"I have a great work ethic because I've watched my parents work super hard", the figure skater said, according to The Washington Post. Hey, if these Olympic games are any indication, she's definitely a star in the eyes of viewers.
An Olympic historian told USA Today this is collectively the worst performance by the U.S.'s women figure skaters in this event ever. She has lost to only one skater since 2015 - her teammate Alina Zagitova. The setback didn't stop her from reaching Pyeongchang or a spot on Team USA. She traveled four hours last week to attend a Lunar new year party.
She added: 'But this is what I wanted and I've been crying every day since the team event because I was so happy.
As for Dancing With the Stars... the show has featured Olympic athletes many times before, from Nastia Liukin to Apolo Anton Ohno. "I don't remember the last time I made a mistake in my short program, especially on the jumps", she said.
She wrote her grandfather's initials, "D.K." and a heart on her helmet during competition. They ended up in 9th (Nagasu), 10th (Chen), and 11th (Tennell) places. Nagasu was 10th and Karen Chen 11th.
Silver medalist Evgenia Medvedeva was more effusive. She's not at the top of the expected medal winners list, but she could put together a score that ends in an upset for the rest of the field. "That's not ideal. I'm working on it".
She stumbled on a double axel-triple toeloop combination and her left hand touched the ice on a triple lutz.
Tennell's fall is her first this season. "When we saw her on TV, I said, 'Oh my God, the little girl came out of the back room and is now in the Olympics'".
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Tennell pledged to be part of a US resurgence. But she slipped below US champion Bradie Tennell in the standings after Friday's free skate, with 2017 national champ Karen Chen just behind. Her closest performance to Colorado Springs will be May 16 at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City.
"You feel so odd because you are older and you must be stronger than them", Medvedeva said.
"When I first came here I didn't know what to expect", said Chen, a first-time Olympian at age 18. "It just doesn't create a lot of rivalries, and you really need those rivalries to propel the sport to a different level".
"My teammates have really supported me and we've helped each other". She met with her mother, so she could sew a hairpiece into her bun. "I would never say that to her".
"We tried to call and FaceTime each other as much as possible". In practice Thursday, she attempted two triple axels, falling on the first before landing the second.
"I nearly didn't watch for a second because I was really scared she wasn't but she did and I was very excited that she did". Instead, she focused on the team event where the USA won bronze.
Zagitova and Medvedeva tied in the free skate, a rare occurrence, but Zagitova had won the short program Wednesday, so she got gold. More long range plans include possibly helping skating to grow in Italy so that young skaters will not have to leave home at 13 the way she did to train.
"Maybe it won't be enough for another person or maybe someone else could have done a better job", she said, "but I didn't back down". She's looked good in training runs.