Yang Jiasheng, China's first International Skating Union (ISU) approved international judge for figure skating and the first Chinese ISU referee, died from cancer at the age of 73 on March 12 in Beijing.
From 1993, Yang became head of the research department of China's Winter Sports Administrative Center. He translated ISU rules, a judges' manual and a number of documents for the Chinese Skating Union. He also participated in the framing of China's figure skating training outline and contributed to the classification of Chinese figure skaters.
Yang was approved by the ISU to be the referee of international events in 1996. At the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games, Yang was the referee for the women's singles judging panel, the first Chinese to reach such a level.
Yao Bin, head coach of China's figure skating national team, remembers Yang fondly.
"It was Yang who transferred me to Beijing to be the coach for the national team. In terms of coaching, I'm his student," says Yao, who boasts of students such as pair skaters Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo - China's first Olympic champions in the sport.
"During his period as judge, Yang summarized the breakthrough points for China's figure skaters in terms of twists, throws and spins. After retirement (1999), he still cared about the Chinese team and the development of China's figure skating. We wouldn't have reached such a level without Yang," Yao says.