Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kid! of the Month – Nathan Chen – July 2018

By Victoria Feng, Editor-in-Chief
Nathan Chen, 19-year-old U.S. Olympic figure skater


Quote of the Month

“My parents always enforce the idea of never giving up upon all of my siblings and me, and I think that’s something that will stick with me my whole life.”
-Nathan Chen, 19-year-old U.S. Olympic figure skater

July Amazing Kid! of the Month

The first day of summer just passed, and many students are well in the middle of the long summer break.  Summer is a chance to dive deep into your passions and focus just on them.  What matters the most when exploring your passions isn’t the awards you win or the grade the grade you get on them.  Instead, focus on enjoying the moment and achieving personal gains.

Nathan Chen is an accomplished professional figure skater and has won national figure skating competitions.  He represented America in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.  Nathan is most known for his talent for doing quadruple (quad) jumps.

Keep reading to learn more about Nathan and his figure skating career!

Putting on the Skates

Nathan told Teen Vogue that he originally wanted to play hockey, but his mom advised him to try out figure skating first.  Eventually, he became hooked on figure skating.  And at 4 years old, Nathan entered his first figure skating competition.

Nathan was just 3 years old when he watched the 2002 Winter Olympic Games on TV, and soon after, he went to the ice skating rink and acted like he was in the Olympics, too.  This had sparked his dreams of becoming an Olympic athlete, but he said that he had never taken the idea of actually being one seriously.  Instead, Nathan “made sure not to think too far ahead and take things one step at a time.

Today, Nathan is influenced by all the athletes he meets.  From the challenges the athletes have faced and how they overcame them, Nathan is inspired to work on overcoming his own difficulties as well.  He describes all the athletes he trains with as role models for himself.

Nathan Chen skates during a Stars on Ice performance. Credits: Stars on Ice

Pushing the Boundaries

Known by many as the “Quad King”, Nathan Chen has set many records in the world of figure skating.  At the Olympics this year in Pyeongchang, Nathan became the first figure skater to do 6 quad jumps in one free skate program.

Nathan won gold at the 2017 ISU Grand Prix Final and 2017 Four Continents Championships, and silver at the 2016 ISU Grand Prix Final.  Some of the other records Nathan has broken include becoming the first man to land seven quad jumps in a competition and became the youngest man to win a medal at the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The reason for Nathan’s success is his hard work.  He shares that his daily training schedule consists of “I wake up at 7:30, get to the rink at around 8:40 and begin warming up. I am on the ice from 9:30-10:30. I have a break and am back on the ice at 11:40-1:40. I then head to the gym and workout for 1-2 hours.”

Focusing on the Future

However, this journey has not come without challenges.  For Nathan, he regards one of his biggest challenge in his figure skating career so far has been suffering an injury during the 2016 season.  At the beginning of the 2018 Olympics, Nathan was favored to win gold but eventually got 5th place.  He ended with six quad jumps in a single program, a historic milestone at the Olympics.  Nathan later described the program as “just me being on the ice and enjoying myself”, free from all the pressures.  What matters the most isn’t the awards, but the great memories you get from the experience and the joy of being able to do something you’re passionate about.

This fall, Nathan will be attending Yale University and work on managing his time as a student and athlete.  Aside from figure skating, Nathan would like to learn how to box.  He told Teen Vogue that he plans to major in biology and later become a doctor.  Amazing Kids! Magazine wishes Nathan the best of luck in whatever he pursues!