Nathan Chen Wins Figure Skating Gold With Elton John-Inspired Routine - Rolling Stone
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See U.S. Figure Skater Nathan Chen Win Gold Medal With Routine Set to Elton John Medley

Singer himself congratulates figure skater after “Rocket Man” routine launches Chen to top of podium

U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen won the gold medal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics Thursday with a free skate routine soundtracked by a medley of Elton John’s music.

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.)

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.

Related: How to Watch the Olympic Games Live and On-Demand

“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.”

In This Article: 2022 Beijing Olympics, Elton John


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