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Credit: The Salt Lake City Tribune (left); Disney (right)

Figure Skater Wins Olympic Gold, Tells Mom He’s Going to Disneyland

American figure skater Nathan Chen won Olympic gold last week, and he’s going to be celebrating at Disneyland!

Redeeming his performance in 2018, the Salt Lake City native mentioned to his mother the idea of making a visit to the Happiest Place on Earth once he returns home.

Now, Disneyland is only about five miles away from the home he shares with her. But while it would appear to be nothing more than a “day trip,” this visit to Disneyland would be a culmination of years of work, hard sacrifice, and the fulfillment of a promise made years ago.

Olympic Figure Skater, Nathan Chen

Credit: The Salt Lake City Tribune

According to The Salt Lake City Tribune, Chen’s mother, Hetty Wang, promised him and his siblings that if they won anything significant, they’d go to Disneyland to celebrate. But Chen won his sixth straight national figure skating championship shortly after she made that promise, and he outright refused.

“I don’t know why Nathan was so sensitive about it,” Wang said. “He knew that financially [things were] so hard because I was working so many different jobs at one time to make money to support his everything. He knew that financially it would be so hard for me.”

Disneyland

Credit: Disney

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Wang would make all kinds of sacrifices to get her son to the pinnacle of his skating career.

The Tribune states,

When they were living in Salt Lake City, she drove him to ballet, gymnastics and hockey lessons in addition to his skating sessions. She would stay and listen to what the coaches told him, even if they didn’t always welcome her presence. Later, she would take what those concepts work with him one-on-one on his technique.

Wang would eventually move with Chen to Southern California so he could train with his current coach, Rafael Arutyunyan, in Irvine, California. That transition began with an 11-hour car ride three times a week before she decided he needed to train full-time and began taking multiple jobs to help keep her and her son afloat.

All of the sacrifice and hard work finally cumulated in a gold medal in Beijing.

“Oh my gosh, when the medal ceremony started, I just, oh gosh,” she said. “It was almost 20 years of every single day. You know the work keeps flashing in my mind.

“Inside my heart was so happy,” she added.

Once the Olympics conclude, and Chen and the rest of Team USA return to the Free World, one can only hope that he finally lets himself celebrate his victory with his mother at The Happiest Place on Earth like the other great athletes that came before him.

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About T.K. Bosacki

TK is a writer and editor based in Tampa, FL with a passion for all things Disney, and adventure.