Figure skater Nathan Chen finally achieved the missing piece to his stellar career by winning a gold medal Feb. 10 at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Almost four years to the day after a disastrous performance in Pyeongchang, Chen, 22, coasted to gold, becoming just the seventh American man to win the men's individual competition at the Games, according to USA Today.
Skating to a compilation of music from the 2019 film Rocketman, Chen landed all five of the quad jumps in his long program for a score of 218.63, pushing his total for the competition to 332.60winning by more than 22 points.
Japan's Yuma Kagiyama finished second to claim the silver, while his countryman Shoma Uno won bronze. Jason Brown, the out gay skater who was the other U.S. competitor in the field, finished sixth. (The third U.S. skater, Vincent Zhou, had to withdraw after testing positive for COVID.)
The ladies' competition is next week.
However, there has been a dark aspect to the figure-skating events. The Feb. 8 medal ceremony for the figure-skating team eventwon by six Russian skaters competing for the Russia Olympic Committee, or ROCwas delayed due to a legal fight over a positive drug test in the group, the International Olympic Committee said, according to Yahoo! Sports. Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian sensation, tested positive for the banned heart medication trimetazidine, per the Russian newspaper RBC. Many consider her the greatest skater of all time because of her ability to flawlessly land three or more quad jumps in a single free skate.
In other good news for Team USA, Chloe Kim continued her dominance on the halfpipe, NPR noted. The champion claimed her second gold medal on Feb. 10, becoming the first woman to ever win multiple gold medals in the women's event since it became an Olympic sport in 1998.
Kim last won gold during the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics at just 17. This time, she beat Spain's Queralt Castelletwho, at 32, was competing in her fifth Olympics (starting with the 2006 event, at age 16)by four points.
As of Feb. 10, the United States had nine medals (with three gold, including Lindsey Jacobellis' snowboard win). Norway and Austria are tied for the overall lead, with 12 medals each; the ROC is in third with 11.