Nathan Chen Fails to Medal in 2018 Olympic Men's Singles Competition

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2018

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09:  Nathan Chen of the United States competes in the Figure Skating Team Event - Men's Single Skating Short Program during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 9, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.  (Photo by XIN LI/Getty Images)
XIN LI/Getty Images

Entering the 2018 Winter Olympics with sky-high expectations, American figure skater Nathan Chen failed to medal after a fifth-place finish in the men's singles competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

Chen was facing an uphill climb after coming out of the short program in 17th place overall after. He bounced back, posting the top overall score in the free skate (215.08), but he entered the day too far behind to get on the medal podium.

Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu wound up winning the Olympic gold for the second straight time. He had the second-best score in the free skate (206.17) after posting the top score in the short program.

Despite the disappointing overall result, Chen did put on a historic show in the free skate by landing six quads. 

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

"Nathan Chen is still the quad king!" This is history. @nathanwchen with SIX quads in his men's free skate program. #WinterOlympics #BestOfUS https://t.co/Ldd0aubwzt https://t.co/LrM7LDjArn

Appearing in his first Olympics, Chen received a bronze medal in Pyeongchang, in the team event for the United States. His performance in the short program turned into a disaster for the American squad after falling while attempting a triple axel, and he failed to complete a quad. 

"I just wasn't thinking of the right technical things before the jumps," Chen told reporters after his disappointing turn. "I was a little bit ahead of myself. Obviously, that's not what I wanted to do on my first Olympic run but I'm also upset that I sort of let the rest of the team down."

It was the first real sign of fallibility for the 18-year-old, who came into the Olympics undefeated in world competition this year. He won gold at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships and Grand Prix of Figure Skating events last year. 

With time to regroup from that disappointment, Chen knew what he had to do in order to avoid another letdown. 

"I just need to go over everything I did well and wrong," he said, via E. Jay Zarett of NBC Sports. "Try to fix the things I did wrong and make sure I clean things up."

Unfortunately, Chen was just unable to overcome the deficit. He's certainly young enough to have another chance at winning a medal in 2022, but his first Olympic experience wasn't the triumphant moment he expected it to be.