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The gravity-defying physics of figure skater Nathan Chen

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This video has been updated in a later version to reflect the controversy surrounding the quads in Nathan Chen’s 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic routine. The newer video is linked in the credits, or can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtFGwpMlOYo

17-year-old Nathan Chen is on the verge of becoming the world figure skating champion. We break down the gravity-defying physics behind his record-breaking moves.

Read more about the science behind Nathan Chen's routine: https://goo.gl/fsthmn

Nathan Chen is on the verge of becoming the best figure skater alive. But the stresses on the 17-year-old American aren't just psychological. Chen is known for doing more quadruple jumps in a single program than any other figure skater in the world. But the moves are incredibly taxing on the human body. These are the physics behind figure skating's most difficult jump.

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50 Comments

    Popular Comments:

Torben Rudgaard . 2018-09-02
Such clean landings... lets hope Trump dont kick him out... ahh wait.. Asian immigrants are ok :D
121 2 . Reply
ding william . 2018-08-10
Meanwhile I can’t even skate xD
121 2 . Reply
Park ChimMin . 2018-07-31
It’s time to tryyyy defying physics
121 2 . Reply
Lea Lopez . 2018-07-26
Surya Bonaly (sorry for the spelling) at the end though
121 2 . Reply
Lea Lopez . 2018-07-26
Respect for Jason. But to be honest for me personally i just glad to see a figure skater to jump and landed gracefully... Also too much spinning sometimes look like a fucking beyblade hahahah
121 2 . Reply
Glurp Bot . 2018-07-23
Jumps are hard. The Toe pick always mess me up and I end up falling and getting a thousand bruises. With practice I'm sure it becomes easier but that guy is crazy good
121 2 . Reply
byunTAE . 2018-07-16
Wow. When compared to my life, he's a gargantuan statue of achievement.
121 2 . Reply
FizzyTei . 2018-06-28
nathan and yuzuru are always gonna be my favorites
121 2 . Reply
Doodle Noodle . 2018-06-26
NATHAN IS THE GOAT
121 2 . Reply
Lady Twixy . 2018-06-06
Nathan:"A hardest move? Ahhahahhahahha!!!!!"
121 2 . Reply
Corgi Trash . 2018-06-04
well of course you're going to expect that in a lutz but 4 rotaions :O HOW FAST ARE YOU SPINNING
121 2 . Reply
NieliANGEL . 2018-06-02
"but men's figure skaing is advancing fast and it probably won't be long before another skater accomplishes an even more impressive jump"? okay
121 2 . Reply
Shadowhunters _Fan . 2018-05-06
He landed six at the World champs this year tho
121 2 . Reply
Jacquie Chiu . 2018-04-27
making history and now attending yale. oh nathan how are you so perfect
121 2 . Reply
Emonadeo . 2018-03-28
Does someone know what music is playing starting at 0:45?
121 2 . Reply
Kevin Brendan . 2018-03-02
OK HI WHERE CAN I GET THE TRACK AT 1:30
121 2 . Reply
Francis the Catholic Martyr . 2018-03-01
Ice skating is living hell ... 😫😫😫
121 2 . Reply
YouTubeName . 2018-02-26
Landing with 7 times the weight of his body is a guaranteed orthopedic nightmare following his competitive career, and probably a lifetime of multiple surgeries.
121 2 . Reply
John Doe . 2018-02-25
still lost to that japanese yuri on ice dude
121 2 . Reply
Mary Zhou . 2018-02-22
And now, make it six in a row.
121 2 . Reply
Bee Thao . 2018-02-22
This made me think: Mario. Press the A button.
121 2 . Reply
rita gohil . 2018-02-22
Amazing.
121 2 . Reply
Grace W . 2018-02-20
wow!!!
121 2 . Reply
Segundo Bosquez . 2018-02-20
awesome
121 2 . Reply
Christine . 2018-02-20
What's the difference between a jump and an axel?
121 2 . Reply
Tako Dvali . 2018-02-20
And now he landed 6 quads...
121 2 . Reply
bae_ jenipao . 2018-02-20
Amazing!
121 2 . Reply
Thanya Ganesh . 2018-02-20
HE'S SO TALENTED!?!
121 2 . Reply
Mutsu Hanma . 2018-02-19
Why are you guys getting all amazed for this is nothing. I'll show you guys true talent.....hold my beer....
121 2 . Reply
Kaiver Teo . 2018-02-19
Quartz u my dog
121 2 . Reply
Uchiha Itachi . 2018-02-19
U think you're good? Asian are better
121 2 . Reply
Eul Yong Lee . 2018-02-18
Figure skating is gay. I'm wondering if this kid is also gay or if hes your typical poor asian kid who was forced into something by his demanding parents.
121 2 . Reply
kpopfan4ever1000 . 2018-02-18
Not only is he talented but also really good looking!
121 2 . Reply
NATHAN NGUYEN . 2018-02-18
He's the future me










I guess I'm gonna change my last name
121 2 . Reply
Fiif . 2018-02-17
God damn just read the article Vox put out today on him. So much crap, talking as though he is already the worlds best when currently he's just not close to Hanyu. It's bullshit like this that's crushing him under the pressure, he's good but he was only a favorite to win if you are the US media

That free stake was fucking insane though. Shows what he can do with no pressure
121 2 . Reply
Eldain ss . 2018-02-17
Funny.
You claim it is gravity-defying physics.....
And then you show the physics to do it.

Hence, it is not gravity-defying...just more or less difficult. that is all.
121 2 . Reply
s o y . 2018-02-17
i was breathing so hard watching this lmfao
121 2 . Reply
Lolthony Ecsdee . 2018-02-17
hahaha fluke
121 2 . Reply
Don Mateo83 . 2018-02-17
But can he do a back flip and land on one leg though 🤔
121 2 . Reply
Draco Le Artist . 2018-02-17
Hey I can only do a doubl
121 2 . Reply
Fuzzy Llama . 2018-02-17
someone make a gif out of it pls
121 2 . Reply
mr2yen . 2018-02-16
Gravity caught up with him yesterday.
121 2 . Reply
Logan Pierce . 2018-02-16
We dont need physics its just pure skills
121 2 . Reply
Where Is Jaa? . 2018-02-16
CHOKERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
121 2 . Reply
Adi . 2018-02-16
seventeen and can do five quads while i am also seventeen and can barely study for more than five minutes
121 2 . Reply
Barrington . 2018-02-16
Fidget spinner 2.0
121 2 . Reply
Cactus Avian . 2018-02-16
Asian represent!
121 2 . Reply
Callahan Covington . 2018-02-16
Can we get a super high speed camera filming this kid?
121 2 . Reply
A B . 2018-02-16
asian americans really own olympics 2018
121 2 . Reply
Arieli Morales . 2018-02-16
This dude
121 2 . Reply