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Nathan Chen has sights set on gold



Nathan Chen has been building toward this for years. He’s one good free skate away from Olympic gold.After setting a world record with his short program, Chen goes for an Olympic title Wednesday. It could be a big day for the United States, with Chloe Kim also expected to contend for a snowboarding gold medal.Here are some things to watch (all times Eastern):Figure skatingNot only did Chen perform superbly in the short program, his rival, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, was eighth. That made Chen’s path to gold even clearer. Chen, a three-time world champion, finished fifth at the 2018 Olympics but now appears poised to take Hanyu’s crown.”You can never really count out any of these athletes. The competition’s not one program,” Chen said. “Whatever happens in the short program is not indicative of what will happen in the free program.”SnowboardingKim is the defending champion and won the 2019 and 2021 world championships.The U.S. has won four of the six Olympic golds in women’s halfpipe. At 40, Nick Baumgartner is very much in the mix for medals in the mountains above Beijing, either in the men’s contest or in the new mixed-snowboardcross event.Short track dramaMaybe it was inevitable, but there’s already been some contentiousness over the short track speedskating results. South Korea filed complaints with the International Skating Union and the International Olympic Committee after two of its skaters were disqualified in the semifinals of the men’s 1,000 meters. South Korea’s chef de mission, Yoon Hong Geun, said fans in South Korea are so upset that they are urging the team to return home immediately.

Nathan Chen has been building toward this for years. He’s one good free skate away from Olympic gold.

After setting a world record with his short program, Chen goes for an Olympic title Wednesday. It could be a big day for the United States, with Chloe Kim also expected to contend for a snowboarding gold medal.

Here are some things to watch (all times Eastern):

Figure skating

Not only did Chen perform superbly in the short program, his rival, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu, was eighth. That made Chen’s path to gold even clearer. Chen, a three-time world champion, finished fifth at the 2018 Olympics but now appears poised to take Hanyu’s crown.

“You can never really count out any of these athletes. The competition’s not one program,” Chen said. “Whatever happens in the short program is not indicative of what will happen in the free program.”

Snowboarding

Kim is the defending champion and won the 2019 and 2021 world championships.

The U.S. has won four of the six Olympic golds in women’s halfpipe.

At 40, Nick Baumgartner is very much in the mix for medals in the mountains above Beijing, either in the men’s contest or in the new mixed-snowboardcross event.

Short track drama

Maybe it was inevitable, but there’s already been some contentiousness over the short track speedskating results. South Korea filed complaints with the International Skating Union and the International Olympic Committee after two of its skaters were disqualified in the semifinals of the men’s 1,000 meters. South Korea’s chef de mission, Yoon Hong Geun, said fans in South Korea are so upset that they are urging the team to return home immediately.



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