American figure skater Nathan Chen is in charge as he hopes to win a gold medal in the men’s figure skating event on Thursday, and he could join an elite company if he is able to claim the title.
Chen, who posted a world short program record of 113.97 earlier this week, holds a nearly six-point lead over Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama heading into the free skate.
Fellow American Jason Brown enters the competition in sixth place after posting a personal best 97.24 in the short program.
If Chen or Brown end up winning the gold medal, they would be the first American to win the award since 2010, when Evan Lysacek beat the pack in Vancouver.
Figure skater Nathan Chen may be a three-time world champion, six-time US national champion and Olympic medalist, but he says he could never have come this far without the support of his mother.
Before Lysacek, the last American to win an Olympic figure skating gold medal was Brian Boitano, who did so in Calgary in 1988.
In all, six American men have won gold medals in Olympic figure skating, with Dick Button, Hayes Alan Jenkins, David Jenkins and Scott Hamilton also winning the event.
Brown and Chen could also join the list of Americans who have won medals in the event, with only two having done so in the past 30 years. In addition to Lysacek’s gold medal in 2010, Timothy Goebel won the bronze medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The figure skating free skate will begin at 7:30 p.m. central time and will air on USA Network and NBC Primetime.