Figure skater Vincent Zhou stunned spectators in PyeongChang earlier today (February 16) when he landed a quadruple lutz during the men’s single skating short program competition. He is the first skater to land the move—which involves jumping off one toe, completing four mid-air revolutions and landing on the other toe—during any Olympic competition.
NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 16, 2018
The 17-year-old skater, acknowledged by Team USA as its youngest member, earned 12th place in the short program group. His score of 84.53 out of 100 possible points allows him to proceed to the men’s free skating competition tomorrow (February 17). But Zhou told The Associated Press/Chicago Tribune that he does not expect to win a medal at his first Olympics.
“I always want to be the best, but I also do have a sense of realism, and I know that winning the Olympics isn’t really realistic,” he said. “So it’s fortunate I don’t have that pressure on myself. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the people vying for the title. But I definitely want to put out two great performances and show people what I’m capable of.”
Zhou, who is Chinese-American, is one of 13 Asian-American athletes representing the United States in South Korea. He surpassed another Asian-American member of his team, Nathan Chen, who NBC Sports described as a “quad king” for his ability to land multiple quadruple jumps in competition. ESPN noted that spectators expected Chen to place high in the men’s short program contest until he botched multiple quadruple jump attempts. Chen placed 17th with a score of 82.27.