Team USA Solid on First Day of Competition in Vancouver

(12/6/18) – American Nathan Chen is in first place after the first day of competition at the Grand Prix Final in Vancouver. Chen earned a season’s best 92.99 points to be at the top of the leaderboard headed into Friday’s free skate.

Chen, who won the Grand Prix Final title a year ago, opened with a triple Axel and a quad flip. He was also awarded three Level 4 spins.

“Every mistake that I make in any program is something I both learn from but also something that I dwell on a little bit,” Chen said. “Of course I’m not completely satisfied with this program that I did today, but I’m glad that I got all of my levels. I’ve been struggling with my flip in the short program for the last couple of seasons so I’m glad I was able to do that here.”

Camden Pulkinen, who earned the silver medal at last year’s event, leads the way for the United States in the junior men’s competition with 80.31 points. Pulkinen gained early momentum, landing a triple Lutz-triple toeloop combination, followed by a triple Axel. Tomoki Hiwatashi, who is appearing in his first Junior Grand Prix Final, is in sixth place after earning 62.48 points.

In the junior rhythm dance, Avonley Nguyen and Vadym Kolesnik scored 63.73 points to place fifth in the segment. The duo, who arrived in Vancouver a day late due to travel delays, opened with impressive Level 4 twizzles and a Level 4 lift.

In the junior pairs competition, Sarah Feng and TJ Nyman are sixth headed into the free skate. The duo earned 49.82 points in their JGP Final debut.

On Friday, the senior men’s competition will conclude, while Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, and Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker will take the ice in the rhythm dance competition. The junior dance and men’s competitions will also wrap up.

The Grand Prix Final competition is available on-demand with the Figure Skating Pass on NBC Sports Gold. Fan can watch the Junior Grand Prix Final on the International Skating Union's YouTube channel. Additionally, NBC and NBCSN will have multiple broadcast windows. A full schedule is available here

The event runs through Saturday, Dec. 8. 

Team USA Quotes – Men’s Short Program

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