Yale’s Nathan Chen: 3 things to know about the Olympic gold medalist – CT Insider

After winning a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, Nathan Chen’s long road to redemption paid off. Chen is a a Yale student and the first American to win gold since Evan Lysacek in 2010. 

“It means the world,” he said. “I’m just so happy.”

He competed in the 2018 games in Pyeongchang where he finished fifth in the Men’s Single Skating event after a poor performance in the short program.

Chen turned in a dominant performance in Beijing, landing all of his quads during a program set to Elton John’s film score for Rocketman, to win his long-sought Olympic gold medal in the Free Skate, giving him a total of 332.60 points, just three points shy of his own world record.

Here are 3 things to know about the gold medalist:

What made him get on the rink

Nathan Chen was born on March 5, 1999 at Salt Lake City, Utah and started ice skating at the age of three after watching his two brothers play hockey while his two sisters were figure skaters. Not only did Chen skate, but has competed in gymnastics at the state and regional levels for seven years. He also trained in ballet at the  Ballet West Academy. 

“I’ve spent my entire life since I was three years old basically in an ice rink,” he said in 2021.

Nathan began his first figure skating competition in 2003. 

Chen plans to attend his studies after Olympics

According to AP, the figure skater said he was looking forward on going back to school but is undecided on what’s next for him in the sport. The news comes after he won gold during the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Back in Oct. 2021, Yale News shared that Chen is looking forward to returning to New Haven in the fall of 2022 and the life of a student. “Dinners at September in Bangkok, study sessions in the glass atrium of the School of Management, meeting friends in their common rooms.”

Chen is majoring in statistics and data science at Yale University. He started at Yale in the fall of 2018 and decided to pause his studies in 2020 to focus on his training for the 2022 Olympic Games.Athletic Director Vicky Chun and Wayne Dean, longtime Yale Athletics administrator who died in 2020 after retiring as deputy athletic director, helped Chen balance training and studying. 

“Without those two people, honestly, it would have been so challenging for me to get anywhere,” Chen said.

During his first two years at the university, Chen’s schedule allowed him three hours of ice time daily. He would attend morning classes then spend an hour and a half at the Ingalls Rink, known as the Yale Whale. Commute to the Champions Skating Center in Cromwell for another hour and a half to then return back to New Haven for any evening discussions and homework.

Olympic and career experience

This was not Chen’s first time at the Olympics. He also won a silver medal for the team competition this year. In the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, he won bronze in teams. 

Chen is a three-time World Champion as he won gold in 2018, 2019 and 2021. He will be competing again this year on March 21 in France. From 2017-2019, he also became the Grand Prix finals champion.