Following his gold medal-winning performance on Wednesday night, congratulatory messages have poured in for Salt Lake City-born figure skater Nathan Chen.
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is the latest to send his well wishes.
In an interview with NBC, Chen said, “I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah, so the Utah Jazz are my team through and through. I’ve been a big fan of theirs for quite a few years, and they’re doing great.”
Chen went on to say Mitchell is his favorite Jazz player, and moments later, a video message from Mitchell was shown to him during the interview.
“What’s up Nate? Donovan Mitchell here. Just want to say congratulations on getting the medal, bro,” Mitchell said.
“You’ve done your thing, man, continuously made the whole country proud. We’re all happy for you out here, the Utah Jazz organization and Utah. We’re happy for you, man. Congratulations, keep doing your thing. Proud of you, bro.”
Chen watched the video with a smile on his face.
“He’s the nicest. I’ve met him a couple of times. He’s just so humble, down to earth, super cool guy. That’s really nice of him,” Chen said.
“Sport icons are out there, and it’s just crazy to think that they even know you exist. This is really special.”
The gold medalist has been to plenty of Jazz games, and at the 2019 World Figure Skating Championships, he wore a Mitchell jersey during his postskate press conference.
Mitchell wasn’t the only celebrity to give Chen well wishes. Chen skated to Elton John’s “Rocket Man” in the free skate to secure the gold medal, and received congratulations from the Rocket Man himself.
“Congratulations @nathanwchen for winning Gold skating to Rocket Man in the free skate finals in Beijing,” John tweeted.
How other athletes with Utah ties did in Friday’s medal events
Cross-country skiing – men’s 15km individual
Snorri Einarsson (Iceland) — University of Utah (2007-08 Utah ski team) — 3:22.8 — 36th place out of 97 competitors.
Short track speedskating — women’s 1000m
Kristen Santos — University of Utah (graduate) — 1:42.74 — fourth place out of five competitors in A final.
Maame Biney — University of Utah (current student), trains in Park City — 1:30.73 – fifth place out of five competitors in B final.
What to watch tonight
Faye Gulini, who was born in Salt Lake City and is a Salt Lake City resident and Westminster College graduate, and former Westminster student Lindsey Jacobellis will compete for gold tonight in mixed team snowboardcross.
Gulini is paired with Jake Vedder and Jacobellis, who won the gold medal in women’s snowboardcross, is paired with Nick Baumgartner.
The quarterfinals start at 7 p.m. MST, with the semifinals at 7:30 p.m., and medal finals, if Gulini and Jacobellis make it that far, are at 7:50 p.m.