After turning life upside down, Nathan Chen landing on his feet

After turning life upside down, Nathan Chen landing on his feet

DETROIT – For the first two seasons after Nathan Chen moved up to the senior level of international skating competition, Chen’s life revolved around his commitments to the sport.

Chen’s high school studies were done through correspondence courses, allowing him to have a schedule that prioritized his time practicing at a southern California rink with coach Rafael Arutunian. He became an immediate success internationally, and in the second senior season, he won a world title, a Grand Prix title, finished fifth in the Olympics and dazzled the world with his quadruple jump exploits.

And he also was a runaway winner in the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Championships.

At 19, Chen was ready for new academic challenges.

But he still wanted to do more in skating, a sport with time and travel demands that few elite competitors have succeeded in combining with a full course load at college.

For Chen, that meant turning his life inside out.

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For Nathan Chen, new season begins with a homecoming

For Nathan Chen, new season begins with a homecoming

When Nathan Chen moved from his home in Salt Lake City at age 12 to train in California, his baggage included enormous potential to make an impact in figure skating one day.

When Chen, now 18, returned this week to prepare for his first competition of the Olympic season -- the 2017 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic, which opens Thursday -- he carried the enormous expectations generated by having realized that potential with a groundbreaking debut year on the senior international level.

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