U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Lineup Set, Here Are The Surprises

Nathan Chen, foreground, smiles after winning a men’s movement eventuality between Ross Miner, left, who finished second, Vincent Zhou, second from right, who finished third, and Adam Rippon, who finished fourth, during a U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif., Saturday.

Tony Avelar/AP

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Tony Avelar/AP

Nathan Chen, foreground, smiles after winning a men’s movement eventuality between Ross Miner, left, who finished second, Vincent Zhou, second from right, who finished third, and Adam Rippon, who finished fourth, during a U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif., Saturday.

Tony Avelar/AP

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships finished Sunday in San Jose, Calif., with some new champions in place and, even some-more significantly, an Olympic team.

Fourteen skaters in individual, pairs and dance categories will transport to South Korea subsequent month to try to accelerate America’s argent repute in one of a Olympics’ many renouned sports.

Since 1908, when figure skating was initial contested during a Olympics — strangely adequate during a Summer Games — a United States has won 49 sum medals — second usually to long-lived figure skating energy Russia (and a Soviet Union before that).

Here are 6 things to know about a skaters and teams streamer to a Olympics.

The certain thing: Nathan Chen

Eighteen-year-old Nathan Chen was vehement to be named to his initial Olympic team. Really. He was.

Even yet Chen dominated a men’s competition, winning his second true U.S. title; even yet he’s ranked fifth in a world, and has been skating improved than his rivals forward of him; even yet his preference for South Korea was deliberate a certain thing — heck, he called it 8 years ago. Even with all those evens, when he got a content before he went to bed Saturday, revelation him he’d finished it, Chen was “so, so, so vehement to be partial of this team.”

At a Sunday press conference, Chen also simplified that prophecy he’d finished prolonged ago — lest we cruise he was a 10-year-old a small too full of himself.

“It was some-more centered around a fact that we would be age-eligible for 2018,” he said, “obviously that was my goal. That’s what we wanted, though we overtly didn’t unequivocally cruise it would be attainable. we suspicion that 2022 would be some-more in my sights, given 2018 was usually so close.”

Technical depth: Vincent Zhou

Joining Chen on a Olympic organisation is Vincent Zhou, who won a bronze award Saturday night. Zhou also appears to be a skater forward of report — he’s usually 17, though speaks with intrepidity and abyss that make him seem years older.

“There’s a certain feeling, meaning, that comes with a word Olympian,” Zhou pronounced Sunday. “To have that trustworthy to my name is some-more than we could ever ask for my whole life.”

Zhou has been building to this. He won a 2017 U.S. china award and finished final deteriorate as a 2017 World Junior champion. He and Chen surpass in a technical aspect of skating — both can land mixed quadruple jumps in their programs. In his winning prolonged module Saturday, Chen landed 5 quads, as he did when he won a 2017 title.

The renouned comeback: Adam Rippon

Adam Rippon couldn’t be some-more opposite from Chen and Zhou in skating style, spirit and age. Yet Rippon will join them as a third and many renouned member of a U.S. men’s Olympic team.

Rippon has a multitude of fans who adore his honesty, his humor, his honesty about being happy — he came out to a universe during vast in 2015 — and about his skating journey. He’s battled damage and illness and never was means to make an Olympic team. Until now, during a age of 28.

“I’m over a moon,” he pronounced Sunday.

Passed over: Ross Miner and Ashley Wagner

Rippon’s preference was a bit controversial, nonetheless argumentative substantially is too clever a word. Rippon finished fourth Saturday though was named to a team. Ross Miner, meanwhile, skated one of his best ever prolonged programs in San Jose and won a U.S. Nationals china medal, finishing second. But he didn’t make a Olympic cut.

The preference cabinet doesn’t usually cruise final formula during a Nationals. It’s a physique of work that depends — how a skater has finished during vital domestic and general events in a year or dual streamer adult to a National championships. And by that measure, a accord was that Adam Rippon deserved his Olympic spot.

U.S. Figure Skating President Sam Auxier addressed it Sunday:

“Ross had an amazing, lights out opening [in San Jose]. However, we had to demeanour during a physique of work,” Auxier said. “Ross does extraordinary during U.S. Championships, though honestly he has struggled during some of a general competitions.”

“We looked during all sorts of statistics,” he continued, “head-to-head competition, normal scores, movement within a scores as we lead adult to a Olympics, and that’s where we unequivocally had a plea with Ross. His normal measure was lowest among a pool that would be deliberate for a Olympics. He had some unequivocally severe skates that led us to a end that, we weren’t certain if we put him out during a Olympics that he would perform to a border that there’s a probability for a medal.”

The opinion by a preference cabinet was 11 to 1.

“When we found out who a Olympic organisation selected,” Rippon said, “the initial thing we did was we texted Ross Miner and told him we was so unapproachable of a approach he skated [Saturday] and so happy for him since we know a ups and downs of a skating career. And he texted me right behind and he pronounced he was unequivocally happy for me, and that meant a lot to me.”

Rippon is tighten friends with womanlike skater Ashley Wagner, and now they have an Olympic subordinate knowledge in common. Four years ago, Wagner finished fourth during a U.S. Nationals though was selected for a Olympic organisation over third place finisher Mirai Nagasu.

Wagner finished a many of her 2014 Olympic experience, assisting a U.S. win a bronze award in a new organisation event.

Four years later, Wagner was on a outs and not happy about it.

She was deliberate by skating insiders a “sure thing” of a women’s foe in San Jose — definition usually an impassioned meltdown would dispossess Wagner of an Olympic berth. The meltdown didn’t happen, during slightest in her mind — she described her performances in a brief and prolonged programs as “solid.”

But a judges didn’t agree. She finished adult fourth, again, a position that left her “furious.” And it left some in a skating universe arguing that she was wronged and a plant of army over her control, while others pronounced Wagner had no one though herself to blame.

This time, Wagner couldn’t overcome her fourth place finish during a nationals.

Redemption: Mirai Nagasu

The tip 3 finishers finished adult on a Olympic team. Like a men’s team, a women’s organisation is finished adult of dual teenagers and a 20-something veteran. Nineteen-year-old Bradie Tennell, who won a 2018 Nationals with a prolonged module that enclosed purify landings on all 11 of her jumps; 18-year-old Karen Chen, who won a U.S. pretension in 2017; and 24-year-old Nagasu, a skater who was leap-frogged in 2014, and will now lapse to a Olympic games. She finished fourth in Vancouver in 2010.

Nagasu, a old-timer of a group, is a fan favorite — a absolute jumper and a beautiful, artistic skater. She’s one of usually dual American women ever to finish a formidable triple axel burst in general competition.

Her manager says even non-skating fans knew of Mirai as a bad skater who didn’t make a Olympic organisation in 2014. But in final weekend’s press discussion after a competition, Nagasu, certified she was a one obliged for her disaster in 2014.

“I was a small bit drifting over a deteriorate and didn’t put out a physique of work that we needed,” she said, “And so we didn’t wish to feel that same approach this year, and so we took on a full shortcoming of apropos a stronger aspirant and person.”

Karen Chen is a third won final year’s U.S. Nationals. She was ill as a dog a day before final week’s prolonged module though she pronounced she consulted her sports psychologist, her acupuncturist, other doctors. She usually toughed it out and skated a unequivocally good program, good adequate for a third place finish and a mark on a Olympic team.

High hopes for ice dancers and pairs

While particular skaters get many of a attention, a U.S. has high hopes that a ice dancers continue a new winning trend. American dancers have won a award in final 3 Winter Olympics, including a bullion in 2014 for Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

Among a teams streamer for South Korea are Madison Chock and Evan Bates — they were 8th during a 2014 Olympics and finished third in a foe in San Jose. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue won this year’s U.S pretension and will be competing in their initial Olympics. Finally, a brother-sister act of Maia and Alex Shibutani, two-time U.S. champions, were named to a Olympic team; they won a bronze award during a 2017 World Championships and a china award during a 2016 worlds.

The U.S. hasn’t had a same success in pairs competition. The final time American pairs skaters finished it to an Olympic lectern was 1988, when Jill Watson and Peter Oppegard won a bronze award in Calgary. The nation is promulgation usually one organisation to South Korea, anticipating that U.S. National champions and father and mother Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca-Knierim mangle a drought.

This story was updated.