“Despite what people thought or wrote, I was never unhappy while skating,” she said candidly. “I am and always have been truly happy while skating. It was my disappointment with how I was performing that gave the impression I was unhappy.”
“The change in my performances this year was triggered by a number of things,” she explained. “I changed my overall outlook on skating and took a different approach to training, both mentally and physically.”
Prior to the 2012 U.S. Championships, her training plan went into high gear. “We focused more on jump consistency, and training programs in different situations,” Zhang explained. “I also started doing double run-throughs a couple of months before nationals.”
With her season complete, Zhang is already chomping at the bit to begin preparations for next year. “I’m not taking a break,” she said. “I was excited to get back to the rink the day after Four Continents. There are so many things to work on, and I’m happy to start.”
While many of her former classmates are making college plans Zhang has deferred continuing her education for a year to see how far she can take her skating career. “I love the idea of going to college, but this would not be the best time. When I do go I want to give it my full attention and get the full experience,” she explained.