Nathan Chen will marvel audiences at the Olympics with up to eight quadruple jumps between two programs, but his skating was rooted in another sport.
Chen, when he began skating at age 3 at a 2002 Olympic practice rink in his hometown of Salt Lake City, followed his two older brothers to hockey practice. He wanted to be a goalie.
The youngest of five children played both sports — also training ballet — until his prodigious talent in figure skating became apparent. A U.S. novice title at age 10. A U.S. junior title at age 12. A world junior bronze medal at 14. A U.S. senior title at 17.
Now an Olympic gold-medal favorite, Chen receives a reminder of his hockey roots in a commercial for Super Bowl LII, which airs Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Chen, meanwhile, is expected to make his Olympic debut later next week in the Olympic figure skating team event.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!
VIDEO: Mikaela Shiffrin’s Super Bowl commercial
Without the pressure of racking up points to land on the medal podium, the figure skating exhibition gala is a chance for the athletes to express themselves. There aren’t rules about jumping sequences, and instead, skaters can use props and silly concepts, if they want.
Figure skaters who win medals at the Olympics are typically among the invite list, plus up-and-coming skaters from the host country and other fan favorites.
Here are some of the best performances of the evening:
Ice dance bronze medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani reprised last season’s “That’s Life” short dance by Frank Sinatra featuring Jay-Z for this year’s exhibition.
Ladies’ gold medalist Alina Zagitova performed her “Priestess of Fire” exhibition, which included a fake candle prop glowing on the ice.
Watch performances from the figure skating gala by clicking here
Two-man? Check. Four-man? Double check. Francesco Friedrich piloted his German sled to gold in the four-man bobsled, becoming the sixth pilot to win gold in both the two- and four-man bobsled in the same Olympics on the final day of competition in PyeongChang.
After tying with Canada’s Justin Kripps in two-man, Friedrich made no doubt in four-man, sliding to a dominant win. The German sled was clear of second by 0.53 seconds. And in second? Another tie on the bobsled course — just like the tie for gold in two-man. South Korea and Germany shared the silver medal.
NBCOlympics.com: Remembering team USA bobsled star Steve Holcomb
South Korea’s medal was historic. Won Yun-Jong delivered for the home nation, bringing the country its first medal in the bobsled. Yun Sung-Bin won the country’s first medal in a sliding event by taking gold in skeleton earlier in the games. Germany’s Nico Walther piloted the sled that tied.
Codie Bascue piloted the top American sled to a ninth-place finish. Nick Cunningham and Justin Olsen improved in Runs 3 and 4 to finish 19th and 20th, respectively.
Gold: Germany (Friedrich sled)
Silver: South Korea (Won sled)
Silver: Germany (Walther sled)
Read the full recap and watch bobsled highlights by clicking here