figure skating

Here's Why Nathan Chen Got a Panda and Not Gold Medal After Figure Skating Victory

Watch Nathan Chen's Gold-Winning Routine

After Nathan Chen crushed his men's free skate routine (while wearing an outfit designed by Vera Wang) and won the gold for Team USA, he got a stuffed animal instead of the coveted prize.

Bing Dwen Dwen the panda is cute, but the Beijing Olympics mascot obviously doesn't compare to a medal. However, figure skating is one of the events where athletes are getting the plush toy before they are handed their medals.

There will be a special medal ceremony for Chen on Friday where "The Star-Spangled Banner" will be played.

Nathan Chen won gold in the men’s single figure skating competition on Wednesday.

Chen and his figure skating teammates are also still waiting to get their silver medal from the team event. The award has been delayed after ROC skater Kamila Valieva, who helped her team win the gold on Sunday and landed two historic quad jumps, tested positive for a banned substance.

If the team from Russia is disqualified, that would ultimately elevate the U.S. to the gold medal, a second for Chen.

“I mean, I don't really feel like I'm the most qualified person to talk about it,” Chen said. “Whatever ends up being the case will be the case, but I'm still wrapped up in what I was able to do today.”

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