Nathan Chen performs at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating: Skate America on Oct. 19, 2018 in Everett, Wash.
Olympic figure skater Nathan Chen kicked off the Grand Prix season in the best way possible, winning the gold medal at Skate America in Everett, Washington, on Saturday.
The 19-year-old held a big lead coming into Saturday after scoring 90.58 points in the short program on Friday, more than eight points ahead of Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic (82.09).
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Chen's free program, skating to “Land of All” by Woodkid, included just three quads, half the number he landed at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 to set a record. Turns out that with his captivating performance, Chen didn’t need to rely on an excessive number of quads to register higher marks than everyone else on the ice. He scored 189.99 points, allowing him to amass a massive lead with a total score of 280.57 and earn his second straight Skate America title. Brezina finished second with a score of 239.51, while Russia’s Sergei Voronov was third with 226.44.
Fellow Olympian Vincent Zhou finished in fifth place with 225.75 points after registering the third-best score of the free skate with 149.37 points.
Chen is coming off a massive season in which he won the 2017 Grand Prix Finals, the U.S. championships and the world title and was fifth at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.