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Nathan Chen: The Quad King’s Reign

Nathan Chen looks to continue his historic momentum to earn his first individual Olympic medal in figure skating.

As U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen embarks on his second Winter Olympics, the 22-year-old has one thing on his mind: redemption.

One of the most successful figure skaters in U.S. history, Chen has since recovered from a challenging 2018 Games in Pyeongchang where he finished fifth in individual competition and earned a bronze in the team event. Since then, he’s dominated the global skating scene, winning three straight World Championships (2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19) and adding his sixth consecutive U.S. national title to become the first American man to accomplish this in 70 years. 

With unprecedented momentum heading into the Beijing Games, wins in 17 of his last 18 events, and NBC positioning him front-and-center in their marketing as one of the marquee athletes to watch, Chen has the opportunity to take his legacy and personal brand to new heights. 

“Nathan Chen is Our Jordan”

  • Instagram followers: 381K
  • Twitter followers: 90K
  • Key endorsements: Bridgestone, Grubhub, Nike, Panasonic, Toyota, Wells Fargo 
  • Achievements: Two-time Olympian, three-time World Champion, six-time U.S. Champion  

NBC is all-in on Chen’s global appeal, featuring him in its cross-promotion with Universal for the upcoming Jurassic World blockbuster film. Chen stars alongside the iconic dinosaurs of the franchise in his own commercial plus a shared spot with fellow Olympians Shaun White and Mikaela Shiffrin that premiered during the Opening Ceremony broadcast.

The high-flying unique skating style of “The Quad King,” as he is affectionately known (not for his thighs, rather his world-famous quadruple jumps), sets him apart from the competition, and brands have taken notice.

During Chen’s recent record-breaking U.S. Nationals performance that secured his Olympic spot, NBC analyst Johnny Weir called him the Michael Jordan of figure skating, taking into account his historic dominance, generational athleticism, global marketability, and overall impact on the sport.

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“When you think of sporting legends you think of names like Tom Brady, Michael Jordan,” Weir said. “For our world, for our sport, Nathan Chen is our Jordan.”

The first and only skater to land five types of quadruple jumps in competition is a marketer’s dream, not only as an extraordinary athlete but as an accomplished musician and student majoring in statistics and data science at Yale. 

Current partnerships with Universal, Panasonic, Bridgestone, Toyota, and Grubhub line his Instagram feed, which is sure to get an uptick in traffic as new fans around the world visit when Chen takes the ice in Beijing.

But growing up in Salt Lake City and learning to skate at three years old — the same year his hometown hosted the 2002 Winter Games — Chen had dreams of becoming a hockey goalie after watching his brothers on the ice. Instead of strapping on goalie pads, though, Chen’s mom gave him figure skates, sending him down a new path on the ice that included winning his first national skating title at 10.

His fast ascent in the skating world earned him numerous records, championships, notoriety, and golden expectations. Now with one Olympics under his belt, Chen is poised to cement his legacy with his first individual medal.

One of the most highly anticipated events of the Winter Olympics, Chen will compete in the men’s short program on Feb. 7 and in the free skate on Feb. 9.

No matter what happens on the ice in Beijing, The Quad King will be must-see TV.