Pang Qing and Tong Jian: A first look at their 2008 programs

Posted in Figure Skating at 5:41 pm by Nicole

2006 figure skating pairs world champions Pang Qing and Tong Jian have unveiled their new competitive free skate for the 2007-08 season to the music of Romeo and Juliet. Photos and an accompanying story can be found here.


Chinese figure skaters work on interpretive skills

Posted in Figure Skating at 8:15 am by Nicole

Interesting news article from the China Daily, the country’s official English-language newspaper, on a new interpretive skating event being added to the national championships. Chinese skaters have made a name for themselves with athleticism and spectacular stunts (including quadruple throw attempts at the Olympics), but interpretation is still a challenge for many of them (and arguably for skaters the world over). The Chinese national figure skating championships began yesterday in Heilongjiang province, and will run through Saturday.


Shen and Zhao update

Posted in Figure Skating at 4:54 am by Nicole

Vancouver 2010? Maybe. A wedding? Yes, definitely.

This is a little bit of old news – the announcement came after they won the world championship in pairs figure skating in Japan last month – but the China Daily just published a nice story on Shen and Zhao’s engagement.

Pair finds love after life on ice


Shen and Zhao golden at world figure skating champs

Posted in Figure Skating at 9:13 am by Nicole

It’s official: Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo have made a complete comeback from the devastating Achilles tendon injury that threatened Zhao’s career. Shen and Zhao fought all of last season to make it to the Olympics, where they won bronze and most certainly would have been in the hunt for gold had it not been for Zhao’s weakened leg. The pair won gold at the world championships in Tokyo today. How do you say “Vancouver 2010″ in Chinese? 温哥华 (“wengehua”) 2010å¹´ (“nian”), of course!


World figure skating championships

Posted in Figure Skating at 1:34 pm by Nicole

The world figure skating championships are being held this week in Tokyo, and the China story – as it has been for the last several years – is all in the pairs competition. The AP (via USA Today) writes about China’s Olympic bronze medalists Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, who are leading after the short program, held on Tuesday.


Shen and Zhao at Four Continents

Posted in Figure Skating at 2:13 am by Nicole

The figure skaters who put Chinese pairs skating on the map, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, won the Four Continents Championship this past week in Colorado Springs. Great to see them back at full strength after a very challenging 2005-06 Olympic year in which Zhao was rehabilitating a ruptured Achilles tendon almost the entire way to the Olympic free skate. The pair took Olympic bronze in a competition they would certainly have been favored to win had they not lost so much ice time. They’re among China’s best international sports ambassadors – in Turin, they were a joy to watch at every practice session as they fought through it, never forgetting the importance and honor of the Olympic moment.

Figure Skating: Chinese pair wins Four Continents title (Salt Lake Tribune)

Shen and Zhao asked to stay (People’s Daily Online)

China’s top pair to rest (China Daily)


A note on updates…

Posted in 2008 Olympics, Doping, Figure Skating at 12:38 am by Nicole

One of my dear friends from graduate school has been blessed in the time since graduation with The World’s Cutest Daughter. She is amazing. Movie-star looks (for a one-and-eight-months-year-old, at least), fine blond hair, pouty lips, and the most adorable way of using a three-word phrase to denote the future, present, and past tenses of anything she happens to be doing at the moment. Dad (my friend) has a blog on which he posts photos and videos of The Cute One. And I always bug him about updating it more often, because there are just times when you need your daily dose of cute toddlers to be able to deal with the world at large.

Now, I’m not saying that the China Sports Blog is anything like the World’s Cutest Daughter blog (not its real name, of course), in terms of fan support or clamoring for updates. But I just wanted to acknowledge that if you’re frustrated that it’s been over a month since my last post, I concur – that’s not a good thing. Luckily, now that I really (really really) have a home and a place to rest my weary head at night, it’s way easier to update the blog on a regular basis.

So, a shoutout to my friend in Marin: update that baby blog pronto! I need more photos and stories of The Cute One.

On to the news…

Kwan in China: Michelle Kwan is traveling with Karen Hughes, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, through China this week. The official government announcement of her trip can be found here. The Associated Press filed this report about one of Kwan’s visits to a Beijing school this week.

China’s 2008 preparations: Liu Peng, president of the Chinese Olympic Committee, is warning that Chinese athletes are not yet ready to compete for the top spot in the medal count in 2008, according to this report by Eurosport. Scroll to the bottom of the report for lots of other links to interesting Olympic-themed stories, including the rehearsal of the torch relay…to the top of Mount Everest.

Doping: It’s been widely reported, but here’s a link to one of many stories about the increase in the number of doping tests at the 2008 Olympics. From 3500 in Athens to 4500 in Beijing – here’s hoping that that translates to a cleaner competition.


Figure Skating News

Posted in Figure Skating at 2:44 pm by Nicole

The People’s Daily Online reports that the new figure skating season has officially begun – at least, it has here in China. The China Figure Skating Masters competition will be held over two days this coming weekend in Beijing, and will give China’s stars and its new talent a chance to shine before serious training for the new season begins. Among those scheduled to compete: Olympic pairs silver medallists Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao, Olympic bronze medallists (and 2006 world champions) Pang Qing and Tong Jian, and men’s international competitor Li Chengjiang. The Beijing Century Star Skating Centre (首体世纪星溜冰场) will host the event. Want to know more about the skating center, or skating in China in general? Check out ”Hot Ice and Cheap Skates”, an article in Beijing This Month from January 2005 on where to go skating when in Beijing.