Chinese Pair Wins Figure Skating Gold

Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo broke a 40-year Russia-Soviet Union winning streak to take home the highest Olympic honor.

Chinese Pair Wins Figure Skating Gold

Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo broke a 40-year Russia-Soviet Union winning streak to take home the highest Olympic honor.

-April Daniels Hussar

 Shen and Zhao

Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, the married figure skating pair who came out of retirement for one last shot at Olympic gold, have broken a 40-year Russia-Soviet Union winning streak to take home the top honor in pairs figure skating for China.

The couple has been skating together for nearly two decades, and they have won Olympic honors (they are two-time bronze medallists) and World Championships, but never the gold. “We’ve been in competitions for many years, and won other medals,” Zhao said. “But every time we heard the national anthem and saw our flag being raised, we wished it was the Olympic Games. Today we’ve achieved our goal.”

Sports Illustrated described their performance:

They skated with the passion that has become their new trademark, the choreography of their “Adagio in G Minor” perfectly in tune to their music. She was so expressive, the audience could practically feel her every emotion.

And despite being veritable senior citizens at 31 (her) and 36 (him), they can still show the kids a thing or two. Their throw jumps were huge and flawless, the kind of tricks that would dazzle even the X-Games generation. Their throw triple salchow was so massive, she ought to get frequent flier points.

It’s China’s first gold in figure skating. “So many years have been devoted to this dream,” Zhao said. (Sports Illustrated)

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