Ice Network

Chen, Zhou, Rippon named to U.S. Olympic team

Ripoon earns spot after fourth-place finish; Silver medalist Miner left off
  • Ice Network on Facebook
  • Ice Network on Twitter
The 2018 U.S. Olympic men's figure skating team consists of Nathan Chen (right), Vincent Zhou (left) and Adam Rippon. -Jay Adeff

Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou and Adam Rippon have been named to the Olympic men's figure skating team, U.S. Figure Skating announced Sunday.

Chen and Zhou finished first and third, respectively, at the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, California, while Rippon placed fourth. Silver medalist Ross Miner was left off the team.

Chen and Zhou's selections were expected. The former is the two-time reigning U.S. champion, Grand Prix Final champion and Four Continents champion. He has not lost a competition since the 2017 World Championships, where he finished sixth.

"It's been a dream of mine to be on the Olympic team for as long as I can remember," Chen said. "The Olympics have really motivated me ever since I started skating as a little kid. I've known these guys (Zhou and Rippon) a long time, I've seen how they train, I've competed against them a long time. I think all three of us really deserve to be on this Olympic team."

Last season, Zhou won the U.S. silver medal as well as the world junior championship. He placed second at the Finlandia Trophy this past October.

"To have the word 'Olympian' attached to my name is more than I could ever ask for," Zhou said. "My two teammates are very deserving as well of Olympic spots. This is only my first senior year internationally, so it's a great honor to be selected to the team."

Rippon secured his selection based largely on his recent performances, which include second-place finishes at both of his Grand Prix events this fall, his qualification for the Grand Prix Final, where he came in fifth, and his bronze-medal placement at Finlandia. His résumé was clouded by his finish in San Jose and the fact that he missed the second half of last season because of a broken foot.

"I'm really grateful the selection committee looked at my body of work over the last two seasons," Rippon said. "I'm a U.S. champion, I qualified for the Grand Prix Final twice, I medaled at my last four Grand Prix events. I really feel I have a great résumé."

Outside of his second-place finish this week, Miner has had a series of uninspiring showings going back two seasons. The last time he medaled at any competition was the 2015 Rostelecom Cup (bronze), and prior to this season, he had not made the U.S. podium since 2013.

All three men named to the team will be making thier first Olympic appearance.

Alternates for the team are Jason Brown (first alternate), Miner (second alternate) and Max Aaron (third alternate).

The 2018 Olympic Games take place Feb. 9-25 in PyeongChang, South Korea.