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David G. McIntyre, For the Deseret News
Nathan Chen of the United States, competes within the Figure Skating Team Event-Men’s Single Skating Short Program, at Gangneung Ice Arena on the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The glance on Nathan Chen’s face summed up his Olympic debut — sadness.
“It was the fact that I didn’t do what I wanted to do,” the Salt Lake local stated after making 3 main errors in his quick program efficiency Friday morning, his contribution to Team USA’s staff tournament competition. “I’m not going to show that I’m happy and try to fake it if I’m genuinely not. So that’s definitely how I felt. But this is a good experience, and I’m definitely going to learn from it for the next competition.”
Chen scored an 80.61 — a considerably decrease ranking than his season very best (104.21 issues) — which left the U.S. staff in fourth position after the 1st of 5 disciplines. Japan’s Shoma Uno scored 103.25 issues to lead the staff tournament, whilst Israel’s Alexei Bychenko scored 88.49. Canadadian veteran Patrick Chan scored 81.66 issues.
Immediately after the lads’s quick program, the staff tournament persevered with a pairs skating quick program. The American pair of Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim took fourth position within the pairs program.
Following the pairs skating quick program, the United States sits in 2d position within the staff tournament with 14 issues, in the back of Canada at 17. Japan and Olympic athletes from Russia are subsequent with 13.
Chen’s sadness was once comprehensible, as his most often dynamic quick program was once marred by way of a fall and two blown jumps. The strangely early get started time of 10 a.m., was once discussed by way of some skaters as a topic, and nerves and fatigue can have additionally performed small roles, but in the long run Chen stated the ones issues weren’t to blame for his error-ridden Olympic debut.
“I just wasn’t thinking of the right technical things before the jumps,” Chen stated. “I was a little bit ahead of myself.”
But his greatest fear wasn’t how his sub-par efficiency mirrored on him.
“Obviously, it’s not what I wanted to do my first Olympic run,” he stated, “but I am also upset that I let the rest of the team down. But I’m confident they’ll be able to pull through with good skates.”
While some skaters love the staff tournament, others are much less enthusiastic. Chen stated he loved it, particularly as a result of it presented the 18-year-old precious enjoy ahead of he competes for my part.
“I’m glad I got the opportunity to come out here, put the programs down, learn from it, but right now, all I can do is try to analyze what I did wrong, and just let it go and move on,” he stated. “Honestly, (my nerves) were not too bad. I thought I’d be way more nervous. I thought there would be way more pressure, but honestly I felt way more comfortable, pretty relaxed and ready to go.”
The skaters stated that they had to be on the rink by way of 6 a.m. to follow ahead of the 10 a.m. competition. Chen stated he went to mattress at 7 or eight p.m. Thursday in anticipation of the early warning sign.
He stated if he had any fast research it was once that his pleasure led to his timing to be off.
“I was just a little bit ahead of myself,” he stated. “I think I was a little too excited.”
The two-time U.S. nationwide champion stated a special power surrounding this competition, but not anything that are supposed to have impacted his efficiency.
“Ultimately, it kind of just feels like any other skating competition, the way it’s set up,” Chen stated. “There isn’t something drastically different. But obviously, the vibe of the Olympics, the idea that you’re at the Olympics, seeing the rings and everything, that’s different.”
Canadian veteran Chan, who received silver in Sochi in 2014 and took 5th when his nation hosted the Games in 2010, stated Chen is beneath super force of lofty expectancies.
“I can’t imagine,” stated Chan, who additionally fell two times all through his efficiency. “Being Canadian, being in Vancouver in 2010, that was a fraction of the type of pressure an American skater has, and the level he can skate with all those quads, he’s handling it really well.”
In truth, apart from showing disenchanted right away after his efficiency, Chen was once his standard matter-of-fact, all-business self as he mentioned what took place with an enormous hoard of media participants.
“Ultimately, my mind is focused on what I did here,” he stated, “and what I need to improve on.”
Chan had some recommendation for the first-time Olympian.
“I hope he knows that it’s very normal not to have a great skate,” the Canadian stated. “It’s part of the experience, part of the Olympics. We have a long time before the end of these Games. Just cherish the moment, even if it’s not the best one.”