Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by jjane45, Oct 4, 2012.
reposting what I posted two days ago...
Thanks jlai! I ended up translating more than I initially wanted from the article...
Zhang Hao: "I and Zhang Dan discussed our situation together. In addition to her many injuries, her height was also a disadvantage, so she decided to go to school. I have a torn meniscus, a surgery is planned for next year, now it's just conservative treatment to maintain. Currently I cannot run nor do strength training for the arms, see how twisted my arms are? I lost about 10+ jin of muscle weight, (1 jin = 1/2 kilogram), which greatly affected my strength."
Decision to change
Coach Yao Bin and Zhang Hao both decided partner change was the only way to go. Yao Bin said: "It's like (Chinese idiom) we'll die regardless we take the poison or not. Why not just take it? Why keep waiting and let the team totally deteriorate, and let great athletes lose out from their chances? So the national pairs team went through a major makeover and three ladies were replaced. We cannot stick to the old vision."
Zhang Hao said it's his choice to start a new partnership. "I have figure skated for 24-25 years, and do not want to give up easily. Others warned that with a new partner, my results would plummet. I struggled to make up my mind, then I thought - since I love the sport so much, I can discard all the glory and vanity to start from scratch. I am injured, so what? It's been hurting for two years and I am numb to pains now. Every night I lay down and feel I cannot get up, but it's fine as soon I get on the ice."
Zhang Hao's new partner Peng Cheng has always stayed at the local team, it was her first time to visit Beijing when she joined the national team. Zhang Hao constantly called her "Kiddo", unlike addressing his former partner by nickname - "Dandan".
Yao Bin said: "It's very challenging. In fact, countries like the US or Russia, their athletes are willing combine the best of the best to form powerful partnerships among several countries, or even within a single federation there are over hundred pairs. China has very few pairs, we don't have much choice in combining the best of the best, and can only try to bring two skater's levels closer, paving road to future development. Change brings opportunities.
The change Yao Bin anticipates and the new start Zhang Hao looks forward to, all began with painful training.
In a training session with Peng Cheng, Zhang Hao habitually reached out. Before then, a pair of hands would always catch his, and two of them would start training together. But this time, he reached out in vain. Surprised, he waved his hands in front and behind, still nothing. "Then I heard the coaches laugh by the boards, and suddenly realized I changed partner. 'Kiddo' looked at me from far away, rather than by my side, half meter or a meter away at most." Zhang Hao said with a smile.
(translator's note: I feel like crying)
At this time, he greatly missed his partner of 15 years, Zhang Dan. "Pairs must have a tacit understanding, we are not lovers but we became like siblings. We grew up together, even real siblings are not as close as we are. I spend most of the time with Dandan, it only takes a look to know what each of us wants to do."
In Turin, Z/Z's recovery from the serious fall touched countless people. "It showed our connection with each other. The fall was a huge blow, but we looked at each other and immediately knew we cannot lose the spirit. We gave each other strength to stand up and continue." Zhang Hao remembered affectionately, "After the program was over, we started to complain about each other like crazy, haha. We were of course angry at the moment, but we also wanted to gel together nicely, like a couple - I have never been married, so no idea if it's like husband and wife. The argument certainly did not lead to mutual hatred, otherwise we would not be able to maintain the partnership for so many years."
15 years of partnership became a thing of the past. Now, Zhang Hao is partnered with 16 years old Peng Cheng, 12 year his junior. "Very smart little girl, but still very young, and a lot of her moves are not very solid; she has skated for a long time, but pairs skating requires cooperation and sometimes she was still going on her own." Zhang Hao said, "We have partnered for six months, but only practiced together for four months. As my partner, she now needs to become a mature athlete, not just a junior skater. She must mature a little bit faster by taking a fast track."
In order to develop the connection between the two, Zhang Hao became responsible for Peng Cheng's daily life since her arrival to Beijing. "It's her first time to Beijing and needed lots of assistance. I helped her with all daily supplies including clothes, footwear, and toiletries." he said with a smile, "I have three jobs: partner, nanny, and coach."
He even joked: "At our current level of tacit understanding, I still need to do more. I can accomplish a lot with Dandan with just a look, but not with 'Kiddo'. No response when I look at her - of course, with high myopia she could not see it anyways!"
Sochi and future
"With the Winter Olympics approaching, I am not particularly pressured now that the 'Three Carriages' no longer exist." Zhang Hao said, "I view myself a someone new, pairs team cannot reach much in a few months or a year, it takes long time to gel and to improve through competitions. In order to place in top six or top three in the Olympic Games, it takes years of ongoing efforts and constant podium placements."
Therefore, Zhang Hao did not set high goals for himself and his new partner, "It's not realistic to gain two quads today and use them tomorrow in competitions. From now to April next year, there are only 10+ competitions total, we need to impress the judges positively every competition. Technical success will also increase our own confidence."
Having said that, a very competitive Zhang Hao still showed his anxiety. "My injuries are quite serious now, but immediate surgery means my young partner will waste much training time in her developmental stage. This is why I chose conservative treatments to focus on maintaining. You know, for pairs skating, missing one day is okay, missing two days we start to lose the touch, one week of no practice? All moves are out of shape. So now I still train four to five days weekly, and rest for two or three days."
Similarly, Yao Bin is low-key about Chinese Pairs skating. "This is a test to everyone, although they change every day, and the outside world is looking forward to good results, but my most optimistic estimate for the Olympic Games is... um, we strive to get a medal."
^Thank you so much for the translation. Wonderful and informative article!
Coach Yao Bin says P/T's condition is "not good enough", but he is confident in the pair and their goals are Sochi.
Regarding P/Z, Yao Bin says "Peng Cheng still lacks experience, too much pressure on her first GP, it was disappointing both mentally and physically". Zhao Hongbo thinks time is what P/Z needs the most.
Time is also what S/H needs at the moment. According to Yao Bin, Sui Wenjing was diagnosed with 骨骺炎 (translated as Osgood-Schlatter disease in post #25) a few months ago, an injury young athletes are prone to get in the development stage. She hasn't trained much since then. Vancouver ice dance OGM Tessa Virtue also suffered the same injury from excessive training, but was able to return in less than one season to achieve good results.
(Translator's note: what exactly did Tessa get?)
It's not the same illness at all.
Osgood-Schlatter is a disease that affects the bone, where the tendon is attached. When that part is weaker (because the teenager is growing too quickly and/or when he/she is playing a sport, putting too much stress on it) there is an inflamation of that area. You have pain even by doing normal movements, and you can only rest for a while, avoiding overusing that area, and then start rehabilitation for helping the tendon and muscle getting stronger and longer.
Tessa had exertional compartment syndrome. Every muscle (or a group of muscles) is embraced by a compartment. it usually moves, expands and shrinks along with the muscle (or muscles) it contains. When this does not happen, because the compartment is not flexible enough, when the muscle contracts (and therefore it gets shorter and wider) the compartment remains rigid, squeezing the muscle. The most rigid is the compartment, the less oxygen arrives to the muscle (because the blood vessels are obviously compressed as well). You can also have numbness, if the nerve is compressed (and this was Tessa's case), no being able to move properly the part affected. You can cure it by decreasing the exertion, or by relieving the pressure inside the compartment by cutting it with a surgery.
I hope it's clear, English is not my mother tongue so I hope I was able to explain it in a simple and effective way
Thanks pingu, it was extremely helpful! I was wondering if Yao Bin really said it's the same disease, or was just comparing two injuries together. And please, let no one force her to train / compete until she's completely healed!!!
Pre-TEB article on Song Nan
Doctors generally require 14-day rest period for concussion, but Song Nan was back on the ice the next day (!!!) after he returned to Beijing. He said: "Not sure it was tiredness or dizziness, I felt sleepy all the time... Training is fine, quite consistent."
Regarding of the accident in CoC: "I later watched the video, still don't know how it happened. The good thing is, after any setback happened, I will remind myself to be more careful."
Regarding training the new programs choreographed by Jeff Buttle: "Last season my training was very consistent and I performed well. I want to improve my PCS this season." Therefore, he had high expectations for the new programs, working hard on interpreting music and increasing technical difficulty. But he constantly felt he could not manage the programs, and for a long time he could not concentrate during training because of high pressure. "I was annoyed to see the rink, afraid to get on the ice, and nervous about competitions." Song Nan thought his mental readiness was worse than the previous season, despite of Coach Li Wei's counseling. "This is the pre-Olympic season, I hope the judges acknowledge me, and I hope to perform the programs well."
Song Nan could not train the programs wholeheartedly while worrying too much about competitions. He gradually became comfortable with his programs just 2 weeks before CoC. "The short program was OK, I pretty much skated the way I wanted to skate. Satisfactory even with the mistakes." Because of the accident, he could not show his long program at CoC and will perform it at TEB this weekend.
"Just recovering from the accident, my goal at TEB is to skate the way I want to skate, and going element by element. Sochi is the most important competition, and timing-wise this season I still have the chance to earn judges' recognition at the World Championships. Had the accident happen next year instead, it will really damage my chances.
I wish the best of luck to Song Nan. He needs to place top ten at Worlds this season!
Poor Nan Song. Good luck to him and hopefully no more concussions.
Rumor has it on Chinese message boards that SUI Wenjing is back on ice after removing the cast. A different poster reported that HAN Cong said SUI has almost recovered... If it's true, I hope they take it easy and are not pressured to compete prematurely this season.
Cross posted from K&C
ZHANG Kexin is back!
But no Zhang He
Nope, unofficial sources say ZHANG Kexin is out - no injuries mentioned.
This Worlds preview article hints LI Zijun will be the only Chinese lady at Worlds.
YAN Han is an alternate.
I have to say there seems to be a lot of speculation in this article though, does not look very official to me.
This thread seems to belong in GSD with other international news/ update threads, no?
I asked that question at the beginning of this thread and here was the reply:
Thanks for the latest updates, jjane45! BTW, I posted your earlier Sui/Han hearsay info in the "Injury status reports & updates, 2012/13 season" thread in GSD (I also had included Kexin Zhang's name due to her GP withdrawals): http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/sho...ury-status-reports-amp-updates-2012-13-season
Based on this weibo post, YAN Han has a dislocated arm (again).
I totally could not comprehend this message without looking at the comments and reply...
Very unfortunate fr Yan Han. Perhaps it's not meant for China to have 2 spots for men...
In other news, do we know about Kexin Zhang's condition? She's not injured anymore but do we have news of her next event? Both she and Zijun Li are firecrackers that can spice up the standings at Worlds.
Also, no one's mentioned this but Bingwa Geng retired according to ISU.
Geng is listed as Retired after she withdrew from 2012 Cup of China after the SP -- is that what you mean? http://www.isuresults.com/events/gp2012/gpsladies.htm
ETA that I've started a separate Chinese Nationals thread in the "National Championships - Other" subforum in Kiss and Cry: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?86124-2013-Chinese-Nationals-Dec-20-21-2012-Harbin
In the past several months there were lots of speculations on whether ZHANG Kexin will continue to compete, politics and all, but nothing definite. No words about GENG Bingwa retiring.
So apparently for Worlds 2013, Chinese ladies have two spots but only LI Zijun is eligible in age and TES (assuming ZHANG Kexin is out). Only if the other spot can be transferred to YAN Han
It will be a shame to see her retire that early, but as I talked to some of the former national team members, who are now off NT, but coaching at the newly established mall skating rinks around the nation, training in the national team is prestigious, but very tough, with stories that will scare a lot of westerners. .....
What is really going on there
I had nearly forgotten that China has two spots for this up coming Worlds. It's very unfortunate that the first time in nearly two decades that they can send two ladies that they only have one healthy or able enough to go.
China needs overhaul of its archaic system/organisation/administration for Skating sports, across the nation.
It should take a page from Chinese swimming, which improves itself, tremedously to be at par with the rest of the advanced nation, witness the London Olympic results, after disbanding its static nationa team concept, sent all the talented coaches to swim centres in wealthy/prosperous areas of the nation, to train and select the rising masses of young talents from affluent families/parents.
1. The static national team tubular model of development stifles realbeneficial competition, additions to benchstrength for international competetion.
2. The western pyramidal model should be in place under nationa reform program, to broaden skating sports throughout the rich areas of the country.
What happend to ZhangKeXin, as guessed by some, problem wth her coaches, administration, is probably right.
The constant and frequent injuries suffered by Chinese skater/atheletes, is a by-product of the archaic training system, at their national team setup, in Beijing.
All national team members has/had injuries galore on their bodies, as explained by retired members. They all arose from intensive training methods, unscientific in many cases, from coaches, intent on producing results from their sparse charges, in the cloisted environment of the national team. Although they looked pampered, well taken care of, with rounded education/training, in their curriculum; like foreign language, modern dance, ballet lessons, outside tutuors........the coaches do use physical punishment to produce results from the youngsters, a traditional Chinese training tradition, like the martial arts kung fu masters inflicted on the students.
I don't know what you said is true or not, but if skatng training is going to be like swimming training, I suspect it needs to be popular like swimming first--and I have a feeling it isn't.
You do realize swimming is a no impact sport? Unless you hurt your shoulder by 'over doing it' most people use swimming as a way to get back into exercise. The top Russian skaters have all had injuries, it comes with the power and pounding skating takes on your body, no matter what country you are from, including the west.
Swimming in the breatstroke e.g. produces undue stress on the tendons and ligaments of the knee, with the special kicking method of the leg movement. Breastroke swimmers can wind up with walking problems, swollen knee joints........
Talking about training in atheletic sports, there are vast differences between 'scientific' based training methods, (based on scientific motion studies, biological mechanics, and psychological studies etc.) and straight forward intuitive dedicated repeating more and more to get results method, so favoured by the Chinese Coaches (I am Chinese myself, and had experience with Chinese swim coaches with my own children's training) One coach told my son to do a 1km breastroke exercise, which is very dangerous and damaging to the kids' knees.......... Therefore the Canadian, or Australian coaches are more successful at producing top swimmers, even for the Chinese wonderkids, who used Australian methodology in their training regimes.
Pain killers is the typical solution to overtraining by skaters coached in the more for better method (e.g. top Chinese skaters or skaters from other countries I don't know of). I talked to Patrick Chan and his mother, they never said they had to use physical punishment, in his early training period, or overtraining (Johnson is constantly warning Patrick of burning out e.g.) in his present period as method used for the still world champion skater. So in a way, Kathy Johnson is more attentive to the excesses of repetitive training regimes.
Just saw that Kexin didn't even compete in Nationals. Is she really gone?
She's probably done.
Cross-posted from K&C:
Only LI Zijun and ZHAO Ziquan will attend a Senior B event (Volvo Open Cup) in January.
It's speculated that YAN Han will not be sent to 4CC, not even a chance. Don't ask for the logic behind it.
Did they give a reason why Kexin did not participate? Politics? Does she feel not favoured compare with Zijun perhaps?
Zijun is China's #1 from the recent nationals, but from my understanding, China has always expected her to be #1. This clip was back in 2010 looking on wards to 2011 (Year of Rabbit). Where she she was with her coach Li MingZhu at the Chinese new year program by CCTV. They each were asked to choose a word to summaries their hope for the future.
Zijun picked the word "Fulfillment", Mingzhu picked "Work", the two word together makes the term "Success". They have certainly had achieved great success for China 2 years on.
I was really impressed by Zijun at Cup of China and NHK this year. Especially how she achieved her goal (inspired by her fav skater Yuna Kim perhaps) in putting out serious senior content at her senior debut. She achieved 2nd highest TES in both SP and LP including a 3T3T in the short, and a 3F3T in the Long and went for a lutz. Her 3F3T also were the highest score jump in the competition. Most importantly, she brought China's best success in the ladies for over a decade. The future seems bright with this one, and I can also see great potentials in her artistry with more power, strength and stamina and hopefully she continue to get motivated enough to sustain her condition.
This is Zijun's National GrandPrix performance performance.
She is so pretty! Loved the part with young Zijun sitting down and writing down the words, with Coach Li looking from behind. Is Chengjiang Li also coaching her as a team?
How they write foreign names in Chinese is always interesting, e.g., in that video Czisny, Kostner, Tuktamysheva, Sotnikova. I wonder if they simply pick the letter phonetically closest to the original syllable, or consider the meaning as well in choosing among the letters with similar sounds.
I like her programs, especially the LP. Its age appropriate, and she attacks the routine without looking hurried despite busy choreography. She has huge potential and is beautiful to watch. I think she can make top ten at the coming worlds if skates well like she has done so far this season.
BTW, is Bingwa Geng injured, or no longer competing?
GENG Bingwa is injured.
Well Zhang Kexin placed well enough at Worlds last year to qualify 2 spots for Chinese ladies this year. They can promote Li Zijun all they want, but this shouldn't affect Zhang's participation at Worlds (unless she is injured)?
re: Yan Han, is he not sent to the senior B simply because he has already achieved a minimum score from last season and needs more time to heal for 4CCs? It's such a waste to send him back to Junior Worlds again. Guan Jinlin and Wu Jialiang has been given enough chances to prove themselves and didn't.
No official sources, but it's rumored that ZHANG Kexin wants to retire. Politics and all.
It's also speculated that TPTB wants YAN Han to wait his turn until he ages out from the juniors. International medals, albeit junior, will be considered "political achievement" of the federation officials. YAN Han's chances of getting 4CC is minimal.
What are they NUTS? What has Han got to gain by going to JW again? He already won the darn thing! In fact, I'd say he's got more to lose in terms of international reputation. He only just beat Farris last year while landing a quad (and Farris was quadless), what will happen this year (if Farris goes to JW and not SW as is possible)? It is even possible that a Brown armed with a 3A could overtake Han (his PCS are already high, raising the TES could make a difference)! And Maxim Kovtun - the guy skates like a Senior (4T-3T!!!!), but he's still a Junior, and with only one spot for Russian men at Senior Worlds, he'll likely turn up at JW. Han could even finish not on the podium. How is that a good thing?
I like Han. I find this frustrating.
It's hard to think about retirement from such a young skater. I thought she had such great potential.
China does have 2 ladies spot for senior Worlds thanks to Zhang Kexin so I hope she would at least go to Worlds with Li Zijun before she thinks about retiring. And if China keeps 2 spots for Sochi, there really is no reason why she shouldn't want to keep training for that. No other Chinese girls are on the level of Zhang Kexin and Li Zijun anyway.
Regarding the men, Song Nan will go to senior Worlds, but since Jin Boyang is also skating well in the junior scene, he is as much if not a more secure bet for a medal at junior Worlds. IMO this would be a great transitional year for Yan Han to go to 4CCs.
Yes, why waste an opportunity to build reputation in senior ranks.
China's 4 Continents team includes Sui/Han, Kexin Zhang, and Han Yan!
Alternates: Jinlin GUAN, Jiaxing LIU
Qing PANG / Jian TONG
Cheng PENG / Hao ZHANG
Wenjing SUI / Cong HAN
Alternates: Wenting WANG / Yan ZHANG
Xintong HUANG / Xun ZHENG
Xiaoyang YU / Chen WANG CHN
Separate names with a comma.