If there’s one thing I love about the Winter Olympics, it’s figure skating. And at this year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Asian figure skaters from around the world have delivered some incredible Olympic moments in figure skating, even making and breaking records.
Here are 9 awesome Olympic moments from Asian figure skaters from around the world:
Vincent Zhou becomes first to land quadruple lutz at the Olympics
While American figure skater Vincent Zhou ultimately ended up in sixth place, he created a golden moment at the Olympics with his pioneering quadruple lutz, becoming the first person to complete the jump at the Games.
Boyang Jin pulls off record fourth-place performance for China
Never mind that Chinese figure skater Boyang Jin came in fourth place, just shy of a medal. He’s now beloved in China for becoming the country’s highest-ranked Olympic athlete in men’s figure skating. Besides, his choice of Star Wars music won plenty of applause from audiences, so maybe the force will be with him next time around.
Nathan Chen lands a record six quadruple jumps in his free program
While American figure skater Nathan Chen couldn’t bring home a medal in men’s figure skating, he stunned audiences by landing a record six quadruple jumps during his free program, with a score that even topped Yuzuru Hanyu’s free skating performance. Wow! He’s proven he’s worthy of a medal, and at 18 he still has Olympic chances ahead of him.
Mirai Nagasu thrills as first American woman to nail a triple axel
Despite her inconsistency on the ice, Mirai Nagasu still delivered one of the most thrilling moments of the Olympic Games when she successfully landed a triple axel during the ladies free skating event in the team figure skating competition — a first for American women. Mirai Nagasu also became the third woman to do so in any competition after Tonya Harding and Kimmie Meissner, and her performance helped America walk away with a team bronze.
Alex Shibutani and Maia Shibutani become first ice dancers of Asian descent to receive Olympic medals
American ice dancers Alex Shibutani and Maia Shibutani (the “Shib Sibs”) didn’t just wow audiences with stunning performances in ice dancing. They also made history as the first ice dancers of Asian decent to win Olympic medals — a bronze as part of team USA and a bronze in ice dancing. Alex Shibutani also shared an inspiring thread of tweets, noting “Our differences are what make us unique.”
China’s silver medalists Han Cong and Sui Wenjing dazzle with near-perfect short program
While this duo ultimately took the silver in figure skating pairs, Chinese figure skaters Han Cong and Sui Wenjing will be remembered for a powerful short program performance — one that judges considered the second strongest the world has ever witnessed.
“Pocket rocket” Shoma Uno delivers silver for Japan
Though Japanese figure skater Shoma Uno was invariably overshadowed by Olympic champion and fellow compatriot Yuzuru Hanyu, Uno — also known as the “pocket rocket” for his superlative jumping skills — secured a silver medal in his first Olympic appearance, allowing Japan to occupy two positions on the podium.
Hallelujah! Patrick Chan finally gets Olympic gold through Canada’s team medal
The Canadian figure skater’s song for his free skate program — Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” — turned out to be apropos. After years of chasing Olympic gold, Patrick Chan finally secured the medal through Canada’s team win in figure skating.
Yuzuru Hanyu clinches a second consecutive Olympic gold in men’s figure skating — and gets showered with Winnie-the-Pooh bears
Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu’s consummate run in the men’s figure skating competition earned him a second consecutive Olympic gold, and legendary status as the second person to accomplish this after Dick Button. Some are calling him the greatest figure skater of all time. But he’s also famous for his love of Winnie the Pooh, leading his entourage of fans to rain down stuffed Pooh bears after his performances. It’s quite a phenomenon to behold at the Olympics, much like Yuzuru Hanyu himself.
What are your favorite Olympic moments?