Skaters Representing The Rinks & Great Park Ice Win Four Olympic Medals
In addition to Nathan Chen's gold and silver medals, pairs Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier record best U.S. pairs Olympic result in 20 years
Skaters from The Rinks & Great Park Ice won four medals (one gold and three silver) at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. The six skaters represented three countries, with four from the United States (Nathan Chen, Mariah Bell, Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier). Michal Brezina represented the Czech Republic and Kailani Craine skated for Team Australia. Chen, Bell and Brezina train under Great Park Ice's Head Coach of High Performance, Rafael Arutyunyan, while Knierim and Frazier train with Great Park Ice's High Performance dynamic Pair Coaching team, Todd and Jenni Sand. Arutyunyan also works with the pairs team on their singles skating.
Chen won gold in Men's Singles Figure Skating, setting a world record score of 332.60 to become the seventh American Men's Olympic Champion all-time (eighth men's gold medal overall, first since 2010). Chen scored 218.63 in the Long Program after setting an international figure skating world record with a 113.97 score in the Short Program.
Chen has also won the last three World Championship events, becoming the first American (male or female) since Scott Hamilton (1982-84) to win three World titles in a row. Chen entered the Olympics with six consecutive U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the first to win six straight American titles and one short of U.S. record set by Dick Button (seven titles from 1946-52).
Chen and The Rinks & Great Park Ice Pairs Team Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier helped the Americans take home the silver medal in the Team Event, a combination of Men's and Women's Singles, and Pairs and Ice Dance.
Today (Saturday) in Beijing, Knierim and Frazier placed sixth in the Pairs competition, the best U.S. finish at an Olympic Winter Games in 20 years. The duo also won the 2021 U.S. title.
The reigning 2022 U.S. National Ladies Champion, Bell finished 10th in Women's Singles. The 25-year-old Bell was the oldest American Olympian in the singles competition since 1928. She landed a triple lutz late in the program to secure her top-10 finish.
Chen Rockets to Gold, Brown Finishes in Sixth
It was a moment four years in the making, but Nathan Chen made it happen. The 22-year-old Salt Lake City native joins the fraternity of men to bring home the title of Olympic champion to the United States. In capturing the title tonight at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, Chen booked his place in history, the seventh American man to do so. He now stands among American royalty—Dick Button, Hayes Allen Jenkins, David Jenkins, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, and Evan Lysacek, who have ascended to the top of the Olympic podium.
"I actually didn't know it was that few," he said. "That's amazing. I don't really have too many words about that. I'm just so thrilled. I can't believe this happened honestly. That's kind of where I'm at right now."
Team USA Earns Best-Ever Team Event Finish with Silver Medal in Beijing
Silver has never felt quite so good.
After two consecutive team event bronze medals, Team USA climbed the leaderboard to take silver at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
The Russian Olympic Committee earned gold with 74 points, with Team USA edging Team Japan in the battle for silver, 65 points to 63 points.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates led the U.S. skaters on the final night of competition, finishing first in the free dance to add 10 points to Team USA's total. Karen Chen placed fourth for seven points in the women's free skate, and Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier finished fifth in the pairs' free skate, good for six points.
Also receiving medals are Nathan Chen (men's short), Vincent Zhou (men's free), and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (rhythm dance). All but Knierim and Nathan Chen are first-time Olympic medalists.
Bell Lands Top 10 Finish
"It means everything to me," Bell said. "Coming in, I just wanted that moment, and you really want to have that moment after a long program. After a short is great, but after a long is the last thing that you leave on the ice, so to be able to do that, I'm just really proud."
After having to fight to stand up on some of her jumps, Bell's prevailing emotion when she finished was just pure relief.
"I was just really, really happy and proud," Bell said. "There were a lot of nerves, obviously. It's the Olympics, and you just want to represent your country well, and yourself. And I was able to do that. It feels like I'm in a dream, and I hope I don't wake up."
U.S. Pairs Earn Top-Eight Finishes for First Time Since 1998
Alexa Knierim wasn't quite ready to leave the world's biggest stage. After giving partner Brandon Frazier a big hug, she skated over to the Olympic rings painted at center ice and brushed her fingers across them.
"There's nothing more magical and special than skating on official Olympic ice, and I don't know if we will be on it again," Knierim said. "It's been our dream since we were kids and for me I just wanted to have that last touch."
It was the finishing touch for a program that gave Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier a personal-best score for both the free skate and total score and landed the duo in sixth place overall at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Their finish is the highest in Olympic competition by a Team USA couple since Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman took fifth in 2002.