Olympic champion Nathan Chen has withdrawn from the 2022 World Figure Skating Championships, U.S. Figure Skating announced Wednesday morning.
Six weeks after winning the men’s singles gold medal at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Chen was planning to vie for a fourth consecutive world title — a feat achieved by just six men in the event’s 126-year history.
“I am disappointed to have to withdraw from Worlds,” Chen said in the USFS release. “I have been training for this competition since returning from Beijing. I have a nagging injury that I’ve been dealing with, and I don’t want to risk further injury by practicing and competing next week.”
Worlds would have been Chen’s final competition before the 22-year-old returns to Yale University later this year and plans to take a break from competition.
Camden Pulkinen, 21, will take Chen’s place at the March 21-27 event in Montpellier, France, marking his worlds debut. Pulkinen was the second alternate behind two-time Olympian Jason Brown.
A 2016 Youth Olympian, Pulkinen placed 12th at this season’s Four Continents Championships. He was fifth at January’s U.S. Championships.
Seventeen-year-old worlds debutant Ilia Malinin and two-time Olympian Vincent Zhou, who missed the men’s singles event in Beijing due to Covid-19, are also representing the U.S. in France.