Nathan Chen down but not out, focusing on the future


Nathan Chen finished fourth in the men’s short program in the figure skating team event Thursday night after popping a planned quadruple toeloop and falling on a triple Axel attempt.

As soon as he finished the program, Chen was disappointed in his performance.

"Honestly, just let myself down,” he said. “'Let the team down' was the first thing I thought. Definitely not a representation of who I am and what I can do. Definitely need to work harder for the next couple of days.

“I definitely let the rest of the team down, so I feel bad in that regard. But I think that it was a good opportunity for me to put myself out there and make silly mistakes.”

Displaying a feat of mental strength, Chen said he would simply have to move forward from this.

“No one wants to skate like that on Olympic ice. But it happens. Just take it and move on."

Members of the U.S. contingent in PyeongChang were on hand in the Kiss and Cry for support, which Chen said he appreciated.

"They were just supportive. Team USA is awesome. The rest of the team, all the skaters, I'm very confident that they'll be able to back me up with their skates. We're a great team, so they're very supportive. And again, I let them down but I think that they'll be able to pull through."

Chen will compete at least two more times at these Winter Olympics, potentially up to three times if Team USA gives him the nod for the team free skate.

Chen has shifted his focus to the individual men’s event, where he is viewed as a podium contender.

"I need some time to go over everything. All of the mistakes that I did. Figure out exactly what went wrong so that when the time comes for the actual (individual) event, that doesn't happen again.

"In the individual I'll be more ready."