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Nathan Chen Doesn’t Blame Poor Performance on Nerves

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It was shocking to see Nathan Chen perform one of the worst short programs we have seen from him at the Olympic Games. But was it really? This is Nathan’s first Olympic Games and expectations were so high for him going into this event. We have come to expect a lot from Chen, because though he may not be perfect, he rarely has skates like he did today. The truth is that everyone makes mistakes and he just happened to make some mistakes while the whole world was watching.

“It wasn’t a nerves thing, I just wasn’t in the right place mentally going in,” Nathan said according to a U.S. Figure Skating press release. “Not in terms of nerves, I just wasn’t thinking about the right things technically. I was kind of ahead of myself in terms of how to land the jump, how to get out. I wasn’t thinking about how to step in to the jump, which kind of threw me off.”

If you watch Nathan’s short program and examine his jumps, he did look like he was rushing the take-offs. This may seem like a small thing, but timing is everything in figure skating. Maybe it wasn’t nerves, but it could have easily been adrenaline.

Men’s event was plagued with errors

Most of the men in the Team Event did not perform all that well. One of the best skates of the night came from Israel’s Alexei Bychenko whose short program sadly didn’t even get aired on NBC’s television coverage. Shoma Uno also gave a fairly solid performance, but we’ve seen better skates from Shoma as well.

Nathan seemed stunned after his performance. You could see the disappointment all over his face. “Honestly, I let myself down. ‘Let the team down’ was the first thing I thought,” Nathan said. “[It’s] definitely not a representation of who I am and what I can do. [I] definitely need to work harder for the next couple of days.”

This was the first figure skating event of the Olympic Games, the Opening Ceremonies haven’t even taken place yet and these men took to the ice first. It shouldn’t be all that surprising that it was a far from stellar event. Hopefully the men got all of their nerves and angst out here in the short program and can re-focus for the individual event.

“No one wants to skate like that on Olympic ice,” Chen said. “But it happens. Just take it and move on.”

Team Event – Men’s Short Program Results

1. Shoma Uno JPN – 103.25 (56.64, 46.41)
2. Alexei Bychenko ISR – 88.49 (47.59, 40.90)
3. Patrick Chan CAN – 81.66 (38.56, 45.10, -2.00)
4. Nathan Chen USA – 80.61 (37.73, 43.88, -1.00)
5. Matteo Rizzo ITA – 77.77 (40.60, 37.17)
6. Junhwan Cha KOR – 77.70 (40.71, 36.99)
7. Han Yan CHN – 77.10 (38.28, 40.82, -2.00)
8. Mikhail Kolyada OAR – 74.36 (33.75, 42.61, -2.00)
9. Paul Fentz GER – 66.32 (34.54, 33.78, -2.00)
10. Chafik Besseghier FRA – 61.06 (26.93, 34.13)

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