I’m in a cool, calm, collected way of thinking,” he stated.

“In fact I get emotional and I believe that is additionally a part of sport too, generally you may let emotion get the higher of you (and it) does really assist you, so long as you may determine a option to get again into the place you could be.”

Nathan Chen celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's free skate program.

However Chen didn’t present any nerves as he glided over the ice on Thursday, because the US favourite to win gold after setting a brand new brief program world file two days earlier. He ran a complete of 5 quad jumps — a pure for a skater nicknamed the quad king — to a mixture that included Elton’s John’s Rocket Man.

Chen later obtained a nod from the legendary British singer-songwriter, with John posting on Twitter his congratulations to the skater “for profitable Gold skating to Rocket Man.”

Chen additionally opened up about lacking the chance to face on the Olympic podium after his staff received silver in Monday’s determine skating occasion.

Crew USA received silver within the occasion after being defeated by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), nevertheless the medal ceremony was delayed on Tuesday over a failed drugs test scandal involving Russian skater Kamila Valieva.

“The medal ceremony is unquestionably a really particular a part of the Olympics, and for people who ought to get a medal, I really hope that they will. No matter occurs occurs, however I do hope that we are going to have this chance to share that as a staff,” Chen informed CNN.

“There is definitely loads of variables which are coming to play, however on the finish of the day, all I can actually management is how a lot I can do. And positively, as athletes, you need to have the ability to have as honest enjoying discipline as attainable,” Chen stated when requested in regards to the case.

As for what’s subsequent after reaching his Olympic dream, Chen stated he’s wanting ahead to returning to his undergraduate research at Yale College, the place he’s pursuing a statistics and information science diploma — a program he took a break from with a view to put together for the Video games.

“Having had spent a lot time of my life pursuing this ardour of skating hasn’t actually allowed me the chance to discover outdoors of the game as a lot as I would really like. I am excited to return to school and see what else the world has for me and attempt to discover passions outdoors of skating,” he stated.

And whereas he stated his ardour for skating stays, what he decides to do along with his skating profession “shall be decided within the close to future.”

“Proper now I am simply completely happy on this second,” he stated.

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