Liang Chow

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Liang Chow
— Gymnast —
Country represented  United States
Former countries represented  China
Born (1968-01-01) January 1, 1968 (age 46)
Beijing, China
Residence West Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Discipline Men's artistic gymnastics
Retired 1992

Liang Chow (formerly Qiao Liang, Simplified Chinese: , Traditional Chinese: 喬良, Pinyin: Qiáo Liáng) (born January 1, 1968, Beijing) is a former Chinese gymnast and the personal coach of the 2008 Olympic balance beam champion Shawn Johnson and the 2012 Olympic individual all-around champion Gabby Douglas.[1]


Growing up in Beijing, Chow was tapped by a district club at the age of 5 to train in gymnastics.[2] He was on China's national gymnastics team for more than a decade, winning numerous national and international medals.[2] However, he never competed in an Olympics; in 1988 he was too young to make the Chinese team, and before 1992 he suffered a back injury and retired from competition.[3]

He moved to the United States in 1991 on the suggestion of his aunt, who was working on her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. He accepted an English scholarship and a position as an assistant coach for the University of Iowa's men's gymnastics program. Afterwards he accepted a coaching job for the women's program. Out of his work with female gymnasts, Chow decided to open his own gym to train gymnasts at a younger age, when they would be more flexible and open to learning new skills. He and his wife moved to West Des Moines, Iowa and opened Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute on August 23, 1998. He expanded his operation to an 11 acres (4.5 ha), two-gym facility by 2003.[2] In June 2008, a flood destroyed the facilities.

Chow was the personal coach of Shawn Johnson since 1998. He began working with Gabby Douglas in 2010. He is known for his fatherly affection toward his proteges.[2]


Chow is married to Liwen Zhuang, a former gymnast on the Chinese national team. They have one child, named Kevin.[2] Chow became a U.S. citizen in 2002.


  1. ^ Emmert, Mark (Jul 31, 2012). "Olympics: Gabby Douglas finds coach Liang Chow at the right time". Poughkeepsie Journal. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Park, Alice (26 July 2012). "Liang Chow’s Gymnastics Coaching Journey: From Beijing to West Des Moines". TIME. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Emmert, Mark (30 July 2012). "Liang Chow stresses fun as he molds world's top gymnasts". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 

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