Nathan Chen ready for Olympic campaign – International Figure Skating
Nathan Chen heads to Skate America this week in pursuit of a record-breaking fifth straight title. The last and only other American to win five Skate America titles was Todd Eldredge (1992, 1994-1997 – he finished fourth in 1993).
In a conference call with the USOPC on Monday, Chen said he was excited about the Olympic season and the opportunity to air his programs in Las Vegas this week.
When asked if he had any pre-competition habits, the three-time world champion said ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics that he had a lot of pre-competition rituals “which I swear by … but I did not skate well. So now my new ritual is to have no more rituals. I try to avoid that. Every day is a new day, every opportunity is a new opportunity and every competition will be different. “
So much has changed for Chen over the past four years. Having the opportunity to go to Yale and hang out with non-skaters gave him a broader perspective of himself, his sport and also the world outside of the rink. “I have spent my whole life in an ice rink. But luckily I was also able to go to college and it gave me a better understanding of what the real world looks like, ”said the 22-year-old. “I think we (the athletes) are so safe in this little bubble, always seeing the same people and not really knowing what else is going on. Over the past four years, I have had many opportunities to learn more about what is going on in the world.
“The previous Olympics allowed me to realize that skating, although it is incredibly important and what I have done literally every day of my life since I was 3 years old… it is something that is a passionate project for me. It all feels like I don’t necessarily care much about skating, but skating is important and that’s what I’ve been doing all my life.
“Over the past few years I have had some very good opportunities to compete. I know I have a limited number of competitions in my life, and now I am making the most of each competition and having fun the best I can. I find that when I am able to adopt this mentality, I can skate much better and I can enjoy it rather than worrying about the result. At some point I’m going to have to step away from skating. I won’t be able to skate the rest of my life.
Chen said he was looking forward to the national championships and doing his best to “qualify for a spot on the United States team and do my best at the Olympics.”
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