It was another gold medal moment for Nathan Chen when the champion figure skater was surprised by his mother during an appearance on TODAY Tuesday.
Chen, who was dominant while winning the men’s singles figure skating gold medal during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, was talking about coming home when the TODAY gang told him they had gotten him some New York City pizza — which was brought out by his mom, Hetty Wang.
It marked the first time they had seen each other since the Olympics.
They shared a sweet embrace before Chen placed the medal around his mother’s neck.
While Wang said she was “nervous,” she also noted she had faith in her son while he competed on the world stage.
“I basically know what he’s going to do,” she said. “Because most of the time I watched him practice a lot, so I know what’s going to happen.”
Chen, 22, gushed about the support he’s received over the years from his mom.
“There’s no way I would be able to make to where I am now without her support,” he said, noting he’s been skating since he was 3 and would often drive him from their home in Salt Lake City to California to train.
“She gave me structure. She made it fun for me,” he added.
Having the medal around her own neck made Wang reflect on how far she and her son have come.
“It’s a long journey. He worked very hard, every single day,” she said.
Wang also said her son has had a strong team in his corner.
“Of course, the family’s support, everybody’s support. And also the people behind him, the whole team. Everybody helped him, (supported) him, for almost 20 years. Everything’s in here,” she said, pointing to the medal. “It’s teamwork.”
Chen has hardly been shy about voicing his appreciation for his mother.
“Absolutely none of this would be at all remotely possible without her support,” he told TODAY earlier this month after he won his gold medal. “Since day one, 3 years old, I stepped on the ice, and she’s been by my side ever since.”
Wang and Chen, who is the youngest of her five kids, moved from their Salt Lake City home to Lake Arrowhead, California, when he was 11 in order to focus on training.
“We didn’t always have the funds to be able to support coaching,” Chen said. “So she was basically my coach throughout that whole period of time I was growing up, and along when I decided to move to California to work with my current coach, Rafael Arutunian.
“She drove me back and forth in our trusty little Prius, so a lot of miles put together and a lot of time put together, but this is a result of her.”
Drew Weisholtz is a reporter for TODAY Digital, focusing on pop culture, nostalgia and trending stories. He has seen every episode of “Saved by the Bell” at least 50 times, longs to perfect the crane kick from “The Karate Kid” and performs stand-up comedy, while also cheering on the New York Yankees and New York Giants. A graduate of Rutgers University, he is the married father of two kids who believe he is ridiculous.
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