The 22-year-old Chen — who became only the second American male to win the figure skating men’s singles gold in 30 years — delivered a nearly flawless four-minute skate that featured reworked versions of John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Rocket Man,” and “Bennie and the Jets,” with the majority of Chen’s gold-worthy jumps and axels fittingly taking place during the “Rocket Man” portion of the routine.
After Chen won the gold, John himself tweeted, “Congratulations @nathanwchen for winning Gold skating to Rocket Man in the free skate finals in Beijing.” (John also noted that Chen appeared in an Olympics series he produced, From the Top.)
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) February 10, 2022
Chen’s Elton John-themed routine scored a 332.60 points with the judges, well ahead of the 310.05 points from the silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama of Japan. The gold medal was also a redemption of sorts for Chen, who — despite being considered the best figure skater in the world right now — finished 5th and off the medal podium at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
“I never thought I would actually be able to make this happen,” Chen said after winning gold (via the New York Times). “It’s hard. It’s always been a dream, of course. It’s a pretty daunting mountain.”