With a little more than 200 days to go before the 2022 Olympic Winter Olympics in Beijing, and in order to prepare for the Games more effectively, Yao Bin, the former head coach of the national figure skating team who retired in 2018, was asked by the Winter Sports Management Center of the State Sports General Administration to return to coach the men′s and women′s singles skaters and the ice dance teams.
His mission is to improve the overall strength of the figure skaters in order for the Chinese contingent to perform well in the Team Event at the 2022 Games.
Yao, considered the “godfather” of figure skating in China, coached three of the top pairs teams in the world at one time: Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, Pang Qing and Tong Jian and Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao. Yao led Shen and Zhao to gold at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, China’s first figure skating victory at a Winter Games.
In late May of 2021, at the most critical moment of preparing for the the Olympics, Yao returned to serve as coach of the singles and ice dance groups of the national figure skating team. Yao told reporters that after the qualifications for the Olympics have been determined, he would coach the national team. His main goal is to improve the overall strength of the men’s and women’s singles skaters and the ice dancers in the final preparation stage “in order to achieve a good result in the Team Event in Beijing.”
The singles skaters and ice dancers all have new programs and they have begun normal training in accordance with the schedule for the new season Yao said.
Jin Boyang, who failed at the 2021 World Championships, is determined to start again. He is increasing his physical fitness and doing special training according to the program arranged by the coaching staff and outside experts.
Like last season, ice dancers Wang Shiyue and Liu Xinyu are being coached online by their team in Canada.
The national figure skating team attaches great importance to the 2021-2022 season and the Beijing Winter Olympics. At the end of last season, they began choosing their program repertoire and dance styles to prepare for the new season.
Zhao Hongbo will continue as the coach of the nation’s six pairs teams. “At present, the figure skating team has started normal training for the pairs skating group,” he said. “Before the start of the new season, we summarized the problems reflected in the training and competition at the World Championships as well as those of last season. We have held several meetings in the past two months. The team’s preparation plan for the new season has been determined.
“The pairs teams have started special training for the new season. We will strive to overcome and solve the problems exposed in the previous season in daily training, and pay attention to the details for the 2021-2022 season and make the final preparations for the sprint to the Winter Olympics.”
Pairs skaters Sui Wenjing and Han Cong and Peng Cheng and Jin Yang have completed the choreography of their new programs and have begun training them. Peng and Jin said that with “only 200 days before the Beijing Winter Olympics. Every day is precious to us. We will take it seriously and train well every day.”
Sui solemnly swore in front of the party flag on July 1 to join the Communist Party of China with honor. “I hope this moment will further inspire me to show my best potential in every day of training in the future. Cong Han and I missed a lot of competitions due to injuries last season,” she said. “In the new season, we will go all out to show off, to put ourselves in the game in our best state.”