In three-peating as U.S. champion, Nathan Chen dazzles everyone but his coach

In three-peating as U.S. champion, Nathan Chen dazzles everyone but his coach

DETROIT – What Nathan Chen did in Sunday afternoon’s free skate at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships looked like otherworldly brilliance to everyone who saw it.

“Honestly, it’s incredible,” said Jason Brown, who had a chance to watch Chen because Brown had skated before him.

And yet Chen’s coach, Rafael Arutunian, refused to get carried away after his skater easily became the first man since Johnny Weir in 2006 to win three straight men’s national titles.

“I am not completely satisfied,” Arutunian said Sunday. “There is so much more he can do.

“He didn’t do a quad Salchow. I still want him to try a quad loop. This was a program he has executed before. You always like to improve.”

Chen was not surprised by hearing Arutunian’s comments.

“Raf is always the overachiever,” Chen said. “That’s why I am with him. Of course, there are things I can improve on.”

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U.S. Figure Skating calls on SafeSport to continue investigation of misconduct allegations against the late John Coughlin

U.S. Figure Skating calls on SafeSport to continue investigation of misconduct allegations against the late John Coughlin

DETROIT - United States Figure Skating has asked the U.S. Center for SafeSport to complete its investigation into allegations against the late John Coughlin and “encouraged” SafeSport to involve a third party in the investigation.

“U.S. Figure Skating believes it is imperative that the Center complete its investigation,” USFS executive director David Raith told a press conference Thursday at the U.S. Championships.  “We believe the Center has an obligation to all involved in our (skating) community to do so.

“We also suggested they hire a third-party investigator or outside counsel to handle that.  (If there are) any conflicts, having a third party go forth would hopefully settle that matter.”

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My Five takeaways from 2017 World Championships

My Five takeaways from 2017 World Championships

HELSINKI, Finland -- With the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships in the rearview mirror, here are my five takeaways from an eventful week in Helsinki, Finland.

1. This time around, Ashley Wagner should have no margin for error based on past performance when it comes to the Olympic selection process: She either finishes in the top three at next year's U.S. championships or stays home.

In 2014, the procedure provided ample justification for U.S. Figure Skating to pick Wagner, even though she finished fourth in Boston -- including a fifth-place showing in the free skate.

The uproar over third-place Mirai Nagasu being overlooked was emotional rather than rational because few were aware of the criteria then in place.

Wagner, a three-time U.S. champion, understood the situation was different after her poor free skate Friday jeopardized the United States' chances of getting three ladies spots in South Korea next February.

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