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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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figure skating sports nathan chen physics world championship yuri on ice quadruple jump athletics biomechanics usa

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50 Comments

    Popular Comments:

unknown leo . 2018-02-20
Yoi
We were born to make history
.....
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
rory grist . 2018-02-20
He would be in the winter Olympics
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
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
777 . 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 Boo . 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
Jane Queenz . 2018-02-15
I love how Nathan is the same age as me and I can’t breathe after running for 2 minutes
121 2 . Reply
ASMR DEELON . 2018-02-15
i spin 5 times on my bed
121 2 . Reply
lone Tlhomamo . 2018-02-15
The song.. what's the name of the second song?
121 2 . Reply
Leyla H . 2018-02-15
HE'S 17 ARE YOU KIDDING ME
121 2 . Reply
Frosty . 2018-02-15
I can feel my ankles breaking just by watching this
121 2 . Reply
AllZ . 2018-02-15
dude is like victor from yuri on ice
121 2 . Reply
Hen Halpert . 2018-02-15
hold my beer...
121 2 . Reply
julian hobrough . 2018-02-15
That is truly fantastic, but please don’t talk about defying the laws of physics, because everything is physics. “I canna change the laws of physics, Jim”, so Jim puts the Enterprise into physically impossible Warp Drive, faster than light. Whiplash alert! Whiplash alert! Infinite mass alert!
121 2 . Reply
Junkook Maknae . 2018-02-15
Any Yuri on Ice ! fans here ?
If so PLEEEAAAAAAASSSSEEEEE tell me when season 2 is coming out!!!!
121 2 . Reply
Stephanie's Musings . 2018-02-14
He makes it look so effortless. But at the back of your mind, you're thinking about the number of hours of practice, the number of times he failed but didn't give up... Truly breathtaking.
121 2 . Reply
Foonian Relativity . 2018-02-14
Amazingly well-illustrated video! Such high-quality content. Subscribed!!
121 2 . Reply
Chrisytube . 2018-02-14
That’s not the name it’s called the TRIPLE AXEL
121 2 . Reply
Junito Punto Comm . 2018-02-14
Super Human...We should call him SKATEMAN !! ⛸
121 2 . Reply
Rainbow Cynicist . 2018-02-14
um
121 2 . Reply
lazer tag . 2018-02-14
personally im not impressed
121 2 . Reply
Carlos Monroe . 2018-02-13
Coolest thing I did when I was 17 was do an all nighter for the first time...
121 2 . Reply
Mariléna Papageorgíou . 2018-02-13
Ice skating is both magnificent and scary
121 2 . Reply
Saaya M . 2018-02-13
For some reason, watching him makes me really, really happy! Bless him and I hope he continues to achieve! Do your best, Nathan! <3
121 2 . Reply
Mehdi Deux . 2018-02-13
At 17 yo I was jerking off in my room and playing Wow all the time, damn I'm useless
121 2 . Reply
konaha thruster . 2018-02-13
17 years old..............
121 2 . Reply
笑ボックスボックス . 2018-02-13
Of course it's an ASIAN.
121 2 . Reply