Full U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team for Beijing Named After Nathan Chen Finishes First at Championships

The three men, two pairs and three ice dance teams for the upcoming Olympic Games were announced on Sunday, following the allocation of the women's spots

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Photo: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty

Three-time world champion Nathan Chen, who won his sixth straight national title Sunday, will be part of the U.S. Olympic figure skating team in Beijing along with Vincent Zhou and Jason Brown.

The full U.S. Olympic figure skating roster, including the two pairs and three ice dance teams, were named following the final day of the U.S. championships in Nashville on Sunday. The women's spots were previously announced Saturday after the completion of their portion of the competition.

"This team is incredible, just the amount of experience we all have," Chen said, according to ESPN. "I think regardless of anything we're going to have great skates there. And going back to experience, I think that's so important. I have been to events for the first time and things didn't necessarily go the way I wanted it to. It's really daunting."

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Nathan Chen after winning gold at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January 2022. Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty

At the Peyongchang Games in 2018, Chen stumbled during his short program and did not medal, coming in fifth behind Zhou. Brown did not make the team that year and he previously finished ninth at the Sochi Games in 2014.

Brown earned his spot for 2022 over second-place finisher Ilia Malinin, 17. Selection criteria is not just based on nationals results, but performance throughout the season.

In addition to the men's team, Evan Bates and Madison Chock, the newly-crowned ice dance national champions, will head to Bejing marking the pair's third Olympic appearance and the fourth for Bates. He previously competed at the 2010 Games with a different partner. He will become the first four-time figure skating Olympian.

"It never gets old. It's special each time," Bates said during a news conference according to LA Times.

Bates and Chock will be joined by their training partners Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue — who came in second during this weekend's championships — and first-time Olympians Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker.

Pairs champions Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, and 2021 champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier were named to the two U.S. pair spots.

Knierim and Frazier were announced by the skating selection committee after they petitioned for the nomination following their withdrawal from this weekend's competition due to Frazier testing positive for COVID.

According to L.A. Times, Frazier — who is still in isolation and unsure when he will be able to resume training — said "I hugged the crap out of that pillow" when he found out that he had made the team.

"As some of you know already, Alexa and I had to withdraw from this week's U.S. Championships," he shared in an Instagram video last week. "Late yesterday evening, I started developing severe symptoms and as protocol for the medical staff, they tested me."

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"After receiving positive tests, I remained isolated in my room and of course, safety is the top priority for everyone at the event, so we had to withdraw. And although my symptoms are pretty bad, nothing sucks more than not being able to compete," he added.

On Saturday, Mariah Bell, Karen Chen and Alysa Liu were named to the three women's spots on the Olympic team.

To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Winter Olympics, beginning Feb 3, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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