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Japan’s Hanyu Shines in Olympic Short Program While US Favorite Chen Falls Badly

23-year-old reigning men’s Olympic champion figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu scored 111.68 points in the short program of the men’s single skating on Friday, an Olympic record. Coming back from an ankle injury that held him back since November, he shone on the ice in an almost-perfect program that led fans to shower the ice with stuffed Winnie the Pooh bears, his lucky symbol. Due to sponsorship rules, he was unable to keep his lucky kleenex box decorated with a stuffed Pooh bear waiting for him in the wings as he finished skating, but the fans gesture surely reinforced his great luck.

Not doing as well in the luck department was US team leader and favorite for gold, Nathan Chen, who fell twice and didn’t complete two required jumps.  His mishaps left him in 17th place after the first round, probably far out of medal contention.

The remaining hope for US male figure skaters is media darling and out gay skater Adam Rippon, who nailed his program and sits in 7th place, still in striking distance of the winners’ podium.

In figure skating there are always spills and thrills, and the men’s short program gave viewers plenty of opportunities to cheer and cry.

Written by PeterFever

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