Shen Xue

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Shen Xue
Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo.jpg
Shen and Zhao in 2009
Personal information
Full name Shen Xue
Country represented  China
Born (1978-11-13) November 13, 1978 (age 36)
Harbin, Heilongjiang
Home town Harbin
Residence Shenzhen, Guangdong
Height 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
Partner Zhao Hongbo
Coach Yao Bin
Former coach Sun Zhiping
Sun Yu[disambiguation needed]
Q. Wang
Choreographer Lori Nichol
Former choreographer Sandra Bezic
Lea Ann Miller
Michael Seibert
Skating club Harbin Skating Club
Retired February 17, 2010
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 216.57
2010 Winter Olympics
Short program 76.66
2010 Winter Olympics
Free skate 139.91
2010 Winter Olympics
Olympic medal record
Competitor for  China
Pair's Figure skating
Gold 2010 Vancouver Pairs
Bronze 2006 Turin Pairs
Bronze 2002 Salt Lake City Pairs
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Shen.

Shen Xue (Chinese: 申雪; pinyin: Shēn Xuě; born November 13, 1978) is a female Chinese pair skater. With her partner and husband Zhao Hongbo, Shen is the 2010 Olympic champion, the 2002 & 2006 Olympic bronze medalist, a three-time (2002, 2003 & 2007) World champion, a three-time (1999, 2003 & 2007) Four Continents Champion and a six-time (1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006 & 2009) Grand Prix Final champion.

Shen and Zhao were the first Chinese pair team to win a medal at an International Skating Union event and at the World Figure Skating Championships. In 2002, they became the first Chinese pair skating team to win a World Championship. They are also the first Chinese pair skaters to win a medal at the Winter Olympic Games. In 2010, they became the first Chinese skaters to win the gold medal at a Winter Olympic Games in any figure skating category,[1] ending almost half a century of Russian and Soviet pair skating dominance.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Shen was born in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China. Shen and Zhao announced their engagement after the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships. They were married shortly after.

Shen and Zhao are the parents of a daughter, born 3rd September 2013.[3]

They currently live and coach in Shenzhen, Guangdong.

Career[edit]

Early career and development[edit]

Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo began skating together in 1992. Yao Bin coached them early in their careers. They competed at their first Olympics in 1998, in Nagano, Japan, where they finished fifth. They went on to the 1999 World Figure Skating Championships a year later with improved choreography and expression, and won the silver medal, becoming the first Chinese team to win a World Championship medal.

International success[edit]

Shen and Zhao improved each year, and were considered to be one of the top teams in the world. They won another silver medal at the Worlds in 2000, and a bronze in 2001. They were considered strong medal contenders in the 2002 Winter Olympics. They won the bronze with a strong performance, missing a throw quadruple salchow attempt. They became the first Chinese pair to win a medal at an Olympics for figure skating.

World Champions[edit]

At the 2002 World Figure Skating Championships held in Nagano, Japan, Shen and Zhao won their first World Championship, becoming the first Chinese pair skaters to win a gold medal in the history of figure skating. Later in March 2003, as the defending world champions, the team also won their second World Championship in Washington D.C, USA. While practing their throw quadruple salchow, Shen landed badly and injured her landing foot and ankle. She required several treatments to numb the foot entirely so that she should compete. The pair performed a brilliant long program that earned them several perfect 6.0's for both technical merits and presentation.

In the 2003–2004 season, competing for the first time under the Code of Points, they placed second at the 2003 Skate Canada and won the 2003 Cup of China. They won their third Grand Prix Final gold medal at the 2003–2004 Grand prix Final, where they won both the short program with 66.00 points and the free skate with 130.08. The team earned a total of 196.08 points to finish 18.78 points ahead of their new rivals Tatiana Totmianina & Maxim Marinin of Russia, who were second in both the short and the long program.

Their attempt to win a third straight World title in 2004 was thwarted when Zhao fell during their short program and the team placed fourth in that segment. They rebounded to win the free program with a string of 6.0s, and moved up to finish second overall behind Tatiana Totmianina & Maxim Marinin.

Injury and 2006 Olympics[edit]

Shen and Zhao won gold medals at the 2004 Skate Canada, at the 2004 Trophée Eric Bompard and at the 2004 Cup of China. Following their wins at all their Grand Prix events, they also won the 2004–2005 Grand Prix Final in Beijing, China, placing first in the short program with 70.52 points and in the free skate scoring 136.02. Overall they won the gold medal earning a total of 206.54 points, 19.22 ahead of Maria Petrova & Alexei Tikhonov, who placed second in both segments of the competition. As a result, they set a new world record for the short program,[4] for the free skate and for the combined total score[5] under the ISU Judging System.

In 2005 Zhao's Achilles tendon injury forced them to withdraw from the World Championships, and weeks later, he ruptured the tendon during practice. They missed the entire competitive season and were unable to return to the ice until weeks before the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. They placed fifth in the short program with 62.32 points and third in the free skate with 124.59. Their lack of adequate preparation was obvious, but they managed to win a second Olympic bronze medal earning 186.91 points, 17.57 points behind Tatiana Totmianina & Maxim Marinin, who won the gold medal.

Third World title and retirement[edit]

The 2006–2007 proved to be a very strong season for the pair. They began winning the 2006 Cup of China, where they came in first place in the short program and in the free skate to win the competition with a total score of 193.59 points, 21.03 ahead of Zhang Dan & Zhang Hao. They also won the 2006 NHK Trophy, where they also placed first in both the short program and the free skate earning 190.97 points, beating Pang Qing & Tong Jian by 8.13. They earned the gold medal at the 2006–2007 Grand Prix Final, held in Saint Petersburg, Russia. At that competition, they won the short program, scoring 68.66 points, 4.48 points ahead of Zhang Dan & Zhang Hao. The team also placed first in the free skate with 134.53 points, 12.68 ahead of Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy from Germany. They earned a total of 203.19 points to finish 22.52 points ahead of second place finishers Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy.

At the 2007 Asian Winter Games, Shen and Zhao won the short program with 69.49 points, leading by 3.84 over the rest of the field. They placed first in free skate scoring 126.06 points, winning that segment as well by 10.24 points. They earned 195.55 points overall, edging their teammates Pang Qing & Tong Jian by 14.08 points, who placed second in both the short program and the free skate. Shen and Zhao won the 2007 Four Continents Championships, placing first in the short program with 69.29 points, 3.49 ahead of the rest of the competitors. They also won the free skate earning 133.76 points, leading that segment of the competition by 14.23 points. As a result, they scored a combined total of 203.05 points to win the competition 17.72 points ahead of Pang Qing & Tong Jian, who again came in second place in the short and in the long program.

Shen and Zhao finished the season with their third world title at the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo, Japan, placing first in the short program with 71.07 points, taking the lead by 3.42 points ahead of Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy, and setting a new world record under the ISU Judging System.[6] They also won the free skate with 132.43 points, 10.72 ahead of Pang Qing & Tong Jian, who placed second in that segment of the competition. Overall they scored a total 203.50 points and won by a 15.04-point margin of victory over silver medalists Pang Qing & Tong Jian. Following the win, they married and announced their retirement from the sport.[7]

Return to competition[edit]

Shen and Zhao returned to competition in the 2009–2010 season to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics, and were assigned to 2009 Cup of China and 2009 Skate America in the 2009–2010 ISU Grand Prix series.

At the 2009 Cup of China, they placed first in the short program earning a personal best score of 72.28. They also won the free skate scoring 128.69 to win the competition with 200.97 points, 14.18 points ahead of silver medalists Zhang Dan & Zhang Hao. At the 2009 Skate America, they placed first in the short program with a new personal best of 74.36 points. They also lead in the free skate where they earned 127.04 points. Scoring 201.40 points overall, 29.58 points over Tatiana Volosozhar & Stanislav Morozov, they won the gold medal.

Those two wins directly qualified them for the 2009–2010 Grand Prix Final that was held in Tokyo, Japan, in December 2009. At the event, they lead the short program with a new personal best of 75.36 points, 2.22 points ahead of Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy, who were second. They also placed first in the free skate with another personal best of 138.89 points, 5.07 ahead of fellow second place finishers Pang Qing & Tong Jian. They won the gold medal earning 214.25 points overall, edging silver medalists Pang Qing & Tong Jian by 12.39 points and improving their previous combined total score. At the competition, they set new world records for the short program,[8] for the free skating and for the combined total[9] under the ISU Judging System.

2010 Olympics[edit]

Shen and Zhao on the podium at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

On February 14, 2010, Shen and Zhao began their fourth Olympics. They led the short program with 76.66 points, 0.70 ahead of Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy. They achieved a new personal best and set a new record score again under the ISU Judging System for the short program.[10]

On February 15, 2010, in the pairs' free skating they came second, again with a personal best score of 139.91 points, 1.90 behind Pang Qing & Tong Jian, who claimed the silver medal. Their program components score of 72.40 was the highest of the event. They also got a 10.00 for interpretation from one judge.[11] With an overall total of 216.57 points they finished in first place taking the gold medal, by a 3.26 margin over Pang Qing & Tong Jian and a 5.77 margin over bronze medalists Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy. Their combined score was a world record at the time.[12] They became the first Chinese skaters in any figure skating discipline to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympic Games.[13] China at the event also broke Russia's 46-year twelve-Olympic gold medal streak in pairs figure skating, winning both the gold and the silver medals.[14]

Final retirement[edit]

Shen and Zhao in an outdoor performance after winning Gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

On February 17, 2010, they announced their definite retirement from competitive skating to focus on their personal life.[15] They said they would retire from shows in 2012, planning to start a family, promote their sport, and begin coaching.[16]

Public life and endorsements[edit]

Shen and Zhao's current and past sponsors include Nike, VISA, General Electric and Lenovo.

They have toured in multiple ice shows all around the world, including the 2007 Golden Skate Awards in Turin, Italy, the 2008 & 2010 Stars on Ice in the United States and the 2009 Ice All Stars, this last one held in Seoul, South Korea alongside other world class figure skaters including the 2010 Olympic ladies champion and show headliner Kim Yuna.

They joined Kim in another ice show, the All That Skate. Other skaters like Michelle Kwan and Stéphane Lambiel performed in the show as well.

Programs[edit]

Season Short Program Free Skating Exhibition
2009–2010 Who Wants To Live Forever
by Brian May
from Queen
performed by David Garrett
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Adagio in G Minor
by Tomaso Albinoni
performed by Eroica Trio
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Io ci sarò
by Andrea Bocelli
choreographed by Lori Nichol

Ramalama
by Róisín Murphy
choreographed by Lori Nichol
2008–2009
2007–2008
Did not compete
these seasons
Did not compete
these seasons
Feeling Good
Michael Bublé
choreographed by Lori Nichol
2006–2007 Romanza
by Salvador Bacarisse
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Méditation
from Thaïs
by Jules Massenet
choreographed by Lori Nichol
My Way
by Frank Sinatra
performed by The Three Tenors
choreographed by Lori Nichol


Caruso
by Lucio Dalla
performed by Il Divo
choreographed by Lori Nichol
2005–2006 Piano Concerto No. 3
by Sergey Rachmaninoff
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Un Bel Di Vedremo
from Madame Butterfly
by Giacomo Puccini
choreographed by Lori Nichol
The Impossible Dream
from Man of La Mancha Soundtrack
by Mitch Leigh
vocals by Joe Darion
performed by Luther Vandross
choreographed by Lori Nichol
2004–2005 Claire de Lune
by Claude Debussy
choreographed by Lori Nichol
The Soong Sisters
Soundtrack from the 1997 movie
by Kitarō & Randy Miller
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Come What May
from Moulin Rouge! Soundtrack
by Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor
choreographed by Lori Nichol
2003–2004 Kismet
by Bond
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Pas de Deux
from The Nutcracker
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Come What May
from Moulin Rouge! Soundtrack
by Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor
choreographed by Lori Nichol

Time To Say Goodbye
by Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli
choreographed by Lori Nichol

Adagio
by Tomaso Albinoni
performed by Lara Fabian
choreographed by Lori Nichol
2002–2003 Beethoven’s Last Night
by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Violin Fantasy on Puccini's Turandot
by Vanessa-Mae
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
Time To Say Goodbye
by Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli
choreographed by Lori Nichol
2001–2002 Kismet
by Bond
choreographed by Lori Nichol
Violin Fantasy on Puccini's Turandot
by Vanessa-Mae
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
Bensonhurst Blues
by Oscar Benton
choreographed by Lori Nichol
2000–2001 Allegreto
from Palladio
by Karl Jenkins
choreographed by Sandra Bezic
Spirit of Spring
Chinese Violin Music
by Du Mingxin
choreographed by Sandra Bezic
and Michael Seibert
Beethoven's Last Night
by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
choreographed by Sandra Bezic
1999–2000 The Firebird
by Igor Stravinski
choreographed by Sandra Bezic
Spirit of Spring
Chinese Violin Music
by Du Mingxin
choreographed by Sandra Bezic
and Michael Seibert
Crazy
by Julio Iglesias
choreographed by Sandra Bezic
1998–1999 Zigeunerweisen
by Pablo de Sarasate
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
Selections of Mulan
Soundtrack from Mulan
by Jerry Goldsmith
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
Un Bel di Vedremo
from Madame Butterfly
by Giacomo Puccini
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
1997–1998 Zigeunerweisen
by Pablo de Sarasate
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
Mount Olympus
by Mars Lasar
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
Un Bel di Vedremo
from Madame Butterfly
by Giacomo Puccini
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
1996–1997 Out of Silence
by Yanni
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
Mount Olympus
by Mars Lasar
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
1995–1996 Out of Silence
by Yanni
choreographed by Lea Ann Miller
Yellow River Piano Concerto
by Xian Xinghai
choreographed by Sandra Bezic

Competitive highlights[edit]

(With Zhao)

Event 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 1995–96 1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–00 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2009–10
Winter Olympic Games 5th 3rd 3rd 1st
World Championships 21st 15th 11th 4th 2nd 2nd 3rd 1st 1st 2nd WD 1st
Four Continents Championships 1st 2nd 1st 1st
Asian Winter Games 1st 1st 1st 1st
Chinese Championships 1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Grand Prix Final 4th 1st 1st 3rd 3rd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
GP Cup of China 1st 1st 1st 1st
GP Skate America 2nd 1st
GP NHK Trophy 6th 4th 1st 2nd 4th 1st 1st 1st 1st
GP Skate Canada International 1st 2nd 1st
GP Trophée Eric Bompard 5th 3rd 1st
GP Bofrost Cup on Ice 3rd 1st 1st
GP Cup of Russia 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st
Winter Universiade 1st
  • WD = Withdrew
  • Shen and Zhao did not compete in the 2007–2008 and 2008–2009 seasons.

Detailed results[edit]

2009–2010 season
Date Event SP FS Total
14–15 February 2010 2010 Winter Olympics 1
76.66
2
139.91
1
216.57
2–6 December 2009 2009–10 Grand Prix Final 1
75.36
1
138.89
1
214.25
12–15 November 2009 2009 Skate America 1
74.36
1
127.04
1
201.40
29 October – 1 November 2009 2009 Cup of China 1
72.28
1
128.69
1
200.97
2006–2007 season
Date Event SP FS Total
20–25 March 2007 2007 World Championships 1
71.07
1
132.43
1
203.50
7–10 February 2007 2007 Four Continents Championships 1
69.29
1
133.76
1
203.05
2–3 February 2007 2007 Asian Winter Games 1
69.49
1
126.06
1
195.55
14–17 December 2006 2006–07 Grand Prix Final 1
68.66
1
134.53
1
203.19
30 November – 3 December 2006 2006 NHK Trophy 1
65.58
1
125.39
1
190.97
9–12 November 2006 2006 Cup of China 1
68.90
1
124.69
1
193.59
2005–2006 season
Date Event SP FS Total
11–24 February 2006 2006 Winter Olympics 5
62.32
3
124.59
3
186.91
2004–2005 season
Date Event SP FS Total
14–20 March 2005 2005 World Championships 3
66.00
WD WD
16–19 December 2004 2004–05 Grand Prix Final 1
70.52
1
136.02
1
206.54
18–21 November 2004 2004 Trophée Éric Bompard 1
66.88
1
121.24
1
188.12
11–14 November 2004 Cup of China 1
66.38
1
127.16
1
193.54
28–31 October 2004 2004 Skate Canada 1
66.48
1
123.72
1
190.20

References[edit]

External links[edit]