Following a practice session on Tuesday at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, Nathan Chen spoke to the media on a variety of topics:
On being at the Games in China:
It is wonderful to be here. To be here for the second time is pretty spectacular.
On why he arrived so early:
I did not have a choice. I was given a ticket and told to get on a plane. I came on the charter with the U.S. team, which was a lot safer.
On how it feels to be in his parents homeland:
My mom was born in Beijing. It is wonderful to be here. I was here when I was 10. I remember I went to the Beijing Zoo, which was cool.
On switching back to previous programs:
I love both these programs — the music, choreography. Shae and Marie did an amazing job with these programs. It was an easy decision.
On how he has changed during the last Olympic quad:
It has been four years. I have had a lot of new experiences. It gives a fresh perspective on recognizing that within my skating career I only have a very limited amount of time on the ice and in competition, and especially at the Olympics. If I can′t enjoy it what is the point of doing it.
Regrets about his last Olympics:
Skating: I don’t regret anything. I was at the Olympics. I tried my best. It did not go the way I wanted to. I have another chance here to try and do it. Whatever happens (here), happens.
Personally: The fact that I wasn′t able to enjoy it (four years ago). I was a kid not really knowing what the Olympics was, and did not have fun with it. I look back on that and I don′t really have the fondest memories. Coming here, regardless of how I skate, I want to look back and say that was a really cool experience.
On sharing these Olympics with good friends:
It is also helpful this time that I have Mariah Bell, Jean-Luc Baker and Kaitlin Hawayek and some of my closest friends … I am leaving out a bunch of other names. I am happy to have my closest friends here and it is really cool to be able to share a moment like this with them.
Friends have really helped me stay grounded over the past four years so now having them here in person is really different.
Questions from a Russian journalist:
What are your expectations for the Team Event?
Team USA has bot been determined yet. I am sure Russia is going to throw down a pretty amazing performance. The World Team Trophy was a pretty good example of that so it is going to be a bull run.
If you were the captain of the Russian team, who would be your choice of the three girls?
(Laughing): I honestly can’t answer that. All three of them bring so much to the sport. I am just glad I don′t have to compete against them. They are doing spectacular things.
On the Athletes Village:
It is really nice and is a lot bigger than the last Olympics in my opinion, so it is nice to have a little more space to roam around and explore. It feels safe. Everyone is wearing masks and doing due diligence to stay as safe as they can.