Nathan Chen has emerged as one of the top American hopes in figure skating, producing a record number of quadruple jumps in his programs and bringing enthusiasm to a new level.
Nathan, who was born in Salt Lake City -- the home of the 2002 Winter Olympics -- is considered one of the top American hopes, not only to compete in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, but to contend for the gold medal.
A longtime power in the novice and junior ranks, at the 2017 U.S. Championships in Kansas City, he ignited the crowd with a record five clean quadruple jumps in the free skate and sending a message to the best skaters in the world that he is the new quad king.
“It was amazing,” Nathan said of landing five quads. “That’s something I’ve been training for, something that I’ve been working towards...something that I’m really proud about.”
In the short program, he earned a record breaking score of 106.39, setting a new U.S. record by more than six points. Nathan’s free skate total of 212.08 and overall score of 318.47 (both U.S. records) helped him become the youngest U.S. men's champion in more than five decades.
At the 2016 U.S. Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota, he became the first U.S. skater to land two quads in a short program. Then he closed the event by landing an astounding four quads in the free skate. Nathan’s jumping prowess helped him enter the record books as the previous record number of quads landed in a long program was three. Nathan was not even a year old when that record had been set.
Nathan suffered a hip injury at the 2016 Exhibition that required surgery. He spent five months in rehabilitation at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Nathan feels that this recovery made him mentally and physically stronger. He proved it with his 2016 Grand Prix Final Silver Medal performance in Marseille, France. Nathan became the youngest and the first U.S. men’s medalist in the Grand Prix Final since in 2009.
Nathan is most at home in an ice rink, and it makes sense given his family’s passion for anything on ice. Not only has he become a talented figure skater but he also loved playing hockey. Nathan, the youngest of five children, started skating at the agree of three. His oldest brother, Tony, played hockey and reached the U18 Midget level. His second-oldest brother, Colin, also played hockey. And both of Nathan’s sisters took up figure skating.
Nathan trained in ballet at renowned Ballet West Academy and also competed in gymnastics at the state and regional levels.
He trained in Salt Lake City for many years before deciding to relocate to Southern California to train with Rafael Arutunian about four years ago. Nathan spends time in Detroit working with Marina Zoueva on his choreography and artistry.
Off the ice, Nathan enjoys playing guitar, biking and long boarding along the California beaches. He is currently a senior in high school.
At 17 years old, Nathan has already made a name for himself in the sport. But his work has just begun, and he hopes to continue setting new records and pushing figure skating to new heights.