Adam Rippon is peaking later than most figure skaters, but it’s coming at the perfect time.
One day after his 27th birthday, Rippon earned the bronze medal at Trophee de France on Saturday in Paris. The podium finish marked the first time Rippon has medaled at both of his grand prix assignments in a season. And he set two personal best scores in the process.
Three weeks ago, Rippon was second after the short program at Skate America but fell to third in the free skate to take the bronze medal there. This time, he did the opposite.
Sitting in fourth after his short program scored 85.25 on Friday, Rippon pulled out a personal-best free skate Saturday to earn 182.28 for a total of 267.53, also a personal best. He was second in the free skate and finished third overall. Two-time reigning world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain won the event with 285.38, while Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten, the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, took silver with 269.26.
Making his senior grand prix debut, Nathan Chen finished fourth with a total of 264.80. The 17-year-old was second after the short program, setting an American record of 92.85 after landing two quadruple jumps. But in his free skate, he fell on two of his five attempted quads and earned 171.95, falling to fourth.
Chen’s American record bested the 90.30 set by Evan Lysacek at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Rippon’s medal marks Team USA’s 12th of the grand prix season, more than any nation so far, with two events left before the Grand Prix Final.