The time is finally among us; the Olympics are near. While hundreds of athletes prepare for the moment they have been dreaming of and working towards, people across the globe are watching and waiting, waiting to cheer for their country’s victors. One of the USA’s top athletes and performers figure skater Nathan Chen is soon heading to South Korea. He has previously stated he knows he’s capable of taking his place on a podium, and we don’t doubt it. Recently, Chen placed first at US Nationals, his second time doing so. And he’s only just 18. I’m pretty sure I was laying on the beach too much and avoiding homework when I was 18.
We chatted with Nathan about his journey to the Olympics and his passion for skating.
What sacrifices have you made through the journey to the Olympics?
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.
I want to challenge myself as much as I can and be at my very top shape by the time the games come around. Of course a podium finish would be a goal, however, I want to make sure that I am as confident and ready as I’ve ever been and I believe I can get the results I want if I train and plan properly.
I need to be very focused and motivated to achieve the goals I set out to do each day.
What motivates you daily?
My mother was the most influential person in relation to my career. She was the one who helped me begin skating and help me find my love for the sport, as well as push me through the hard times.
My family and parents were very influential in my skating career. My Mom spent most of her free time driving me around, spending time on the ice, and watching me skate.
What advice can you give to aspiring skaters?
Like my parents taught me, never give up and always love what you do. You have to have passion for what you do or else it’s difficult when the going gets tough.
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.
Share a memory of skating you have from your childhood.
I remember watching FSK on TV during the 2002 Olympics, and I remember going to the rink and pretending to be in the Olympics.
We’ll be rooting Nathan on at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. After the Olympics, catch Nathan on the twenty-two city nationwide tour Stars on Ice beginning in Fort Myers, FL on Friday, April 6th, and wrapping up in Portland, OR on Sunday, May 20th.
PHOTOS USOC/NBC OLYMPICS
WORDS ELIZABETH STAFFORD
Read more in Volume III, Issue No. 001 – Winter 2018.