U.S. men’s team figure skater Nathan Chen carved a new world record into the books after completing his short program routine at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Thanks to a series of technically challenging combinations of quadruple and triple jumps, along with intricate choreography, Chen scored 113.97 points from the judges for his short program performance. The previous world record score was 111.82, which was set by the two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, of Japan, in 202o, according to NPR. Hanyu currently sits in eighth place after his short program skate.
Chen looked like a man on a mission when he stepped on the ice, and as he took the air with his spectacular jumps.
Not only did Chen have the eyes of the judges on him as he took to the ice just after midnight Eastern on Feb. 8, he likely felt the ghost of his previous Olympic short program performance in his mind. Back in 2018, Chen’s dream of earning an Olympic medal ended in disappointment after he performed poorly in the short program.
This time was different — Chen nailed every jump. When the music of his 2022 short program ended, Chen threw a triumphant fist into the air to show his excitement for his performance.
What does THAT Short Program mean to Nathan Chen?
His reaction says it all. #WinterOlympics pic.twitter.com/WWopO7p9Nx
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 8, 2022
“I was just elated,” Chen told the Associated Press. “At the last Olympics, both of the short programs didn’t go the way I wanted. To finally get an opportunity to skate the programs I wanted feels really good.”
Just a few days before, Chen helped Team USA win a silver medal in the Team Figure Skating competition. Now, he’s one skate away from winning a gold medal in the singles event.
If you didn’t have a chance to catch Chen’s world-record short program performance, NBC Sports captured the entire magical moment and shared it on YouTube as part of their Olympic coverage. You can watch it here.
Chen’s next performance on Olympic ice is scheduled for this Wednesday, Feb. 9. Check your local listings to find out what time the event will air.