Olympian Karen Chen Adorably Recalls When Spirals Were a ‘Real Struggle’

Karen Chen
Karen Chen om Pennington/Getty Images

She’s come a long way! Olympic figure skater Karen Chen shared a flashback video of herself falling on the ice when she was just a little girl — and it’s adorable!

The 18-year-old posted the clip on Instagram on Friday, January 26, of her younger self practicing one of her moves. In the video, she’s wearing a black dress and pigtails, and hilariously looked directly at the camera with her mouth open in surprise when she hit the ice. “FBF to when spirals were a real struggle.. 😂💥👧🏻 #Ouch #NailedIt#TheStruggleIsReal #BigMood,” she captioned the cute clip.

Her followers reacted to the video in the comments section. “That look back has me cracking up,” one user wrote. Another added: “Aww! This is so cute! But all of the hard work paid off because your spirals are absolutely BEAUTIFUL now!! 😍”

One user thanked her for inspiring other young athletes: “Thanks for posting this! Great video to show little ones that are starting that even Olympic skaters had to go through falling and learning at some point! 😍”

The Finding the Edge author will be representing the United States in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as part of the 2018 Winter Olympics team starting next month. Also competing in figure skating for Team USA are Bradie Tennell and Mirai Nagasu.

Chen recently gave her family a shoutout on Instagram, sharing more childhood skating photos of herself and her little brother, Jeffrey Chen, who is also an ice dancer. “My family (brother included!) has always been my biggest support system without a doubt,” she wrote on Wednesday, January 24.

After qualifying for the Olympics earlier this month, the athlete created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to be able to have her family be at the Olympic games supporting her. “I seriously wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my family. I could be the hardest worker and the most talented skater in the entire world and still not be able to achieve my goals if it wasn’t for them,” she wrote on January 12. “I have been lucky enough to achieve a lifetime goal of making the Olympic Team, but in a way, this is only the start.”

Chen added: “I’m hoping that the money raised here can help me with my training and get my family to Pyeongchang with me to support me as much as they can. I’m really hoping that my brother will be able to come with me and share this experience with me as well as many of my close family members from Taiwan.”

The page had an original goal of $10,000, and so far, the family has raised $9,730. The 2018 Winter Olympics will kick off on Friday, February 8, live on NBC.

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