Zhang Hao has a new partner
Yao Bin has announced Zhang Dan's retirement to pursue her education and that Zhang Hao is now paired with 16 year old Peng Cheng.
According to Yao, as Dan's increased height and weight put greater and greater demand on Hao, they started thinking before the Winter Games of dissolving the partnership for separate futures. After numerous meetings, the officials respected their wish and granted their request.
They realize the great challenge and the new team has been practicing 5 to 6 hours a day. It's one day at a time, according to Yao, just doing their best. He believes they will be greatly improved by the new season and then it's up to the international judges.
Yao is proud of the achievement of having 3 Chinese Pairs in the top 5 at the Vancouver Olympics. He has now put off his wish to retire in two years (from the last Olympics?) in order to keep the Pairs program going for the future of China's figure skating. He became emotional, his voice cracking, talking about Dan and remembering the beginning and that Z/Z was the fastest improving team he had. He regards her as his own child after all these years, never expecting such development. He hopes she will become a coach to keep contributing to figure skating but it is all up to her and he wishes her the best in her choice for the future.
Last edited by SkateFiguring; 05-06-2012 at 09:27 AM.
This is sad. I liked Zhangs and wish Dan only the best with whatever she choose to pursue. Good luck to Cheng and Zhang too.
Dan is said to have requested the retirement and to go for her higher education. Reportedly she has sounded upbeat in her "twitter" but Peng's former partner is really sad.
Good to know she's in good spirit. I saw Dan live at Yuna's shows couple of times and she's such a lovely girl. I hope she stay involved with skating. Sorry about Cheng's former partner. It must be devastating for him.
Originally Posted by SkateFiguring
So the rumors are not rumors anymore. Thanks for the translation SF. Sad to see this team split up.
Good luck to Dan in her future endeavors. Wishing Zhang and Peng success in their new partnership.
Zhang Dan's interview
She has thought of retirement for a few months and discussed it with her coach several times. It was not a rash decision and the coach understood well.
The main reason is her height. It makes the lifts and throws more difficult and hinders her speed of rotation. As well, it is much harder for the partner to be steady under her and there is an adverse effect on their collaboration.
Though she retires earlier than other Chinese Pairs girls, she is no more a young competitor. She considers the strengths of international competitors and thinks it's hard enough for her and Hao to maintain their level, so improvement is even more difficult. With a new partner, Hao will have some hope to compete against the international contenders.
After almost 15 years of partnership with Hao and their hard work and accomplishments, including the Olympic Silver medal, she has few regrets. The Turin experience is the most memorable, meaningful, and life changing for her.
Dan intends to rest for a while as she is rather tired after all these years. Then she will continue her Master studies in Bejing Sports University. As she could not study with full focus during her competitive career, she now wishes to learn and substantiate herself with culture and knowledge, which should help her in whatever she will endeavor in the future.
She expects to get used to the new life. It's one day at a time for now. She is not someone to plan far ahead and she dislikes restrictions, so coaching is probably not for her. But she will not distance herself too far from the (national) team.
There are no words to express her appreciation and gratitude for her coach Yao Bin. She is concerned for his health as he now has to begin anew training Hao and his new partner. She hopes he will take good care of himself and wishes him good health. To Zhang Hao, she has best wishes and blessing, hoping he will have even greater success with the new partner. Go, Big Hao!
Last edited by SkateFiguring; 05-06-2012 at 10:24 AM.
^Thanks. Dan has a sense of humor "Go, Big Hao!" LOL
She sounds happy with her decision.
I am very happy for Zhang Dan and hope she will do extremely well in this new stage of her life. This new pairing with a promising outlook may be exactly what the Chinese pairs program needs.