Nathan Chen: Olympic champion on Michelle Kwan and why 'having an athlete that looks like you gives you hope’
Nathan Chen, born in Salt Lake City to Chinese immigrant parents, said Michelle Kwan was a huge inspiration for him growing up. The Olympic champion said watching athletes you can associate with “gives you hope”, and he hopes to be an inspiration for the next generation having admired two-time Olympic medallist Kwan himself.
Watch unforgettable moment Chen seals gold with ‘special’ performance to Rocket Man
He added: “If I can hopefully do something similar — of course I’ll never really reach Michelle Kwan stature, but just to be able to have someone like that when I was growing up was really powerful and that goes back to the power of representation right now.”
Per NBC, Kwan said in a message: “I was so touched to hear that from Nathan.”
Michelle Kwan of the USA displays her bronze medal in the ladies free program during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at the Salt Lake Ice Center in Salt Lake City
Image credit: Getty Images
Chen won gold after breaking the world record in the opening event before landing all five quad jumps in his routine to the songs of Elton John.
The score of 332.60 saw him add Olympic gold to his three World Championship titles.
“It’s just a whirlwind, everything is happening so fast,” Chen told NBC.
“Just so happy. It means the world. My mum was born here. It’s amazing to have this opportunity. I can’t even describe it, you can’t even imagine what it might feel like but it’s just amazing.”
Watch every moment of Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on discovery+