Figure skating is a sport of grace, elegance, and creativity that is something Nathan Chen lacked in the 2022 Olympics.
In the Beijing Olympics this year, Chen got a world record score of 113.97 and while impressive, his performance was lackluster and left nothing to the imagination. His outfits were drab and looked like something a tired mom would wear to drop her kids off at school. They look like something out of Zumiez in 2013.
Although I admit that he is an amazing skater, he leaves a lot to be desired in the artistic aspect. Chen has turned a sport of beauty into a science. Rather than performances full of artistic value, Chen compensates in complicated jumps to supplement the lack of creativity that is apparent in the performance of other skaters.
Personally, I feel as though Nathan Chen is too hyper focused on being heteronormative, and it is bleeding into his performances. Back in 2021, Chen faced backlash for his homophobic comments where he claimed to be frustrated with stereotypes as a “straight male athlete in a fairly homosexual-dominated sport.” While he has since apologized for his statement, I feel like he’s afraid to express any sort of creativity in his performances in fear of being perceived as “gay”.
Overall, while Chen is amazing at figure skating, he did not deserve the score he got due to his lack of creativity and the hyper-masculinization of the sport.