cover image One Jump at a Time: My Story

One Jump at a Time: My Story

Nathan Chen with Alice Park. Harper, $25.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-063-28052-6

The world of figure skating dazzles in this restrained debut from Olympic gold medalist Chen. Raised in Salt Lake City in the late 1990s as the youngest son of Chinese immigrants, Chen developed a love of skating early, and, to help nurture his talent, his mother moved to California with 12-year-old Chen so that he could train with a prestigious coach. A few years after he started skating, Chen began winning trophies at local events, and at 10 years old he won his first novice championship in 2010. But the path to becoming a world-class athlete had its difficulties. He suffered the occasional injury—he had a hip avulsion fracture after the 2017 World Championships and needed surgery—but Chen’s determination matched his advancing skills: “Things were getting harder, but everything I had already put into skating would be wasted if I quit.” In 2022, he won gold at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Chen’s fierce appreciation of his mother shines (“Without her, I wouldn’t have been disciplined enough to push myself when every part of me wanted to stop”), but he doesn’t examine his life off the ice, which keeps Chen at a distance from readers. Still, skating fans will relish Chen’s behind-the-scenes knowledge. Agent: Sheryl Shade, Shade Global. (Nov.)