Chen ’23 helps U.S. to silver in team figure skating

Bolstered by a fourth-place finish from Karen Chen ’23 in the individual free skate, the U.S. figure skating team took the silver medal in the team competition Monday at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Karen Chen

Chen registered a score of 131.52 in her free skate and helped the U.S. to a final team score of 65, behind only the Russian Olympic Committee, which amassed 74 points. Japan took the bronze with 63 points.

Chen, a human development major in the College of Human Ecology, won’t skate again in Beijing until Feb. 15, when the women’s individual competition begins with the short program. The free skate is scheduled for Feb. 17.

The 22-year-old Chen, who won the 2017 U.S. championship, plans to return to her studies this fall following a two-year leave to focus on skating. Chen placed 11th at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Chen has overcome multiple injuries, including a fractured ankle suffered during practice in 2013, and a stress fracture in 2018 that caused her to miss the entire 2018-19 season. She rebounded in 2020 with a fourth-place finish at nationals, before taking second this year to earn a trip to Beijing.

According to Cornell historian Corey Ryan Earle ’07, visiting lecturer in the American Studies Program, Chen’s silver medal marked the first time a Cornellian has won a medal in any Olympic figure skating event. Jamie Silverstein ’07 and Matthew Savoie, J.D. ’09, competed in the 2006 Games in Torino, Italy.

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Gillian Smith