Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan became the first men's skater since Dick Button of Team USA in 1948 and 1952 to win back-to-back Olympic titles.
"But overall we are happy with the performance and with the skating".
After the worst collapse of his brilliant figure-skating career, Nathan Chen retreated to his room in the Olympic athletes' village Friday and, for once, didn't dissect his shortcomings in clinical detail.
"As much as I tried to deny it, I think I did feel the pressure a lot before the short program", Chen said, "especially thinking about medals and placement and things that were completely out of my control". He was terrific, though not ideal, particularly messing up a combination jump.
"I have no words right now".
A succession of young skaters from around the world have set their sights on Hanyu, seeking to knock him from his perch through performing hard quadruple jumps. And I think that people have kind of enjoyed my honesty and my openness. The Olympics, though, are for immortality.
Japan's man of the moment had called it his dream stage. They either turned professional or hung up their skates and took up another pursuit.
A stunning 111.68. means Hanyu is well positioned to double up on the gold he notched in Sochi four years ago.
It also just takes a long time for the young skaters - called "sweepers" - who are tasked with scooping up the horde of plush cubs from the ice. His roommates, playing unaware, said they thought he'd simply left school. Hanyu's first gold symbolized both his greatest pleasure and utmost disappointment. He lives in Sendai, close to where the 2011 natural disaster and tsunami killed almost 16,000 people and destroyed more than 45,000 buildings.
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"Definitely, there was a lot about redemption", Chen said.
She said that she did not want to take anything away from Hanyu, but she felt sympathy for Uno, her favorite skater, because the first-time Olympian was overshadowed by Hanyu's feat.
Hanyu's Olympic preparations have been far from ideal. There still was an expanse of airspace to explore.
But the lure of Olympus can be irresistible, especially if millions of your fans are deluging you with good-luck messages and handmade charms and stuffed Winnie the Pooh bears.
If anyone knows the secret to defeating Hanyu, it's his training partner Javier Fernandez. "I cherished every competition, and I need to focus on the details", said Jin.
After rough performances in the team event and short program, Nathan Chen delivered in the long program with six quads.
On social media, famous American skaters from past Olympics reacted to Chen's performance with shock and awe. He has 24 hours to digest this and regroup for the free skate Saturday, if regrouping is even possible now.
Shoma Uno (Japan): The current Japanese champion has the flexibility and musicality of his idol Daisuke Takahashi, plus some showstopping tricks like his cantilever (essentially leaning all the way back while squatting-and sliding-across the ice).
Swiss freestyle skier Sarah Hoefflin's incredible final run score of 91.20 edges her ahead of compatriot Mathilde Gremaud, who registered an 88.00, for the gold medal while British skier Isabel Atkin's third run 84.60 got her bronze in the Ski Slopestyle.