American figure skater Nathan Chen wins gold medal at redemption time in Beijing


Chen struggled in Pyeongchang but took gold in Beijing.

Nathan Chen has his Olympic gold medal.

The 22-year-old took the win in men’s singles, bouncing back from his disappointing performance in Pyeongchang in 2018 for a triumphant comeback.

The reigning world champion scored 218.63 in the freestyle and 332.60 in total.

Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama stumbled on a quadruple loop, eliminating any chance of winning, but retained the silver. Fellow Japanese Shoma Uno also stumbled on a quad flip, but won bronze.

Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning two-time gold medalist, shockingly gave up on his first quad jump in the short program and only managed to place eighth before the free skate. Hanyu opted for a quad axel in his free skate, which was never landed in competition, but fell on the ice. Still, he jumped up to fourth in the final standings with a strong free skate.

Team USA member Jason Brown entered the free skate placing sixth in the individual short program. Brown, the first to take the ice in the final group, retained that spot in the final standings.

Chen led the entry into the free skate program after a world-record-setting short program, with a score of 113.97 points that easily passed Japanese skaters Kagiyama (108.12) and Uno (105.90) .

Earlier this week, Team USA won the silver medal in the team figure skating competition, behind the Russian Olympic Committee.

Teammate Vincent Zhou – who helped the team win the silver medal with his performance in the free skate – had to withdraw from individual competition after testing positive for COVID-19.

Chen was considered a gold medal contender at the Beijing Olympics after a bad short program cost him a medal four years ago.

At the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, Chen won bronze in the team event but failed to make the singles podium, finishing fifth overall. But he still managed to make history there, becoming the first skater to land six quadruple jumps in a single program while achieving the highest ever free skate score in an Olympic competition.

Chen came to Beijing having won his sixth consecutive national figure skating championship – a feat last accomplished by Dick Button, winner of seven consecutive US titles in the 1940s and 1950s.

The three-time world champion took time off from Yale University to train for the 2022 Olympics and plans to return to school in the fall to study statistics and data science.

ABC News’ Alexandra Faul contributed to this report.

For more Olympics coverage see: https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/Olympics

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