Wear or tear: Nathan Chen’s free skate costume


Photo Courtesy Salt Lake Tribune

First-time Olympic gold medalist, Nathan Chen, stirred up debate amongst netizens on his “Rocket Man” costume.

Caylen Corpuz, Staff Writer

All eyes are on American figure skater Nathan Chen, who was able to bring home his first Olympic gold medal. Chen managed to snag the top scores in the free skate and short program in the Men’s singles figure skating event, even setting a new world record in the men’s short program.

Having beaten the fan-favorite, two-time Olympic champion, Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, Chen’s name has been a hot topic in the media. While most fans flooded posts of congratulatory messages towards the skater, many netizens have criticized Chen, specifically, his free skate costume. 

Twitter users have gone as far as comparing the costume to galaxy Jansport backpacks and  Hot Cheetos, saying that the designer, Vera Wang, might have stolen the design from Amazon or Aliexpress. Figure skating fans have been blasting Chen online, saying that he could have done better. 

Agreeing with those fans, Moanalua senior, Min Joo Kim said, “[The costume] kind of sucks, it doesn’t look good.” 

“It seems like he’s just skating with a flashy practice uniform,” Kim said. Kim found the costume distracting from Chen’s performance.

While a huge fraction of the Internet has been fighting over Nathan Chen’s costume, many netizens have remained neutral, saying that it’s neither good nor bad. 

“It certainly catches the audience’s attention,” junior Hannah Corpuz said, “It’s just a bit plain, but it’s not bad.” 

Others don’t see any problems with the costume at all, finding the criticism overboard.

 “I’m going to be honest, I don’t see much wrong with it,” junior Shania Gervacio said.

Chen skated to an Elton John medley, which included “Rocket Man.” 

“I think it matches though,” Gervacio said, referring to the costume’s galaxy design in relation to the song.

Some have approached the debate with a moral mindset, saying that the costume shouldn’t matter if the athlete showed an amazing performance. 

Sophomore Katie Moriwaki said, “I think people should just base their comments on how well they do, not how well they dress.”

Days after Natha Chen’s Olympic gold medal performance, figure skating fans are still arguing over the skater’s costume. Chen and costume designer, Vera Wang, have yet to respond to the criticism.