Nathan Chen Kicked Off the Olympics Scoring His All-Time Short-Program Personal Best

Nathan Chen has many titles: Quad King. Six-time national champ. Three-time world champ. And now? Totally chill Olympian.

The pressure is on for Chen, a favorite for individual figure skating gold at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. He returns to claim redemption after falling in the Pyeongchang 2018 men's short program and finishing off the podium despite a solid free skate. Chen, now 22, said in a Winter Games virtual media summit this past October, "[H]eading into 2018, I definitely had a lot of rituals that I swore by, and I did everything. I did all the right steps, went to the Olympics, and did not skate well." This time, he was ready to go, seemingly sans nerves.

Chen could be seen throwing around a football prior to the men's short-program portion of the team event on Feb. 4 (Feb. 3 in the US) — calm, casual, perhaps strategically warming up the arms. What came next was truly brilliant: performing his memorable "La Bohème" routine, he executed his jumps with ease and melted into the choreography to score a massive 111.71. This was a personal best for him and also the second-highest score ever recorded in a short program, NBC reports.

Nathan Chen: Figure skater. Quad King. Football quarterback. #WinterOlympics

— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 4, 2022

Afterward, he told NBC's Andrea Joyce, "I mean, honestly, I'm just here to have fun, and I was able to do that. So I'm really happy." Pressure? What pressure? Spectators and fans certainly felt it (as demonstrated by my coworker's panicked Slack message: "I AM NERVOUS"). We all felt it, but did he? It's just another day in the freezing-cold office.

Chen's first-place finish in the men's short program gave Team USA 10 points. This weekend is packed with team-competition events that wrap up with the women's free skate on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 10:35 p.m. ET.

Ahead, check out Chen's spectacular short program, as well as some standout photos from his night. He started his repeat Games the best way he knew how: strolling in and dominating. (Like a totally chill Olympian.)

Nathan Chen's 2022 Olympics Team-Event Short Program

Nathan Chen: Totally Chill Olympian
Getty | Elsa

Nathan Chen: Totally Chill Olympian