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Team USA’s youngest athlete just made Olympic history

He was born in the year 2000. Feel old yet?
Vincent Zhou
Photo: Getty Images

During his Olympic debut, 17-year-old Vincent Zhou, the youngest member of Team USA at PyeongChang, made history when he landed a quad lutz in the men's short program event.

Zhou performed Friday morning (Thursday night for the east coast) to Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" and scored a season-best of 84.53.

When Zhou was learning the quad lutz, announcers said he landed it on his third try and emphasized that it has "never been landed cleanly at an Olympic Games." Well...it was Zhou’s opening element, and he nailed it.

Here’s what the quad lutz looked like:

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You can watch Zhou's full short program here.

The Associated Press reported that two other skaters tried the difficult jump during the short program and others will do the same in the free skate (long program).

CNN reports that even before the Olympics, Zhou became the youngest competitor to land a quad lutz in competition.

Watch Zhou talk us through the jump:

"I’m excited to perform a quad lutz at the Olympics because … it is the most difficult quad doable right now," Zhou said before making history, adding with a laugh, "and I’m good at it honestly." (Clearly!)

Before the Olympics, Zhou transitioned from the junior level — where he won the World Championships in 2017 — to the senior level. With athletes like Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu (currently in 1st place) and USA teammate Adam Rippon, Zhou isn’t expected to contend for a medal this time around. At the end of the short program, he finished 12th.

"I always want to be the best, but I also do have a sense of realism," he told AP, "and I know that winning the Olympics isn't really realistic. So it's fortunate I don't have that pressure on myself. I can't imagine what it's like for the people vying for the title. But I definitely want to put out two great performances and show people what I'm capable of."

Rooting for you, Zhou!

Vincent Zhou quad lutz

Watch the men's free skate final, where medals will be decided, tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST on NBC.

 
 
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