For Group USA’s Nathan Chen, ‘blood, sweat, tears’ led to Olympic gold

“Numerous years of labor. Lots of people supporting me, a variety of — I do know it is cliche — however blood, sweat and tears, (over) simply many, a few years,” mentioned the 22-year-old, whose energetic routine within the lengthy program set him properly above the competitors.

Chen was fast to present credit score for his success to his mom, thanking her in an Instagram submit displaying a photograph of Chen as a small boy in his mom’s arms, clutching a golden medal with a pink, white and blue ribbon.

In his interview with CNN, Chen known as his mother, Hetty Wang, the “hardest working particular person I’ve ever met.” He mentioned her assist — together with working via the household’s monetary challenges — was what made his profession attainable.

He recalled how, when he was round 10 years outdated, she discovered a means for Chen to work with a coach in California, whereas the household was dwelling tons of of miles away in Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah.

“We weren’t actually in an amazing monetary place to have the ability to transfer to California…(and) ice time is considerably cheaper in Salt Lake than it’s in California. However she nonetheless strapped collectively as many {dollars} as she may and would drive me from Utah to California, again to Utah from California, time and again and over,” Chen mentioned.

“Any hour of the day, whether or not it is three a.m., she was simply chugging alongside within the automobile, getting me to my coaching classes, and it was simply, like, unreal,” he mentioned.

Chen additionally credit his personal work ethic and real love for his sport to his mom’s parenting model — which he mentioned didn’t fall into the mould of the “tiger mother” stereotype.

“It was a mixture of enterprise and enjoyable. She holds a really excessive commonplace for all of us. However inside that commonplace, she desires us to take pleasure in what it’s that we’re doing,” Chen mentioned, referring to himself and his 4 siblings.

“I feel having that stability allowed me to like the game determine skating as a lot as I do now, however nonetheless be capable of accomplish the targets that I set out for myself,” he mentioned.

Chen informed reporters Thursday that his win held particular that means as a result of it came about in Beijing — the town the place his mom grew up and the place his mother and father met.

Chen’s victory was additionally a redemption after a disappointing end in PyeongChang within the 2018 Winter Video games, when he landed fifth within the particular person competitors and earned bronze within the crew occasion.

What we can learn from Nathan Chen's redemption

Shifting previous that efficiency was a driver in these Olympic Video games, Chen mentioned.

“I undoubtedly wished to have the ability to get previous that. I wished to have the ability to have two quick applications that I felt very happy with and fulfilled by, and I am actually glad that I used to be in a position to have that have right here. It has been a dream of mine to make it to this stage and I by no means actually thought that it might actually be attainable,” he mentioned.

Within the 4 years since, Chen’s report has given him cause for confidence. He racked up three straight world championships and sealed a sixth consecutive US title to reach in Beijing as a favourite.

However Chen nonetheless burdened that managing feelings — retaining himself “calm and picked up” — was a key a part of doing his finest on the ice.

“I strive to not get let feelings get the higher of me, as a result of I really feel that I can management what I do on the ice the perfect once I’m in a cool, calm, collected way of thinking,” he mentioned.

“After all I get emotional and I feel that is additionally a part of sport too, typically you’ll be able to let emotion get the higher of you (and it) does really make it easier to, so long as you’ll be able to work out a solution to get again into the place you should be.”

Nathan Chen celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's free skate program.

However Chen didn’t present any nerves as he glided over the ice on Thursday, because the US favourite to win gold after setting a brand new quick program world report two days earlier. He ran a complete of 5 quad jumps — a pure for a skater nicknamed the quad king — to a combination that included Elton’s John’s Rocket Man.

Chen later acquired a nod from the legendary British singer-songwriter, with John posting on Twitter his congratulations to the skater “for profitable Gold skating to Rocket Man.”

Chen additionally opened up about lacking the chance to face on the Olympic podium after his crew gained silver in Monday’s determine skating occasion.

Group USA gained silver within the occasion after being defeated by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), nonetheless the medal ceremony was delayed on Tuesday over a failed medicine check scandal involving Russian skater Kamila Valieva.

“The medal ceremony is unquestionably a really particular a part of the Olympics, and for people who ought to get a medal, I actually hope that they’ll. No matter occurs occurs, however I do hope that we’ll have this chance to share that as a crew,” Chen informed CNN.

“There is definitely a variety of variables which can be coming to play, however on the finish of the day, all I can actually management is how a lot I can do. And positively, as athletes, you need to have the ability to have as honest taking part in discipline as attainable,” Chen mentioned when requested in regards to the case.

As for what’s subsequent after reaching his Olympic dream, Chen mentioned he’s trying ahead to returning to his undergraduate research at Yale College, the place he’s pursuing a statistics and information science diploma — a program he took a break from in an effort to put together for the Video games.

“Having had spent a lot time of my life pursuing this ardour of skating hasn’t actually allowed me the chance to discover exterior of the game as a lot as I would love. I am excited to return to varsity and see what else the world has for me and attempt to discover passions exterior of skating,” he mentioned.

And whereas he mentioned his ardour for skating stays, what he decides to do along with his skating profession “will likely be decided within the close to future.”

“Proper now I am simply blissful on this second,” he mentioned.

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