Nathan Chen records second-highest short program score ever at 2022 Winter Olympics

Team USA's Nathan Chen won the team event men's short program with the second-highest score ever. (Usa Today)

RESULTS

Skating in the team event the 2022 Winter Olympics, the United States' Nathan Chen recorded the second-highest short program score ever with 111.71 points.

"Honestly, I'm just here to have fun," a nonchalant Chen said in a post-skate interview with NBC's Andrea Joyce. "I was able to do that, so I'm just really happy." 

SEE MORE: Chen talks first place in team short program at 2022 Games

The performance was a far cry from Chen's poor short programs at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. At those Games, Chen placed fourth in the team event's short program; a week later, he placed 17th in the singles competition's short program. 

This go-around, Chen's performance was technically flawless. Set to Charles Aznavour's version of "La Boheme," the skate included two quads and a triple Axel.

"I'm having trouble finding words," said commentator Johnny Weir immediately after Chen finished. "That was absolutely brilliant, brilliant skating."  

Though he struggled at the previous Games, Chen finished fifth overall in singles and earned bronze in the team event alongside his U.S. teammates. Beginning with March 2018's World Figure Skating Championships, he kicked off a three-and-a-half-year winning streak that lasted until last October's Skate America. 

SEE MORE: 2021 Skate America: Nathan Chen's winning streak ends

Chen bounced back the next week with a victory at Skate Canada. On his way to winning a sixth consecutive U.S. Championships in January, Chen broke a national short program record.

Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu, the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist, recorded the highest-ever short program score - 111.82 points at the 2020 Four Continents tournament. Though he's been conspicuously absent at these Games, Hanyu recently posted a video message asking for fan support and promising a quadruple Axel at the 2022 Winter Games. 

Brandon Penny contributed to this story. Read a detailed recap of the night's team event here.