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Nathan Chen ready to rest, then address mistakes for next season

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Nathan Chen finished his breakout season by landing four more quadruple jumps in his free skate at World Team Trophy in Tokyo on Friday.

“It’s great to now be able to get some rest,” the 17-year-old U.S. champion said, according to U.S. Figure Skating. “I’m ready for next season. I think today went well. I need to try more to get into the music and connect with the audience. I made some mistakes today, but I will address them all for next season.”

Chen placed fourth in the free skate at World Team Trophy, where the top six figure skating nations are competing for a team title similar to the Olympic team event.

NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app are airing coverage through Saturday (broadcast schedule here).

World Team Trophy Results

Chen, the youngest U.S. men’s champion since 1966, landed a record five quads in his free skate in winning the U.S. Championships in January and the Four Continents Championships in February.

He attempted six quads at worlds earlier this month, but fell twice en route to a sixth-place finish.

His free skate was comparatively less difficult at World Team Trophy.

Chen stepped out of the landing of one of his four landed quads and doubled a planned quad Salchow. He scored significantly fewer points artistically than the top three men — Olympic and world champion Yuzuru Hanyu and world silver medalist Shoma Uno of Japan and three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada.

Chen was second in Thursday’s short program, trailing only Uno.

He would have placed second overall behind Uno in total points, but this being a team event counting the short and long programs as separate results, the final men’s standings are not significant.

Quite a season for Chen, who is the brightest U.S. men’s skater since Evan Lysacek took gold at the 2010 Olympics. Chen managed to break U.S. scoring records after spending nearly half of 2016 off the ice due to hip surgery.

The pairs and women’s free skates, featuring world champion Yevgenia Medvedeva and U.S. champions Ashley Wagner and Karen Chen, will close World Team Trophy on Saturday.

The U.S., seeking its third straight team title, is in second place behind Japan after six of eight programs, but third-place Russia is strongest in the pairs and women’s events.

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MORE: Patrick Chan: Maybe ISU should put limit on quadruple jumps

Kobe Bryant embraced the Olympics, on and off the court

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Kobe Bryant developed a special relationship with Team USA, international basketball and the Olympic Games themselves.

Bryant was among those who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. Grief spread worldwide, showing the impact he had across international sport. Images of Bryant meeting Olympians from gymnastics, swimming, track and field, even Alpine skiing, some from him attending their competitions, dotted social media.

Bryant earned gold medals as a leader of the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball teams. He said before debuting at the Games that he valued a gold medal above an NBA championship.

In 2008, he helped spur the Redeem Team to gold in Beijing. He sat down with NBC Sports’ Cris Collinsworth for an interview, describing what it meant to him to receive the USA jersey for the first time.

“I had goosebumps, and I actually just looked at it for a while,” said Bryant, who put off surgery on a torn ligament in his right pinkie finger to play in 2008. “I just held it there, and I laid it across my bed. I just stared at it for a few minutes. Just because, as a kid growing up, this is the ultimate, ultimate in basketball.”

Bryant’s first Olympic game came in a special environment — in Beijing against China.

“When I look up in the crowd, and I see all the USA flags waving and people chanting USA, it gives you goosebumps,” he said. “When I heard the national anthem, I teared up a little bit, and I had to gather myself.”

Bryant stayed close to the Olympic Movement in retirement.

He attended the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials for women’s gymnastics, meeting the team members. He appeared at USA Swimming’s Golden Goggle Awards, helping raise money for the national governing body. He was the final voice in the Los Angeles Olympic bid presentation to the IOC two years ago.

Bryant’s last words in that video, before the IOC later awarded the 2024 Olympics to Paris and the 2028 Olympics to Los Angeles: “To have the Olympics here, and to have so many different cultures represented, would be a beautiful story to tell.”

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.