Chen says he 'had nothing to lose' attempting record-setting 6-quad routine

Nathan Chen became the first to land a six-quad performance.

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- After a disappointing short program, U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen said he "had nothing to lose" by attempting six quads in a single routine -- and in landing them, he set an Olympic record.

The 18-year-old, competing in his first Olympics, told ABC News' Amy Robach said he was trying to redeem himself.

"I put a lot of work in for this competition, and that's not a real representation of the work that I put in," he said. "I wanted to show that I was capable of doing a good program."

"All my cares went out the window after that short program," he added, "and I sort of went for everything, and, again, so glad I went for it."

Attempting six quads was "super risky" and something he said he never even successfully landed in practice.

Chen placed 17th overall and fifth in the free skate, but he was able to win a bronze medal in the team figure skating event.

"Just being here at the Olympics is pretty incredible in itself," he told Robach. "Seeing the unity of the athletes and to see how everyone has worked so hard to get here, and we are all so excited to be here, it's awesome to be able to experience it."

Chen is one of five siblings and began skating when he was 3 years old after watching his older brothers play hockey.

"I go to the beach," he said. "It's very relaxing. A lot of the things I do outside the rink are just to relax and recover. We spend so much time at the rink, so it's nice to decompress a little."