UPDATE: United States skater Nathan Chen’s bid for a men’s figure skating medal ultimately fell short. Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, who won the short program Thursday, did enough to earn a gold medal and a lifetime’s supply of Winnie the Pooh bears, which his fans shower onto the ice.
His countryman, Shoma Uno, surprised everyone by winning the silver medal. Uno fell early in his program, but in a fierce display of determination, finished strong and stormed into silver.
Spain’s Javier Fernandez took home the bronze.
EARLIER: Men’s figure skater Nathan Chen said he wanted to leave it all out there. He certainly did in his Friday performance in the free skate, putting him in position for a miracle comeback after falls on his first day in his short-form program nearly buried him in the competition.
Chen completed five clean quadruple jumps, an Olympics record, and almost nailed a clean sixth, touching the ice with his hand for balance. His performance vaulted himself back into medal contention and scoring one of the highest numbers of all-time, 297.35 total. The 18-year-old Chen, a two-time US champion, fell on all of his jumps in the short, falling all the way to 17th place out of 24 skaters.
But in the free skate he was superb, scoring 126.86 for technical virtuosity and 215.08 points for the overall free skate, a personal high.
Chen is currently number one, but there are still skaters yet to perform.
"Nathan Chen is still the quad king!"
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 17, 2018
Fans rooting for Chen’s redemption exploded on social media:
If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and Nathan Chen.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) February 17, 2018
I feel like I just witnessed HOW NATHAN GOT HIS GROOVE BACK! Are you kidding me?!? SIX quads? He’s got such a brilliant career ahead of him. Can’t wait for Nathan Chen to get a couple World titles under his belt. That was a study in RESILIENCE.
— Chris Schleicher (@cschleichsrun) February 17, 2018
What?!?!?! Completely inhuman display of ridiculousness!!! 6 quads…beautiful skating. Guys beyond. Congratulations @nathanwchen (excuse my chicken scratch) #bowdown #figureskating pic.twitter.com/PjbTGM5pfr
— Kristi Yamaguchi (@kristiyamaguchi) February 17, 2018