February 16, 2010 |
Finally. In their fourth try, one of the most dazzling pairs teams in history won an Olympic title. And a gold medal didn't go to a Russian pair for the first time since 1960. The Chinese proverb about a journey of a thousand miles beginning with a single step applies perfectly to what happened in the 2010 pairs figure skating final Monday night at the Pacific Coliseum. Shen Xue, 31, and Zhao Hongbo, 36, completed an odyssey that they began as skating partners in 1992.
February 15, 2010 |
"Awesome," said 1992 Olympic singles champion Kristi Yamaguchi of the United States. "Unbelievable," said 2002 Olympic pairs champion David Pelletier of Canada. From the start, with Chinese pair Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo first on the ice, to the finish about three hours later, when Germans Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy skated as the last of 20 competing teams, the Olympic pairs skating short program Sunday reached unprecedented levels of brilliance. "It was a fantastic night, there is no other way to put it," Pelletier said.
February 14, 2010
FIGURE SKATING Chinese team is expected to win in pairs One of the marquee events of the Winter Olympics, figure skating, gets underway with the pairs short program. Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo of China are the gold-medal favorites, with Pang Qing and Yong Jian of China and Alona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany also medal threats. Russians have won the gold in this event every Olympics since 1964. FREESTYLE SKIING Deneen could shine in moguls World champion Patrick Deneen of the U.S. should contend for a men's moguls medal, but the favorite going into the competition is Dale Begg-Smith of Australia.
February 14, 2010 |
Olympic pairs competition begins with a bang Sunday. Two-time Olympic bronze medalists Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo are the first team on the ice in the short program. The Chinese, ancient mariners (he is 36, she is 31), have not competed in a major international event since winning the 2007 world title. "To win an Olympic gold medal is a lifelong dream for both of us," Zhao said. They retired for two seasons, got married, then returned at the brilliant level that had made them one of the world's most dynamic pairs since they debuted with a fifth place at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
November 14, 2009 |
When two-time U.S. pairs skating champion Rockne Brubaker finds himself with time to kill, he often watches one of the three videos of Chinese pairs skaters Shen Xue and Hongbo Zhao on his iPod. "I do it for inspiration," Brubaker said. "Plus it is pure enjoyment and pleasure to watch them skate." Shen and Zhao decided to give the competitive skating world that pleasure again, making what seemed an improbable comeback for two skaters in their 30s. The two-time Olympic bronze medalists already have given a burst of energy to a discipline lacking in star quality since the collapse of the Russian pairs skating empire after the 2006 Olympics.
May 16, 2009 |
Despite the Chinese government's intent to keep the 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square out of public discourse, audio recordings and excerpts of a memoir by the Communist Party chief who was purged for opposing it have begun circulating quietly on the Internet. Before his death in 2005, Zhao Ziyang secretly recorded 30 hours of tapes that have been turned into a memoir, "Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang."