Skating world champion Nathan Chen wants to live in the present

21-year-old American skater Nathan Chen won his third consecutive ISU World Figure Skating Championships title recently and now has his eyes set on an Olympic gold.

The World Figure Skating Championships gold though did not come without a scare. Chen suffered a fall in the short program – his first big mistake in a program in over two years – but came from behind to excel in the long program.

Chen executed one of the best free skates on show in the world arena, landing five quadruple jumps, including the quad Lutz he fell on in the short, and skated effortlessly with his Philip Glass music to overtake both short program winner HanyuYuzuru, the two-time Olympic champion, and Kagiyama Yuma, who had been second.

As Chen revealed after the victory, he felt almost a sense of relief after the short program blip. Having made a mistake and having been in a position where he was not sure if he was really in a position to vie for first anymore, free him to go for his best in the long program and not think about much else. And it kind of took away some of the stress. Rest, as they say, is history.

Chen put the victory and Olympic preparations in perspective.

“I think that just having experience of making mistakes and still trying to figure out ways to get back has been really useful in training and competition. Not every single day will I go to training and be like, ‘Oh, I’m on top of my game.’ Things can’t always go super,” the skater said.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, I have that experience at the [2018] Games, which was a great teaching moment, as well as kind of a disappointing moment, of course. But I think having had that experience now going into this competition, it definitely helps me retain some resiliency, I think. And I think that definitely, you know, thankfully came into play today.”

“At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to be a three-time world champion? So I think that’s already really cool to have. So I’m not going to say that I regret having that. Of course, I’m excited about that. At the same time, every competition is different.”

Two-time Olympic champion HanyuYuzuru will be Chen’s biggest hurdle in the upcoming Summer Games.

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