Nathan Chen, the reigning Olympic figure skating champion who brought the sport to new heights in a dominant performance earlier this year in Beijing, has been named Goodwill Ambassador for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games set for January 12-22, 2023.
Chen, 23, is a rising junior studying statistics and data science at Yale University, where he is planning to return this autumn after a two-year break to prepare for the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games.
“I can’t think of a finer person to represent the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games,” said Ashley Walden, executive director of the Adirondack Sports Council, the Games’ organizing committee. “Nathan is an on-ice champion who exemplifies the university athlete and the importance of balance between sport and education.”
As FISU 2023 Goodwill Ambassador, Chen is planning on attending January’s Games, as well as participating in a press conference and promoting the 11-day, winter multisport and educational festival on his social media platforms.
“I’m so happy to be a part of January’s Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games and helping to support everyone involved,” he said. “It’s going to be so exciting to see so many of the world’s best collegiate-athletes compete in their selected sport. This is a special time in each of their lives and the ability to balance academics and athletics already makes them champions.”
Chen, a three-time world champion, was one of the biggest names going into and coming out of the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games. He set a short-program world record for points and landed five clean quadruple jumps in his free skate to become the first American gold medalist in singles since Evan Lysacek in 2010.
Chen’s lights-out skating in Beijing also helped the U.S. earn a silver medal in the team event, adding to his team bronze from the 2018 Games. He was the first man in figure skating history to land five quadruple jumps in a performance when he did it at the 2017 U.S. Championships, but is also known for his artistry, aided by six years at a ballet academy in his hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Since the Olympic Games, Chen has performed in ice shows around the world and plans to publish his memoir in November. He told NBC Sports he is unsure about a return to competitive skating, and instead plans to immerse himself in his studies at Yale.
Chen is no stranger to Lake Placid, competing for the first time in 2009 at the Olympic Center for Junior Nationals. He then saw tremendous success in Lake Placid in 2017 at Skate America, winning gold and setting himself up to win the Grand Prix Final, National Championships and World Championships that year.
While he loves skating, Chen has said he finds school equally as fulfilling. He told the New York Times last year: “I really like the aspect that everyone is there trying to find their own passions, trying to discover who they are, and you get to be a part of that as well.”
The Lake Placid 2023 FISU Games are the world’s largest university winter multisport competition, bringing about 2,500 student-athletes and delegates to the two-time Olympic village. The student-athletes, aged 18-25 and representing more than 600 universities and 50 nations, are scheduled to compete in 12 sports – Alpine skiing, snowboard, figure skating, speedskating, short track speedskating, biathlon, Nordic combined, cross-country skiing, ice hockey, curling, freestyle and freeski.