Chinese Skating News, Pt. 4: Fresh Noodles for Milan 2026

Sylvia

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New thread title for the next quad, courtesy of @Dai's Blues for Klook & @Karen-W! :D ETA - credit also should go to @Wyliefan! :)

2022 ISU Grand Prix initial assignments were published yesterday (July 22):

Boyang JIN: #2 Skate Canada International & #5 NHK Trophy

Cheng PENG / Yang JIN: #3 Internationaux de France in Angers & #6 Espoo, Finland

Shiyue WANG / Xinyu LIU (now back at the Ice Academy in Montreal): #5 NHK Trophy & #6 Finland

Yi (Beverly) ZHU: #1 Skate America
 
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Willin

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It feels like China has just kinda given up on skating. I guess all that mattered was S/H winning Gold but not being competitive besides Pairs and having COC being taken away again says all you need to know about how they are handling things.
Honestly I don't think skating has ever been a priority for China. Their pair's program seemed like a passion project helmed by a couple dedicated coaches, and the competitions they hosted seemed to be more related to the Beijing bid. As soon as they got the Beijing bid and adequately pleased the IOC, they started dropping skating competition host spots left and right - and even started pulling their skaters from attending international competitions.

If you think about it, the sports China does care about (Diving, Gymnastics, Synchronized Swimming, weight lifting, swimming, skiing aerials, etc.) all have academies sponsored by the state that seek out pre-school aged kids for the right body types and subjects them to intense training regimens until they're adults ready to compete. They've never done that for skating, and I don't think they ever will. The most they did for skating and a few of the other winter sports was bribing athletes competing for other countries to join them.
 

jlai

Question everything
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To be fair, skating is an expensive sport. If I had a pot of money dedicated to produce medal winning athletes, I would invest in a less expensive sport. Ice aint cheap
 

Gris

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JGP Selection (virtual competition, FS/FD only)

Dance

Yufei Lin / Zijian Gao 80.02 (Music: Knocking on Heaven's Door, Paradise) Video
Xinyi Yu / Tianyi Liu 66.21 (Music: Say Something) Video
Tong Liu / Quanshuo Ge 64.61 (Music: Corpse Bride soundtrack) Video
Xuantong Li / Xinkang Wang 64.61 (Music: Harry Potter soundtrack) Video
Lichun Wang / Hongfei Shen 59.69 (Music: Untouchable Dream) Video
Xiaoxi Li / Yueyang Wang 54.39 (Music: Right Here Waiting) Video

Pairs

Yixi Yang / Shunyang Deng (Music: Chaplin; no score was shown, IIRC his given name used to be Shunyuyao, but the caption here says Shunyang) Video

Yeah, there's only one pair for the former Pairs powerhouse. Also Yudong Chen is in the Junior Men starting list.

(I'll post the results of singles later.)
 
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Gris

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Junior Men

Yudong Chen 129.62 (Music: Micmacs soundtrack) Video
Tonghe Tian 121.15 (Music: An American in Paris) Video
David Day 118.32 (Music: You're So Beautiful, Unchain My Heart) Video
Wenbao Han 112.23 (Music: Tron: Legacy soundtrack) Video
Bofeng Wang 93.62 (Music: Fortitude, Primavera) Video

Junior Women

Xiangyi An 107.19 (Music: The Theory of Everything, Song for the Little Sparrow - unfortunately the sound quality of her video is poor that I could barely hear the music) Video
Jiaying Cheng 99.03 (Music: Theme song of the TV drama "Ming Dynasty") Video
Mengqi Zhang 90.89 (Music: Romeo and Juliet) Video
Jiaxin Shi 87.88 (Music: Over the Rainbow) Video
Ruiyang Zhang 85.01 (Music: Madame Butterfly) Video
Tong Mo 80.84 (Music: Tango Jealousy) Video
Hengxin Jin 74.15 (Music: Pocahontas, Colors of the Wind, Farewell) Video
 
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On My Own

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Yudong is in juniors? Well, I suppose why not if he's not getting a senior opportunity this season (fingers crossed for 4CCs).

Good to see An Xiangyi! I thought she wouldn't be there, since some chinese skating fans were being all gloomy, and I literally didn't see anything about her for a while before that.

Yufei Lin / Zijian Gao 80.02 (Music: Knocking on Heaven's Door, Paradise)
Xinyi Yu / Tianyi Liu 66.21 (Music: Say Something)
Tong Liu / Quanshuo Ge 64.61 (Music: Corpse Bride soundtrack)
Xuantong Li / Xinkang Wang 64.61 (Music: Harry Potter soundtrack)
I barely kept up with dance, you said Li/Wang won last season, did something happen?
 

Gris

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I barely kept up with dance, you said Li/Wang won last season, did something happen?

Both Lin / Gao and Yu / Liu recycled their FD from last season while Li / Wang and Liu / Ge had new FDs so it was less polished. Li / Wang also received the lowest PCS of the top 4 (their TES is actually higher than Yu / Liu's).

My other comments are that I think Lin / Gao were the clear first (they're also older and more experienced, having competed on JGP in 19-20 and the domestic senior GP in 20-21) and Liu / Ge didn't skate very well.
 

Frau Muller

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Thrilled to see Xiangyi An on the scene. This is the one nicknamed “Nini,” yes? She turns a “ripe old” 16 this December, so might be eligible for Sr Worlds 2023, if she performs as we all hope? Happy to see her on the JrGP circuit soon.
 

On My Own

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Yeah, Chinese Nationals will be interesting, if she's in good condition. Always forget how and where they can get senior minimums, but she can go to 4CCs straight afterwards and get them there, can't she?
 

Frau Muller

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Or go to a SrB in the late fall/early winter (after the JGP series)? Like Ilia Malinin, Niina Petrokina & others did last year…straddling Jr and Sr levels in one season?
 

Frau Muller

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Yeah, assuming that she’s in a fighting form this season. Don’t want to jinx her. Changes happen in that age. At least the Ultra-C jumping madness has quieted in the women’s skating world.
 

otisgear

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It's kinda depressing that Yang/Deng is the best pair that China can send to the JGP right now. I know they've been training for a while but they've never been super impressive and are kinda bumped up to this spot because all the other teams have either split or aren't eligible. 2STh, 2LoTh, SBS 2S and 2T+1A (what even)?? This program difficulty probably wouldn't even make a national level competition 10 years ago.
 

once_upon

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Doesn't a lot of Chinese participation in international events depend on the Chinese government and their strict Covid restrictions?
 

Karen-W

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Doesn't a lot of Chinese participation in international events depend on the Chinese government and their strict Covid restrictions?
Yes, but China only has 2 entries per discipline except in Pairs where they have 3. And they're all assigned to CZE and FRA 2, so my expectation is they will send 1 entry in each discipline to CZE and FRA 2 and be done with it, with no additional pairs team getting that 3rd assignment since they don't have any other teams.
 

Gris

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Doesn't a lot of Chinese participation in international events depend on the Chinese government and their strict Covid restrictions?

That's true.

Yes, but China only has 2 entries per discipline except in Pairs where they have 3. And they're all assigned to CZE and FRA 2, so my expectation is they will send 1 entry in each discipline to CZE and FRA 2 and be done with it, with no additional pairs team getting that 3rd assignment since they don't have any other teams.

The JGP selection announcement didn't even mention the pairs spot at JGP Gdansk so guess they hadn't planned to use it to begin with.
 

Willin

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Thrilled to see Xiangyi An on the scene. This is the one nicknamed “Nini,” yes? She turns a “ripe old” 16 this December, so might be eligible for Sr Worlds 2023, if she performs as we all hope? Happy to see her on the JrGP circuit soon.
Yes. Also the one with the crazy abusive mother who has gotten many, many injuries and will get many more.

It's really sad - from the footage I've seen, she doesn't really look that great, and it's only going to get worse given her mom's idea of "training." I don't expect to see her do well internationally...
 

raruki

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Yes. Also the one with the crazy abusive mother who has gotten many, many injuries and will get many more.

It's really sad - from the footage I've seen, she doesn't really look that great, and it's only going to get worse given her mom's idea of "training." I don't expect to see her do well internationally...
Most of the skaters were asked to prepare for the competition at the very last minute and didn't have enough time to prepare because of the late announcement from the stupid CFSA and Chinese sports authority. Also, most of them are preparing for the upcoming fitness test(anyone who failed the fitness test will not be selected for the national team). As a result, it is so obvious that most of them are not in “good shape”, not just Xiangyi An.

Also, I want to speak for Nini's Mom. I do think that her mom somehow does impose her own opinion and philosophy on Nini, but saying something that she trains her abusively is not true at all. As someone who has watched Nini's training multiple times, I always see that her Mom doesn't restrict her diet at all. After training, she always brings Nini the boba, burgers, fried chicken wings, chips, or anything Nini wants to eat. Her Mom does shout at her multiple times, but most of the time when she shouts at Nini is asking her to calm down because Nini is really impatient when making a mistake and easily dwells on the mistakes. What's more, she not only spends millions of yuan on preventing injuries, but also she goes to medical school to train to be a physio. She is a crazy Mom for sure, but not that physically or mentally abusive one.
 
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Willin

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@raruki I would say the stuff she says about overtraining is pretty physically abusive and harmful to her. That whole interview was horrifying. What came out of her mouth directly contradicts some of what you said - but maybe she lightened up after the backlash or some of the injuries?
 

Marco

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The Chinese skating programme seems pretty dire going forward.

The men, dance and pairs programme comprise one top [ten] veteran and no one else. The women programme comprise one lady who got attacked by virtually all Chinese netizens at the Olympics and a very untested An Xiangyi only.

Not only is the priority for skating over now that Winter Olympics is over, COVID is also restricting all the foreign training and choreography that they would normally be able to get. I am guessing unless COVID policy or controls within China would ease in the coming months, particpation of Chinese skaters at the GPs is not guaranteed even if their names appear at the roster now.
 

On My Own

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Not only is the priority for skating over now that Winter Olympics is over, COVID is also restricting all the foreign training and choreography that they would normally be able to get. I am guessing unless COVID policy or controls within China would ease in the coming months, particpation of Chinese skaters at the GPs is not guaranteed even if their names appear at the roster now.
I mean W/L went back to Montreal. Clearly it's not so simple.

Maybe part of the reason why they were all participating in TV shows and photoshoots was to earn money for foreign coaching/choreography and tickets.
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love!
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… I always see that her Mom doesn't restrict her diet at all. After training, she always brings Nini the boba, burgers, fried chicken wings, chips, or anything Nini wants to eat. …

Had to look it up, LOL!
So they eat the starchy circles after drinking the beverage part?
 

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