Yuzuru Hanyu and Patrick Chan both had multiple stumbles in their final battle for the Olympic gold medal, but in the end, it was Hanyu that won out over the three-time world champion to earn Japan’s first-ever Olympic men’s figure skating title.
Hanyu, who went into today leading on the strength of a world-record score in the short program, fell on his opening jump and had another one later in his free skate.
He earned a 178.64, pushing his total to 280.09. It appeared he had opened the door for Chan, who was aiming to break the “Canadian curse” and become the first world champion from north of the border to win at the Olympics.
But after a strong start, Chan too made several errors. The judges made him pay for them all, giving him a 178.10 for a total score of 275.62 that earned him the silver but left the curse alive.
The final skate of the night went to Jason Brown of the U.S., who entered the day in sixth and in contention for a medal in his first Olympics.
But he also had some trouble in his free skate and wound up earning a 152.37 for a final total of 238.37, sending him back to a ninth-place result.
Still, in a post-skate interview with NBC’s Andrea Joyce, the Highland Park, Illinois skater was happy for his Olympic experience.
“I really think it’s a successful event [for me],” he said. “I’d never done two [long programs] at a competition before, so I’m really proud that I was able to help my team with my first long to get a bronze medal.
“I was hoping for Top-10 [in men’s] and I did that, and a bronze medal [in men’s] would’ve been so exciting and so amazing. But you know, hopefully – soon. In the future.”
Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, who was ranked ninth after the short program, was able to charge all the way to the bronze after netting a 171.04 in the free skate for a total of 255.10.
Ten’s bronze is Kazakhstan’s first-ever medal in Olympic figure skating.
MEN’S FIGURE SKATING – FINAL STANDINGS
Skater (Country)/Total Score (Short/Free)
1. Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN), 280.09 (101.45/178.64)
2. Patrick Chan (CAN), 275.62 (97.52/178.10)
3. Denis Ten (KAZ), 255.10 (84.06/171.04)
9. Jason Brown (USA), 238.37 (86.00/152.37)
12. Jeremy Abbott (USA), 232.70 (72.58/160.12)