Nathan Chen's Mom Tries on His Gold Medal After She Surprises Him During Interview: 'It's Heavy!'

The Olympic gold medalist praised his mother during an appearance on the Today show Tuesday where the two hugged after his return from Beijing, China

Nathan Chen
Nathan Chen. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Nathan Chen is sharing his Olympic success with his mother Hetty Wang.

During an appearance on the Today show Tuesday, the 22-year-old figure skater, who earned a gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics, was surprised by Wang while in the middle of his interview.

"Oh my gosh," Chen said in disbelief as Wang emerged on set. "What the heck? No way. Oh my God. It's my mom." The mother-son duo, who hadn't seen each other since before the games, then hugged before Chen sweetly placed his medal around Wang's neck.

"It's so heavy!" Wang said, adding: "It's a long journey. He worked very hard, every single day."

As he sat beside his mother, Wang told the Today hosts that he would not be where he is now without her support.

"It's largely hers (Wang)," he shared. "And everyone else on my team, but mostly her I would say … Since the very first day that I got on the ice all the way until now, she's been with me every single step of the way and there's no way I would ever make it to where I am now without her support."

Also on Tuesday, Chen made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where he discussed returning to normal life after his big win.

"How are you doing to do this? You can't wear this [gold medal] around campus," Fallon, 47, joked, to which Chen responded: "It is going to be great."

When asked if he's excited about "taking naps," Chen quipped: "Absolutely."

At this year's Winter Games, Chen scored many accomplishments, including earning a gold medal for the men's figure skating event.

During the free skate program, Chen claimed his first Olympic gold medal with 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).

He closed out his 2022 Olympic journey with a bang, delivering a thrilling routine as part of his final performance on Feb. 19.

Chen skated to Fanfare Ciocarla's "Caravan," landing an impressive backflip toward the end of his three-minute set, among other exciting and intricate skating feats.

The Salt Lake City native and youngest of five — two older brothers, two older sisters — enrolled at Yale University after the last Olympics.

"Within the first two days, I think people knew who I was and kind of got tired of me already and [were like], 'Alright he's a normal student,' "Chen told PEOPLE at the time, adding, "And I liked that, feeling like I was an ordinary person and an ordinary student."

He also told PEOPLE skating can be isolating and college life helps change that.

"You go into the rink and you see the same what, seven, 10 people every single day. And it's awesome, you love these people, you grow really close to these people. You struggle, you have great successes with them, everything, ups and downs with them," Chen said. "But you don't really get to diversify outside of that," he added.

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