In which Nathan Chen tried to improve on his performance in the 2018 Olympics, when he famously FLAMED OUT in the short program and eventually came in 5th. And this time, he NAILED IT. He didn’t just nail it, he BROKE THE WORLD RECORD for short program scores. My heart was beating so fast during his routine! He was spectacular. Look at all the caps lock I’ve used in this paragraph alone!

In other news from the American team, Jason Brown did FANTASTICALLY well, also  — he finished in the top six! — and poor Vincent Zhou has Covid and is out and I guess given that he has already skated, Team USA wasn’t able to bring in Ilia Malinin the first alternate, anyway. However, it appears Ilia isn’t even in China. What is the point of having an alternate if the alternate isn’t there to step in? What if — god forbid! — Vincent had tripped on a magazine in his hotel room before his team skate and broke his arm or something? Literally isn’t the point of having an alternate so that they can….actually alternate? 

As far as other folks go, the other big news is that the defending gold medalist (of 2014 AND 2018) Yuzuru Hanyu popped his quad (Tara and I both gasped) and ended in a shocking 8th place going into the long program on Wednesday night, and loads of men turned in fabulous skates. Like, really lights out. It was great fun, so let’s discuss — both all this and selected coverage in the slideshow. (Men’s skating has VERY BORING OUTFITS right now so the slideshow is mostly just the top finishers.) If you’ve missed any of our earlier coverage of the skating, catch up here! Who do you think is gonna win this thing?

FWIW: I definitely missed some of the skates that were not on NBC primetime, so if you watched the whole shebang, please let us know about anything intriguing or interesting that we might have missed. (I wanted to watch some of Super G/didn’t realize they were showing so much of it on USA Network.) I hope I didn’t miss anyone juggling or skating to Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell or something otherwise noteworthy. (I am not joking when I say that I wish someone would do that. To quote US Poet Laureate The Joker, why so serious?)


I’m sorry I missed Donovan Carrillo’s skate (I’m going to catch it on Peacock when I’m done writing my recap of last night’s The Gilded Age) but last night, he became the first Mexican man to advance to the free skate, ever! The LA Times profiled him last month and it’s totally worth a read.

I also can’t believe I missed the French dude who skates as Darth Vader. That is HILARIOUS and great. I wish he had included the cape, though. The cape is a very vital part of Vader’s aesthetic. The other French skater finished a (judging from his reaction?) surprising 10th and his reaction was VERY cute.

A lot of these men have great hair. Let’s talk.

[Photos: Bernat Armangue/AP/Shutterstock, David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock, Natacha Pisarenko/AP/Shutterstock]