Former teachers, coaches react to Nathan Chen’s Olympic short program

Feb 8, 2022, 5:40 PM | Updated: Feb 12, 2023, 6:01 pm

Nathan Chen of Team United States reacts during the Men Single Skating Short Program on day four of...

Nathan Chen of Team United States reacts during the Men Single Skating Short Program on day four of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 08, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Nathan Chen’s incredible short program at the 2022 Winter Olympics Monday night brought a lot of excitement among those who know him and worked with him closely in Utah.

Chen was born and raised in Salt Lake City and started skating when he was just three years old.

Everyone seemed to know that this boy was going to be in the Olympics someday.

“He sat in this room. Used one of these desks,” said Leslie Edwards, a third grade teacher at Hawthorn Elementary School in Salt Lake City, who was also Chen’s teacher.


Edwards said she couldn’t contain herself watching Chen’s performance in Beijing.

“There is such an adrenaline that comes,” she said. “That joy and that happiness — just really, really happy for Nathan.”

And she was not alone.

At the County Ice Rink in Murray, Chen’s former coach of nearly four years is all smiles.

“Oh, it was great to see,” said Evgeniya Chernyoshova, who was born and raised in Russia and is a former skater for the Russian Nationals Team. “Even as a kid, he had that very strong character. Very determined. Extremely focused. Taking it seriously from day one.”

Chernyoshova is now coaching two students who hope to also be in the Olympics one day. Chen is their inspiration.

“Shows you that you can do it and that your dreams are possible,” said Hannah Herriah, an Olympic hopeful.

At the Duck Donut Shop in South Jordan, workers are making dozens of Chen’s favorite donuts, which are maple glazed with bacon and red sprinkles on top.

The donuts are for a big Nathan Chen party at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City Tuesday night at 6.  Former coaches and teammates are expected to be there.

“He’s a respectful young man. He knows what he wants and he goes for it, but he never forgets that there is a team behind him,” said Michelle Thomson with Salt Lake Figure Skating who is organizing the event.

KSL 5 TV Live

Olympic Utah

A basketball hoop at the Adaptive Arena in Bluffdale, which is a gym made for kids with some disabi...

Alex Cabrero

Get In The Games: Adaptive Arena welcomes kids with disabilities to play sports

A new gym is welcoming kids with a disability to play sports that are specifically designed for their needs.

3 days ago

IZU, JAPAN - JULY 27: Haley Batten of Team United States rides during the Women's Cross-country rac...

Alex Cabrero

Park City mountain biker training to compete in her second Olympics

Haley Batten who is on the USA Cycling team, competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Now, she's training for Paris.

9 days ago

a student dances in a studio...

Alex Cabrero

Get In The Games: ‘Breaking’ Olympic sport has a home in Utah

Once called break dancing, "breaking" is now an Olympic sport, with a place to learn in Utah.

11 days ago

Délice French Bakery and Café is getting ready for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Italy, the home co...

Shelby Lofton

French bakery in Utah ramping up for Paris 2024 Summer Olympics

The owner of Délice French Bakery and Café in Salt Lake City is preparing for the Olympics in his home country.

1 month ago

Indian Hills Middle School's Amy Shaw, showing her class her collection of pins from the 2002 Winte...

Shara Park

Utah teacher inspires students with her passion for the 2002 Winter Olympics

An Indian Hills Middle School teacher hopes her love for the Olympic Games will inspire her students to get excited about a possible 2034 return.

1 month ago

Members of the International Olympic Committee’s Future Host Commission, IOC, U.S. Olympic & Para...

Deanie Wimmer

An Olympic legacy brings year-round sporting events to Utah

Utah has capitalized on the Olympic spotlight and demonstrated its ability as a world-class host for winter and summer sporting events. The sports world appears to have taken notice.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Former teachers, coaches react to Nathan Chen’s Olympic short program