Watch the Basically Flawless Routine That Helped Nathan Chen Win Nationals (Again)
Nathan Chen won the US Figure Skating Championships for the sixth time in a row, helped by a short program that was about as close to perfection as you can get in figure skating. There's no "perfect 10" in this sport, but Chen's score of 115.39 was the highest for a short program in nationals history.
Chen has won nearly every competition he's been in since the 2018 Olympics, so it wasn't a huge surprise to see him win nationals and officially earn his spot on the Olympic figure skating team. The competition was fierce, but Chen has won gold at every national championship since 2016, and Ilia Malinin, the 17-year-old second-place winner, finished 25.53 points behind him in the final tally. It's still a thrill to watch Chen compete, pairing fast and powerful quad jumps with beautifully artistic skating; when it comes to figure skating, Chen is the full package.
Chen had a couple slips in his free skate, but his short program, set to "La Boheme" by Charles Aznavour, went off without a hitch. Commentator Tara Lipinski, a figure skating legend herself, exclaimed, "Is he superhuman?!" at the end. Unclear (though we have our suspicions), but we do know that Chen worked extremely hard to get to where he is now, and we count ourselves lucky to be able to marvel at the fruits of his labor — here, and soon in Beijing.