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 11:27 AM.