Who are Nathan Chen's parents? Figure skater takes over social media with world record
'It must have been so difficult, coming to a new country, not speaking the language,' said Chen about his parents' struggle
Figure skater Nathan Chen is now a two-time Olympic medalist. Born in Salt Lake City, the 22-year-old is the youngest of five children and has a long list of achievements. He is a three-time World champion (2018, 2019, 2021), a 2022 Olympic silver medalist and 2018 Olympic bronze medalist in the team event, the 2017 Four Continents champion, a three-time Grand Prix Final champion (2017, 2018, 2019), and a six-time US national champion (2017–22).
At the junior level, Chen is the 2015–16 Junior Grand Prix Final champion, 2013–14 Junior Grand Prix Final bronze medalist and 2014 World Junior bronze medalist. He is the first skater to have landed five types of quadruple jumps in competition — toe loop, salchow, loop, flip and lutz — as well as eight quadruple jumps across a single competition. As of 2022, Chen is the world record holder for the short program, the free skate, and the combined score.
Who are Nathan Chen's parents?
Hetty Wang is Nathan's mother. She works as a medical interpreter for Mandarin Chinese for hospitals. Nathan's parents immigrated from Tianjin, China, to the United States in 1988. On competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, which was his mother’s hometown, Nathan said, "I was here when I was 10-years old-ish. I remember going to the Beijing Zoo. So like every time when we're driving from the Village here, I see the Beijing Zoo and I'm like, 'Oh, I was here when I was 10.' So it's kind of cool to be able to see that. Also just hear stories from my mom growing up in Beijing and being like, 'Wow, you know, I'm here'. Hopefully at some point after the Games are over, I'll be able to explore Beijing a little bit more."
Nathan Chen captioned an image with this mother, "Watch out hollywood, mama Chen coming for you. fun day of filming with @teamtoyota!!"
He posted another image with his mother which he captioned, "This weekend my mother and I took the trusty ol’ Prius up to my sisters in NorCal for the first time in over a year (we all got vaccinated!). The drive made me reminisce on the thousands of miles and countless hours we’ve spent driving between Utah and California for my skating; we made all these trips in this very car! It made me emotional to think of how tirelessly she supported me in my skating career, not once complaining that the drive was too long or too hard. Without her support, I never would have made it to where I am now. So, thank you mom for everything you’ve done for me and happy Mother’s Day to the best mom out there," with a heart emoji.
Zhidong Chen is Nathan's father. Zhidong obtained his medical degree in China and earned his doctorate in pharmaceuticals from the University of Utah. He owns a small biotech company. Nathan's parents didn't know anyone when they arrived in US and his mother couldn't even speak English.
"They tend not to talk too much about their struggles, but it must have been so difficult, coming to a new country, not speaking the language, not having much money, not having any friends. It's amazing how they were able to fight through that," Nathan told The New York Times. He posted a childhood image with his father and elder siblings which he captioned, "A huuuuge #tbt to the fam bam #chenners".
After performing at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Nathan has set an international figure skating world record in the men's short program with a score of 113.97, topping the previous record of 111.82 set by Yuzuru Hanyu in 2020.