Nathan Chen

Nathan Chen Looking Forward to Returning to Yale, New Haven Pizza

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Nathan Chen is one of the stars of the 2022 Winter Olympics, winning gold and silver medals in Beijing.

But the world-class figure skater said he’s just another student when he’s in Connecticut, studying at Yale.

Chen, who is studying statistics and data science, humbly said he doesn’t really stand out among his fellow students and that so many people at Yale are amazing.

He does, however, have to balance an Ivy League education and a world-class skating career and he credits an entire team of people with helping him do that.

Along with his own skating team, he commended Yale University athletics director Victoria “Vicky” Chun and the rest of the athletics team. Getting time on the ice was crucial to being able to compete at the level he has.

“Without that ice time, it would not have been possible for me to continue training and going to school, so it was really thanks to a lot of these people who helped me along the way,” Chen said.

He said Ingalls Rink, or "The Whale," is amazing.

The rink was designed by Eero Saarinen, (Class of 1934). dedicated in 1959 and underwent a multi-million dollar renovation that was completed in 2010, according to Yale.

“The Whale’s definitely one of the most beautiful rinks I’ve ever been to. The architecture is insane, from the outside, from the inside,” he said.

He said it is incredible to see, the ice is amazing and the team does a great job.

When he isn’t training, Chen does enjoy being a student and taking advantage of what New Haven has to offer.

That, of course, includes New Haven-style pizza.   

“The pizza in New Haven is top-notch, so really enjoy being able to spend time trying different things around,” he said.  

Of course, that brings up the great Sally’s vs. Pepe’s debate focused on the two famous New Haven pizza places.

Chen’s diplomatic response to where he stands in that debate was that both are unique in their own way. Then mentioned a place he liked to go when he was last at Yale two years ago between Olympics – Dalenga.

“Looking forward to getting back and getting some pizza,” Chen said.

But Chen likes more than the pizza in New Haven. He also likes Otaru Sushi Bar and September in Bangkok.

“The food scene is actually incredible, so excited to go back and have some food there,” he said.

Now that he is back in the United States, Chen’s immediate plans are to tour with “Stars on Ice” and to return to Yale in August.

Contact Us