If you’ve watched him skate at the Olympics, you may want to know what Nathan Chen’s net worth is and how much he makes as one of the highest-earning professional figure skaters (and winter athletes) competing for Team USA.
Chen, whose full name is Nathan Wei Chen, was born on May 5, 1999, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He started figure skating at 3 years with a pair of his sister’s white figure skaters, and entered his first skating competition at 4 years old. Along with figure skating, Chen also trained in ballet at the Ballet West Academy in Salt Lake City and competed in gymnastics at the state and regional levels for seven years. He’s also a student at Yale University with a major in statistics and data science. Chen made his Olympics debut at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018, where he won a bronze medal in the team figure skating event. Chen holds the record as the first figure skater to land five types of quadruple jumps in a competition: toe loop, Salchow, loop, flip, and Lutz. He also earned the nickname “Quad King” after he became the first Olympian in history to land six quadruple jumps (with four full revolutions) during the PyeongChang Olympics. He landed eight quadruple jumps at the 2018 World Championships. As of 2021, Chen also holds the world record for the free skate and the combined score in figure skating.
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In an interview with Yale News in 2021, Chen revealed that he wanted to be a figure skater because of Asian American athletes like Michelle Kwan and Kristi Yamaguchi. “Growing up in Salt Lake City, where most of my classmates and fellow athletes were predominately white, you don’t see that reflection of yourself as easily,” he said. “I see myself in these athletes and I see how capable they are and how talented they are. If they can do it, hopefully I can do the same thing, too. Being able to see a face like yours helps a lot as an athlete.” He also told the newspaper that he decided to attend college because he knew that his career and skills as a figure skater wouldn’t last forever. “I was still determined to keep skating, I wasn’t in a position where I was ready to retire,” he said. “But I knew that this transition to school had to happen at some point, and the earlier it did, the easier it would be for me as I transition out of skating.”
There’s no doubt Chen is one of the most exciting Winter Olympians from Team USA. But what is Nathan Chen’s net worth? Read on for what we know about Nathan Chen’s net worth and how much he’s earned since his rise to fame as one of Team USA’s most fiercest competitors.
How much does Nathan Chen make as a professional figure skater?
What does Nathan Chen make as a professional figure skater? While Chen’s exact income as a professional figure skater isn’t confirmed, Forbes estimated that he made at least $1 million in sponsorship deals in the year before he competed at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. The magazine also reported that Chen earns additional bonuses from his brand partner’s based on his performance at the Beijing Olympics, with gold medals
in the individual men’s or team events doubling his earnings. According to Forbes, a gold medal also includes a $37,500 payment from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. “Nathan Chen has good brand appeal,” John Grady, a sports law professor at the University of South Carolina, told Forbes. “[Brands] don’t necessarily want to give opportunities to the untested or lesser-known athletes in smaller sports.”
As of 2022, Chen has long-term deals with 11 companies, including Team USA sponsors like Bridgestone, Comcast, Nike, Toyota and Visa, as well as consumer brands such as Grubhub and Airweave. Chen is also a part of an NFT with game developer nWay. Forbes also reports that Chen is one of the few figure skaters and winter Olympians who can command five- and six-figure marketing deals, as ratings for the winter Olympics drop. (The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics was about 5 million viewers down from the Sochi 2014 Olympics.) “It still probably has the cachet that it has had,” Grady told Forbes. “It just may not be quite the TV viewing priority that it once was.”
According to the International Skating Union, Chen made $18,00 for each of the 2017 Grand Prix of Figure Skating series events he won that year: Rostelecom Cup, 2017 Skate America and the Grand Prix final. He also received $20,000 after he placed first at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in February 2017, as well as won prizze money for his win at the 2018 U.S. Championships. Bustle estimated that Chen made around $160,000 for the 2017 to 2018 figure skating season alone.
What is Nathan Chen’s net worth?
What is Nathan Chen’s net worth? Nathan Chen’s net worth is $2.5 million, according to Celeb Net Worths. Though the number is sizable, Forbes reports that it’s a lot less than the net worth of other athletes, including South Korean figure skater Kim Yuna, who made $16 million in 2014 and has one gold medal from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and one silver medal from the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Nathan Chen’s net worth is also less than other famous Winter Olympians, like snowboarder Shaun White, who is worth $60 million; and figure skaters Michelle Kwan; who is worth $12 million; Kristi Yamaguchi, who is worth $8 million; Adam Rippon, who is worth $4 million; Tara Lipinski, who is worth $25 million; and Johnny Weir, who is worth $4 million. Still, Chen’s worth is more than other Winter Olympians, like snowboarder Chloe Kim, who is worth between $500,000 and $1 million, according to Essentially Sports. Like other retired Olympians, his net worth is also expected to grow even after his figure skating career.
In an interview with Olympics.com in 2022, Chen opened about what he learned from the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. “I think the 2017-18 season specifically was just a really, really stressful time,” he said. “I was obviously set on hopefully winning a medal. My thought process was if I spent an extra four hours in the rink – whatever amount of time working out and training – I would be able to make that happen. But I ended up taking away from my rest and recovery time. I felt like I started to stagnate.” He continued, “I think the biggest thing right now is just learning how to balance, pushing hard on the ice, but also giving yourself time to rest, to recover and generally take care of myself.”
Chen also told the site about how his mistakes at the 2018 Olympics taught him how to be a better figure skater. “I think we definitely learn the best from our mistakes and just being like, ‘Hey, why did that happen and how can prevent that?’ Having had that experience, obviously it wasn’t fun and it’s not something that I would want to do again,” he said. “But it happened… I’m still who I am. I still had opportunities to continue competing in the future, continuing to strive towards my goals.” He continued, “I’ll still continue working and trying to do what I want to do and win or lose. It doesn’t really change me as a person.”
For more about the Olympics, check out Jeremy Fuchs’ 2021 book, Total Olympics: Every Obscure, Hilarious, Dramatic, and Inspiring Tale Worth Knowing. The book, which was called an “indispensable Olympic resource” and “pure fun” by The New York Times, follows the history of the Olympics, from how it began in a a Victorian English town called Much Wenlock to the discontinued sports that are no longer around like tug of war, firefighting, painting and, yes, live pigeon shooting. The bestseller, which features hundreds of true tales and historical photographs, also includes stories from both internationally known and little known athletes like gymnast Shun Fujimoto, who led his team to victory with a broken knee.
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