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Utah celebrates "Nathan Chen Day" to celebrate Olympic gold medalist

Posted at 8:50 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 00:09:15-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Olympic gold medalist and Salt Lake City native Nathan Chen is back in the state ahead of a performance Wednesday night at the Maverick Center.

So the state of Utah took the opportunity to honor him and his accomplishments by declaring today "Nathan Chen Day."

“I mean truthfully, I didn't really think I was going to be able to make it to where I made it” Chen said. “For me and I'm absolutely certain that there's gonna be many other young athletes that will be able to achieve it so long as they have the inspiration with a passion I think that's the most important thing.”

Chen has become a household name around the world and now after a long trip on the road since the Olympics he is back home.

“It's amazing I'm so excited to be back here in Salt Lake” he said. “This is where the journey started so it's special.”

Chen won gold at the 2022 Olympics and is a three-time Figure Skating World Champion.

So what does someone who won it all do? Well, Wednesday at the Maverick Center he will be performing in front of a home crowd as a part of the “Stars On Ice” program.

“My mom actually drove drove out from California so she's here tonight” he said. “And then my first coach Stephanie Grosskopf will be coming to the show tonight which will be really fun. And then some of my old elementary school teachers actually will be here as well.”

He’s also a part of advocating to bring the Olympics back to Utah.

“Salt Lake is incredibly equipped to be able to handle [the Olympics] considering that they had one already” he said. “So many so many young athletes will be inspired by having the Olympics here so many young Utahns will either pick up sport for the first time or will continue you know being inspired by sport and and you know continuing to pursue their dreams.”

Some fans and autograph seekers even were there saying it was it was an inspiration to meet him.

“Hopefully today with Nathan Chen coming in being recognized that they can aspire to be a gold medalist,” one fan told FOX 13 News.

But beyond being an Olympian he’s reaching for other goals heading back to Yale where he is majoring in statistics and data science.

“You know, my future still pretty to be decided," he said. “My next objective is to go back to school I know my journey obviously isn't over but I'm really proud of all the things that have accomplished already and looking forward to seeing I guess what's next.”

So what does one do to celebrate Nathan Chen day?

According to Nathan, “ Go to the ice rink, go skate!”