Nathan Chen Finally Receives Long-Awaited Gold Medal at Beijing Olympics
After a lengthy wait of nearly two years, figure skating sensation Nathan Chen will finally be awarded with a gold medal as part of the US team at the Beijing Olympics.
The upgrade in the US team’s position on the podium comes as a result of Kamila Valieva’s recent four-year ban due to testing positive for banned substances prior to the 2022 Winter Games. However, despite this long-awaited victory, Chen expresses mixed emotions about the circumstances surrounding this delayed recognition.
“This decision is undoubtedly a triumph for clean sport,” commented Chen, who is not only a three-time world champion but also secured gold in the men’s singles event in Beijing. “Nevertheless, it is disheartening that such circumstances occurred in the first place.”
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) initially claimed first place in the team event at Beijing; however, Valieva’s ban resulting from her positive drug test has led to her disqualification and subsequent removal of her results from the team event standings.
“Throughout our entire careers, we have remained committed to competing cleanly,” added Chen. “We ensure that every substance we put into our bodies goes through rigorous clearance procedures before even considering their use. Without clean sport practices, it diminishes the integrity of our beloved discipline.”
Valieva was just 15 years old when she tested positive for trimetazidine – an endurance-boosting heart medication considered prohibited by anti-doping regulations. Her doping ban has been backdated to December 25th, 2021, when the positive sample was collected.
In response to Valieva’s disqualification from the team event in Beijing, the International Skating Union (ISU) has adjusted the rankings, placing ROC down to third position and maintaining Canada in fourth place – only one point behind ROC.
Skate Canada expressed strong disagreement with ISU’s decision to keep their team in fourth place and stated they are considering all available options for an appeal.
As a result of these adjustments, Japan advanced to second place behind Team USA – which included Chen alongside Vincent Zhou, Karen Chen, Alexa Knierim, Brandon Frazier, Madison Chock, Evan Bates, Madison Hubbell, and Zachary Donohue.
“I’m thrilled for this extraordinary team,” exclaimed Chen. “They have demonstrated unwavering dedication throughout their entire careers. There is no group more deserving of this recognition.”
The 24-year-old skater has taken a break from competing since the conclusion of the 2022 Winter Olympics; however he remains open to returning to the ice at some point in the future.
“Returning back on that rink always brings me joy,” he revealed. “We’ll see what lies ahead but right now I am genuinely excited about where our sport is headed.”
Dmitry Peskov , Kremlin spokesman responded by stating that Valieva will continue being acknowledged as an Olympic champion by Russia despite her disqualification. “We do not agree with any decisions made thus far – be it from court rulings or skating federation judgments. We reject them wholeheartedly”, emphasized Peskov during a conference call with reporters. Peskov further added: “Upon returning home after participating at China’s Olympics we celebrated these athletes as champions” “We strongly believe they will forever remain Olympic champions to us, regardless of any unfair decisions.”
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