IFS APRIL 2017 — With the 2018 Olympic Winter Games less than a year away, Nathan Chen has become one of the most talked-about skaters on the planet. He took men’s skating to new heights at the 2017 U.S. Championships and is considered a heavy favorite to capture a medal at the upcoming World Championships.
The 2017 U.S. Championships will likely be remembered as the event that changed the landscape of American men’s figure skating. Chen, 17, blazed a trail of technical mastery that had never been seen before, landing a combined seven quadruple jumps in the men’s event in Kansas City — more than any other man in history has done to date. And along the way, he became the first American man to break 300-point barrier, albeit domestically.
Chen fired off five quadruple jumps with ease in the free and is the first skater in history to land a quint of quads in one program. The Kansas City audience was on its feel 30 seconds before the end of his long program. “It was amazing. I landed all the jumps that I set out to do and increased the technical value of my program from the (Grand Prix) Final by adding the Salchow,” Chen said. “Accomplishing that was huge for me, so I am very happy for that.”
His point total of 318.47 set a U.S. Championships record, besting the old mark by more than 45 points.
Four of the six reigning champions who arrived in Ostrava, Czech Republic, to contest the 2017 European Championships retained their titles, with a new team crowned in the pairs discipline — universally applauded as the standout event of this competition.
Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, the 2014 Olympic, European and World silver medalists, were heralded as the heir apparent to the pairs skating throne when Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov sat out the post-Olympic season and Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy split up.
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