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Patrick Chan: Maybe ISU should put limit on quadruple jumps

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Olympic silver medalist Patrick Chan suggested a limit on quadruple jumps would benefit figure skaters due to injury risk.

“Maybe they [the International Skating Union] need to limit the amount of quads you can do in the long program,” Chan said, according to Reuters. “But I don’t think that will happen until somebody actually does get hurt.”

Chan, a 26-year-old who won three straight world titles from 2011-13, has voiced concern over the proliferation of four-revolution jumps since his comeback in 2015.

“It’s like the slam-dunk contest, that’s what it’s becoming,” Chan said after winning his eighth Canadian title in January, according to the Canadian Press. “I will be dead honest, I think with my experience and credibility at this point, I can say already with the men doing three quads, the quality of skating is diminished.”

Chan finished fifth at each of the last two world championships, beaten by skaters with more quads.

This year, he performed three quadruple jumps in his free skate for the first time at worlds. But it wasn’t enough to land on the podium despite Chan having the second-highest artistic marks in both the short program and free skate.

The world medalists — Yuzuru HanyuShoma Uno and Jin Boyang — each performed one more quad jump than Chan in the short program and in the free skate. American Nathan Chen attempted a record six quads in the free, falling twice and finishing sixth overall.

Hanyu, who took gold over Chan at the Sochi Olympics, is 22 years old, four years younger than Chan. Uno and Jin are each 19. Chen is 17.

“I’m going to stick to what I can do … because if I try and … do the impossible, I will either get too frustrated to the point where I won’t enjoy the sport anymore or I will get hurt and maybe have to get hip replacements at age 30,” Chan said, according to Reuters. “The advantage of a 17-year-old like Nathan and Shoma … [is that] there is a bit of disconnect between the toll their bodies are physically going through and the connection to the brain where it’s sending the pain.”

The judging system in place since 2004 rewards more quad attempts as skaters seek to accumulate points.

“The judging system is along for the ride as opposed to leading us to add more quads,” Chan said, according to Reuters. “The men’s field have taken it and morphed it to their strengths.”

Chan has felt like an underdog throughout his comeback. At this time four years ago, he held the world-record total score of 280.98 points. Now, that score ranks No. 33 all time. Five men have broken 300 points. Chan is not one of them.

“I have to remind myself of the little victories along the way,” Chan said at the world championships, noting he’s one of few skaters who have endured through three Olympic cycles. “That’s the only way I can hang with these guys.”

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WATCH LIVE: Nathan Chen in U.S. Figure Skating Championships free skate

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Nathan Chen tries to become the first man to win four straight U.S. figure skating titles since 1988, live on NBC Sports on Sunday.

NBC Sports Gold streams live coverage of the men’s free skate for subscribers starting at 2:30 p.m. ET in Greensboro, N.C. NBC joins with TV coverage at 3.

LIVE STREAM: Men’s Free Skate — Gold | NBC | Skate Order

Chen, a 20-year-old Yale sophomore, is undefeated since placing fifth at the PyeongChang Olympics. He can become the seventh man since World War II to win four straight national titles.

Five of the previous six went on to earn Olympic gold, including Dick ButtonScott Hamilton and, most recently, Brian Boitano in 1988.

Chen carries a substantial 13.14-point lead from Saturday’s short program, where he landed two quadruple jumps on one week of full training following a flu bout.

The anticipated drama Sunday comes in the battle for silver and bronze medals and the last two world championships team spots.

Jason BrownAndrew TorgashevVincent Zhou and Tomoki Hiwatashi are separated by 8.78 points. Brown, the 2015 U.S. champion, and Zhou, the 2019 World bronze medalist, are the only men in the field other than Chen with world team experience.

Key Skate Times
5:01 p.m. (ET) — Vincent Zhou
5:18 — Tomoki Hiwatashi
5:26 — Andrew Torgashev
5:35 — Nathan Chen
5:43 — Jason Brown

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NATIONALS: TV Schedule | Full Results

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

Mikaela Shiffrin, with 66th World Cup win, moves one shy of career dream

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Mikaela Shiffrin has said one of her career dreams is to win in every discipline in one season. She is now one victory shy of realizing it.

Shiffrin earned her 66th World Cup victory — and her second in three days — at a super-G in Bansko, Bulgaria, on Sunday.

She prevailed by .29 of a second over Italian Marta Bassino and .70 over Swiss Lara Gut-Behrami. Gut-Behrami, the last skier other than Shiffrin to win a World Cup overall title back in 2016, earned her first podium in exactly one year.

Full results are here.

“Perfect weekend for me,” said Shiffrin, who moved one shy of recently retired Austrian Marcel Hirscher for third place on the World Cup career wins list. “The whole team is excited about the whole weekend, but especially today.”

She is en route to a fourth straight World Cup overall title. And she is a combined victory away from wins in all five disciplines in one season. Only Marc GirardelliPetra KronbergerJanica Kostelic and Tina Maze have done it.

“The thing that I’m most proud of right now is that I know how to win in slalom, [giant slalom], super-G and downhill, which I never expected that would really happen,” she said.

Shiffrin struggled with confidence during a winless stretch in early January, trying not to compare herself to last season, when she won a record 17 times. She still leads the men’s and women’s tours with six victories this season, a little more than halfway through.

“Every race is such a big fight, and I haven’t been the one on top of this fight every time,” she said. “Certainly I’ve been like sometimes the expectations that I have or that other people might have, I’m not quite living up to that. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel like I’m failing sometimes, even though this is still just an incredible season.”

There are two combined races left this season for Shiffrin to achieve the dream — Feb. 23 in Switzerland and March 1 in Italy. While combined — mixing a speed run and a technical run — might seem perfect for Shiffrin, she has one victory in four starts in the discipline between the World Cup and Olympics.

And Shiffrin is careful about her race schedule. She is undecided on entering a downhill and super-G next weekend at the 2014 Olympic venue in Russia.

“After this weekend my brain is a little bit dead,” she joked.

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