It all comes down to this for Nathan Chen.

After breaking the world record in the individual short program with a score of 113.97 on Monday night, Chen will try to secure his first-ever Olympic gold medal — and the USA’s first gold medal of the 2022 Games — in the individual free skate on Wednesday night.

Chen enters the free skate in first place, nearly six points ahead of second-place Yuma Kagiyama of Japan and eight points ahead of third-place Shoma Uno of Japan.

Each skater’s score from the short program and the free skate is added together. Whoever has the highest point total will win the gold medal, so Chen is in a good place entering the long program.

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The free skate lasts four minutes, compared to the two-minute, 40-second runtime of the short program. Chen holds the world record in the free skate, a score of 224.92 set at the 2019–20 Grand Prix Final.

The 22-year-old’s free skate will be set to “Rocket Man” by Elton John. It’s expected to be the same program that he skated en route to a title at the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. It will include 12 planned elements, including five quadruple flip jumps.

Because of his first-place finish in the short program, Chen will skate last. Skating right before him will be third-place Uno, then second-place Kagiyama. That means Chen will know exactly what score he needs to win gold before he skates.


How to watch Nathan Chen in the Olympics figure skating free skate

When: Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. MST (Chen is scheduled to skate at 10:15 p.m. MST)

TV: NBC, starting at 8:40 p.m. MST. USA Network will show the short program event from 6:30-8:20 p.m. MST.

Livestream: NBCOlympics.com (requires cable TV login) or Peacock ($5 per month).