Vincent Zhou is not going to earn a medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. That doesn’t mean he isn’t an overachiever.
By conventional standards, Zhou shouldn’t even be here. The 17-year-old is the youngest American Olympian at the Korean games. He also has the lowest set of expectations among the three American entrants in the men’s figure skating competition, but may be the most technically gifted.
That’s why it wasn’t hugely surprising that Zhou was the American who made history Thursday night, landing the first ever quadruple lutz in Winter Olympics history.
Zhou, a Palo Alto, Calif. native, was one of three men’s skaters who incorporated a quad lutz into their routines, and he was the first up to attempt it.
The high schooler nailed the jump and then went on to complete a near-perfect routine, earning a score of 84.53. That was good enough to land just outside the top-10 of the standings entering the free skate portion of the contest.
He won’t be expected to medal … this time. Still, the experience Zhou has gained excelling under pressure is likely to make the teen an American and even Olympic favorite four years from now when the Winter Olympics are back in Asia in Beijing.