The 18-year-old Chen, a two-time U.S. champion, succumbed to the pressure and massive expectations in Friday's short program. He fell on all of his jumps in the short, plummeting to 17th place out of 24 to advance to the free skate.
But in the free skate he nailed virtually every element. He even tried a sixth quad, a loop, but put his hands down on the ice. Still, his 126.86 points for technical virtuosity put him in another stratosphere, and his 215.08 points for the free skate were a personal high.
Chen was guaranteed to rocket up the standings with a 297.35 total, perhaps into the top 10.