Originally Published: January 8, 2018 6 a.m.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Two-time national champion Nathan Chen, veteran Adam Rippon and rising star Vincent Zhou were selected Sunday to represent the United States at the Pyeongchang Olympics next month.
A U.S. Figure Skating Committee chose 2016 U.S. champ Rippon, who came in fourth at the national championships on Saturday night, instead of second-place finisher Ross Miner. The committee takes into consideration a number of criteria, including overall performance for the season.
It will be the first Olympics for all three.
Rippon’s inclusion at Miner’s expense isn’t unprecedented; the committee has made such moves in the past involving Michelle Kwan and Ashley Wagner, for example.
On Twitter, Rippon said: “When I found out what the Olympic team was, I texted Ross Miner and I told him that I was proud of what he did yesterday and how well he skated. He texted me right back and told me he was very happy to me.”
At 28, Rippon was the oldest competitor in the men’s field. By contrast, Chen is 18 and Zhou is 17.
Chen has won every competition he’s entered this season and, with his repertoire of quadruple jumps — he did five on Saturday night in his free skate — has pushed the envelope on technical skills in skating. He will be among the favorites at the Olympics.
“This is another big step to the games,” he said. “More pressures, more, you know, media, all that. There’s more to come, but I’m so excited for it. This is exactly what I’ve wanted my entire life and I’m ready for it.”