Nathan Chen won gold in Olympic

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Nathan Chen recalls driving to Rafael Arutyunyan's training camp in Southern California with his mother.

On Thursday, the 22-year-old Yale student won the gold medal at the Beijing Games with a near-perfect free skate following a world-record-setting short programme.

He became the first American figure skating champion since Evan Lysacek in 2010, capping one of the sport's most dominant four-year streaks ever.

He'd begun figure skating only a few years before, borrowing his sister's skates and sleeping in the car to pursue his Olympic ambitions.

“I’m happy. Just emotional,” Arutyunyan said. “He made it.”

Chen, on the other hand, gave the performance of his life on the sparkling white ice at Capital Indoor Stadium.

"It means everything to me," he remarked. "I'm just overjoyed.

Chen basked in the spotlight in the centre of the rink before heading off to hear his scores, which were really a formality at that point.

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