Nathan Chen Shares Childhood Photo After Gold Medal Win: 'Couldn't Have Done This Without My Family'

Figure skater Nathan Chen, 22, leaves Beijing a silver and gold Olympic medalist

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

Nathan Chen is a momma's boy — and very proud of it.

The Olympic sensation, who won the gold medal in the men's individual figure skating competition on Thursday in Beijing during the 2022 Winter Games, paid tribute to his parents Hetty Wang and Zhidong Chen in an Instagram post after his victory.

In the sweet throwback photo, a tiny Chen, who is now 22, looked dapper in a bow tie and wore a medal around his neck. Captioning the image, Chen wrote, "Thanks mom ❤️ couldn't have done this without my family."

Wang made many sacrifices to help Chen reach Olympic glory, according to Today, over a decade ago moving with the then-11-year-old to California so he could train with figure skating coach Rafael Arutunian.

"We didn't always have the funds to be able to support coaching," Chen said to Today. "So she was basically my coach throughout that whole period of time I was growing up, and along when I decided to move to California to work with my current coach, [Arutunian]. She drove me back and forth in our trusty little Prius, so a lot of miles put together and a lot of time put together, but this is a result of her."

RELATED VIDEO: Winter Olympics: Figure Skater Nathan Chen Stuns with Highest Men's Short Program Score Ever

During Thursday morning's free skate program, Chen claimed his first Olympic gold medal with a world-record 218.63 points, becoming the first American to win the event since Evan Lysacek in 2010. Chen's total score was 332.60, coming ahead of silver medalist Yuma Kagiyama of Japan (310.05) and bronze medalist Shoma Uno, also of Japan (293.0).

The win follows Chen's record-breaking performance earlier this week, taking the lead in the men's competition on Monday with the highest short program score ever. Chen performed a program set to "La Bohème" by Charles Aznavour and executed a series of impressive jumps to move into first place with a score of 113.97.

For more on the 2022 Winter Olympics, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day.

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

Related Articles