Nan Song is China's breakout Men's skating star who is paving the way for a slew of young phenoms to finally come out of that nation after the early success of Lu Chen and then the hard fought glory of Olympic medaling Pairs skaters.
Following his GP success this year, Song has suffered health problems and the scary consequence of competing at high altitude . With World Championships fast approaching, I checked up on his recent state of health and mind.
"Though S/Z and P/T did high altitude training in summer of 2005, young skaters such as Nan Song have not received such training in recent years."
Colorado proved to be a great challenge. Song had severe reactions and substandard performances, and incurred the worrisome incident of having oxygen administered after his LP.
After the National Winter Games, Song was quite ill with high fever and vomiting, even receiving IV for 5 days. He left for Colorado soon after recovery and had instant severe reactions to the high altitude and was unable to sleep due to diarrhea. He wrote in Weibo (Chinese "Twitter") on Feb 8, "All competing teammates please be prepared. This is the way to Hell." But later he joked "Jumping at high altitude is like flying!"
The competition itself was no joke. He made several mistakes in the SP, ending up at 8th. The LP was even more excruciating. He had a pained expression through the performance, his lips turning purple, his legs weak, and his face pale. Even more heart wrenching was that he could hardly stand up after the performance, unable to acknowledge and thank the crowd for some long seconds. Back to his coach, Song was panting hard, recovering only after attendants supplied him with oxygen.
Rest of report is about high altitude training being more important for short track skaters and not a priority for Chinese figure skaters because Sochi is lowland. Other Chinese skaters too suffered adverse reactions to various degrees. Song recovered quickly after hospital treatment and thanked every one on Weibo for their concern.
However, the latest
Nan Song has been having nagging problems since 4CC. His right arm just doesn't feel right.
Actually, Song has not been so well since his preparation for the Winter Games. He managed that competition but soon had high fever, needing IV for days, and only returned to training after the Chinese New Year. 4CC followed within half a month without any proper recovery period for him.
The first day in the US was quite OK for Song though his concerned coach only had him do one practice. He started feeling bad the second day, leading to the worrisome scenario of emergency oxygen administration after his LP.
"I can't remember my LP after the first movement. I could hardly stand. SP was bad too. Basically I was exhausted." Toward the end of the LP he could not hear anything, just trying to think of his movements and attempting them. "At the end I didn't know my marks, unable to even answer my coach when he asked me if I wanted oxygen."
Though he recovered quickly after hospital treatment, Song needed three days of rest upon returning home before getting back on the ice.
Since his return from the high altitude, Song has not felt quite the same, lacking energy though he feels he is as strong as before.
Song is looking towards the World Championships after a short adjustment but it has not been a smooth process. his right arm is not feeling well and, according to him, is an injury from repetitious use. "I could feel it before the Winter Games but didn't pay it attention. It is probably exacerbated by my compromised health." He is following his coach's current training program designed to build his mental strength.
When asked what else he needs to solve to compete at Worlds, Song said after some thoughts, "It's actually quite simple. My strength (stamina) is not an issue, so I need mental stimulation as well as bringing my technical standard up to par."
Nan Song will represent China at Worlds, with the pressure of gaining two Men's entries for next year. "I will face it with a healthy attitude. I hope to skate my best but will not let it be a pressure. I had a good GP season and I have the confidence."
My best wishes to Nan. I hope he will be well and healthy to show us his best at Worlds 2012.
Last edited by SkateFiguring; 03-06-2012 at 11:19 PM.
Reason: "suck" is not a nice typo for "such".
Thanks for the update and translation. Nan surely has had rough time with his health issues. Glad he is recovered
Wicked Yankee Girl
I hope Nan Song is in tip-top shape for Worlds. May he have a speedy and complete recovery of his energy and strength.
Thanks for the update and translation, too.
Sorry to hear he has not been well yet.
Nan has been having such a breakthrough Grand Prix season.
My sincere wishes he will fully recover soon, so that he can have a decent time to prepare for the Worlds.
I think having an extra competition after the GPF on the other side of the Globe was hard on him and the health problems continued and worsened when he had to immediately travel again, to compete at high altitude no less. He is not a seasoned traveler and probably not used to foreign foods either.
I have opined before that the locations of the major international competitions have been poorly selected so that each year skaters from different continents are disadvantaged. Last season was difficult for NA skaters and this season the Asians have to make multiple trips to NA and then Europe for Worlds.
Thanks for the detailed updates! Looking forward to seeing him at the worlds! He has such a great potential to become a force in men's skating. He could be the best male skater ever in China. Wish him all the best!
Thanks for the information and the translation, SF.
That sounds like such an intense reaction to the altitude. It must have been miserable to endure. And he was already having problems before? I hope he is able to take care of himself so he can recover completely. He sounds like a really promising skater. I haven't really had a chance to see him, but I've heard praise of him from many sources.
Most of the Asian skaters who had the worst reactions to the high altitude, including Kanako, had had some recent health issues before 4CC.
It's hard to foretell who will suffer most from high altitude. Often the big strong young persons are hit the hardest, probably because they need more oxygen to power all their muscles and usual load of exertion. At 4CC, the American male Dancers had a hard time too. Alex S immediately reacted upon arrival. However, I don't understand why the US Dancers arrived so late instead of getting there early to acclimatize themselves like most US skaters did.
Altitude is tough. Even Patrick Chan says he was having problems and it was his home arena. I only have 1/3 of a lung capacity so I can relate - nothing like feeling so out of air.
And you are a skater boy?
Originally Posted by Skater Boy
Thanks SF for the news. Hope Nan Song get well fast and that his fever has not damaged his health badly. He must have pushed himself too much at 4CC. Poor boy. Sounds like he does need to rest and not push his body to the limit for the time being.
Skater boy .... as SF put it .... Are you kidding?
Actually it is his right hip that's uncomfortable.
I wish nan Song returns to his best form before World and does well there. I'm a fan now and I believe he has all the quality to be a super star!