Light & Verity

Good as gold

Nathan Chen '24 wins big in Beijing.

Annice Lyn/Getty Images

Annice Lyn/Getty Images

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Yalies around the world cheered on Nathan Chen ’24 in February as he aimed for the missing piece on an otherwise sparkling list of figure skating accomplishments: Olympic gold. Despite six consecutive US men’s championships, three world titles, and an unmatched toolbelt of quadruple jumps, Chen had missed the podium at the 2018 Olympics, settling for a bronze medal as a member of the US team.

His performance in Beijing erased all doubts as to his ability to perform on the world’s biggest stage. He earned a personal best in the short program as part of the team event, helping the American team win the silver. He topped that a few days later with a world record in the individual short program, then delivered a joyful free-skate program to a medley from the Elton John biopic Rocketman—more than enough to win him the singles gold medal.

In the lead-up to the Winter Games, Chen was on a leave of absence from Yale, where he had trained at Ingalls Rink while enrolled. Although we don’t know his future plans, his short-term plans are clear: the statistics and data science major is headed back to New Haven in the fall.

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