Take a bow, Nathan Chen.
As the last skater to go in Wednesday’s men’s free skate competition, Chen closed things out with a remarkable routine to clinch his first ever Olympic gold medal.
The 22-year-old entered the free skate portion with a 5.85-point lead thanks to his record-breaking short program. Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama set the mark to beat leading into Chen’s skate. Chen needed 196.09 points in his free skate to clinch gold, and he blew that away with a 218.63 score to secure a dominant victory.
Performing to Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” Chen was out of this world. His routine featured five quads, including three in a row to start the performance, as well as a triple axel and a triple lutz and triple toe loop combination. Chen nailed his elements throughout, giving him an impressive technical score of 121.41.
Chen bounced back from a disappointing performance at the 2018 PyeongChang Games in a major way with a personal best in the short program during the team event, record-breaking short program in the individual event and victory-clinching free skate.
With a gold, Chen now has three Olympic medals in three different varieties. He previously earned bronze in the team event in 2018 and opened the 2022 Winter Olympics with a silver in the team event.