PYEONGCHANG South Korea (AP) — Figure skater Nathan Chen is at a loss for words trying to explain where his Olympic short program went awry, one that left the American medal contender fortunate just to qualify for the free skate.

In fact, Chen was at a loss for what to do next.

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He says, “Things just didn’t click together.”

After crowd-pleasing performances from teammates Adam Rippon and Vincent Zhou, the 18-year-old Chen failed to cleanly land a single jump in his high-flying short program.

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The best hope for an American figure skating gold medal fell Friday on his opening quad flip, stepped out on a quad toe and triple axel and never could work a missed combination back into his shaky program.

The result was a score of 82.27 points, which put him in 17th place.

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