2022 Winter Olympics

Nathan Chen, Jason Brown: US Goes for Figure Skating Medals. Here's What to Know

Americans Nathan Chen and Jason Brown both aim to medal Wednesday night

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Team USA is eyeing its first figure skating medal since 2010 as both Nathan Chen and Jason Brown are set to compete in the final men's event Wednesday.

Here's what to know ahead of the competition and where things stand.

When and how can you watch figure skating in the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Figure Skating began on Feb. 3 and runs through Feb. 19.

The first week of programming was entirely team events, while the second week features individual competition. Wednesday will mark the final, medal competition for the men's individual, which culminates in the free skate.

Date/Time (CT)EventTV/Streaming
Wed | Feb 9 | 7:30 p.m.🏅 Men's Singles Free SkateNBC, USA | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

One of the final events of the Winter Olympics will be the Exhibition Gala, during which fans will get to enjoy more personality-centric performances featuring some of the Games’ most popular skaters. 

Below is the full event and streaming information for each day of competition for figure skating. 

NBC Olympics 2022 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Coverage Schedule*

Date/Time (ET)

Event

TV/Streaming

Thurs | Feb 3 | 8.55 p.m.

Team Event - Men's & Pairs SP, Rhythm Dance 

NBC | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sat | Feb 5 | 8:30 p.m.

🏅 Team Event - Women's SP, Pairs FS

NBC | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

Sun | Feb 6 | 8:15 p.m.

🏅 Team Event - M/W FS, Free Dance

NBC | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

Mon | Feb 7 | 8:15 p.m.

Men's Singles Short Program

NBC, USA | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

Wed | Feb 9 | 8:30 p.m.

🏅 Men's Singles Free Skate

NBC, USA | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

Sat | Feb 12 | 6:00 a.m.

Ice Dance Rhythm Dance

USA | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

Sun | Feb 13 | 8:15 p.m.

🏅 Ice Dance Free Dance

USA | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

Tue | Feb 15 | 5:00 a.m.

Women's Singles Short Program

USA | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

Thurs | Feb 17 | 5:00 a.m.

🏅 Women’s Singles Free Skate

USA | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

Fri | Feb 18 | 5:30 a.m.

Pairs Short Program

USA | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

Sat | Feb 19 | 6:00 a.m.

🏅 Pairs Free Skate

NBC | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

Sat | Feb 19 | 11:00 p.m.

Exhibition Gala

NBC | PeacockNBCOlympics.com

* TV networks reflect live events, times may differ for replays; check full schedule for detailed information.

Who could medal Wednesday?

Chen, who set a world record earlier this week in the men's short program, is the gold-medal favorite for the men's individual competition.

The 22-year-old took the top spot in the men’s short program with a score of 113.97, the highest-ever mark for a short program. Chen had set a personal best earlier at the 2022 Winter Olympics with a score of 111.71 during the figure skating team event.

Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama placed second with a score of 108.12. Next on the leaderboard is Japan’s Shoma Uno, the reigning Olympic silver medalist, with a mark of 105.90.

One other name to monitor on the leaderboard is Team USA’s Jason Brown, a Highland Park, Illinois, native. He is making his second Olympic appearance after first competing in 2014, when he placed sixth in the short program with a score of 86.00. On Tuesday, he was the last skater to take the ice and earned a score of 97.24 - a personal best.

The Beijing Olympics are dubbed the redemption tour for Chen. In PyeongChang, the then-18 year-old struggled in the individual event, eventually clawing his way back to fifth place after slipping to 17th. Ultimately, his Olympic experience was cut short after contracting the flu. 

Since then, Chen has established himself as the clear favorite and the best chance for the U.S. to win an individual medal. 

Another big story coming out of the 2022 Winter Olympics came in men’s short program, with Yuzuru Hanyu. The two-time defending Olympic gold medalist fell all the way down to eighth place after an early miscue damaged his technical score. Hanyu finished with a mark of 95.15, over 15 points below his score at the PyeongChang Games. He had the best score in the previous two Olympic short programs on his way to consecutive golds.

What would a medal mean for the US in the men's event?

An American man hasn’t won a medal in the singles event since 2010, when Evan Lysacek took home the gold for Team USA in the event.

Who has previously dominated the sport during the Winter Games?

The history of Olympic figure skating is so iconic it predates the Winter Games themselves. Originally contested at the 1908 London Olympics, it has been a staple of the Winter Olympics since the inaugural Games in 1924. 

The U.S. has dominated figure skating with 51 medals, followed by Russia, Austria and Canada, all of whom have 20 or more medals. In PyeongChang, Canada led the way with four medals – two golds and two bronze – setting the stage for a competitive field in 2022. 

Americans are hedging their bets on Chen, who is from Salt Lake City. Chen, known for attempting high-difficulty jumps, entered PyeongChang with high hopes but ultimately struggled to execute on the ice.

Who are the gold-medal favorites in the other figure skating events?

In the women’s competition, Russian women historically dominate the individual event and could easily sweep the podium awards.

Meanwhile, China has more gold medals in the pairs competition than any other country. However, the Chinese duo Sui Wenjing and Han Cong will have their work cut out for them with France, the U.S. and the Russian Olympic Committee all expected to enter competitive pairs. 

Who is competing for Team USA in figure skating?

The U.S. roster was finalized in mid-January following the national championships, with sixteen athletes making the cut for Beijing.

This list includes a diverse range of experience, with seven athletes making their Olympic debut. On one end is 16-year-old Alysa Liu, the youngest member of Team USA’s figure skating delegation. On the other end, are five athletes over the age of 30, capped off by 33-year-old Evan Bates making his fourth Olympic appearance.

They’re all slated to compete in one event with some being tapped for the team event mid-Olympics.

The complete roster of U.S. figure skaters is:

  • Jean-Luc Baker (Ice Dance)
  • Evan Bates (Ice Dance)
  • Mariah Bell (Women’s Singles)
  • Jason Brown (Men’s Singles)
  • Ashley Cain-Gribble (Pairs)
  • Karen Chen (Women’s Singles)
  • Nathan Chen (Men’s Singles)
  • Zachary Donohue (Ice Dance)
  • Brandon Frazier (Pairs)
  • Kaitlin Hawayek (Ice Dance)
  • Madison Hubbell (Ice Dance)
  • Alexa Knierim (Pairs)
  • Timothy LeDuc (Pairs)
  • Alysa Liu (Women’s Singles)
  • Vincent Zhou (Men’s Singles)
  • Madison Chock (Ice Dance)

How do athletes qualify to represent the U.S. in figure skating?

Unlike many other Olympic sports, figure skating does not have a singular Olympic Trial in the U.S. Rather, all selections are made on a discretionary basis, with priority being granted to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in early January. The coaching staff evaluated athletes based on performances at a number of competitions in the year leading up to the Olympics.

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