Zhang Dan

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Zhang Dan
Zhang and Zhang 2009 Festa On Ice.JPG
Zhang and Zhang in 2009.
Personal information
Full name Zhang Dan
Country represented  China
Born (1985-10-04) October 4, 1985 (age 31)[1] or (1987-10-04) October 4, 1987 (age 29)[2] (see also Age controversy below)
Height 1.695 m (5 ft 7 in)
Former partner Zhang Hao
Former coach Yao Bin
Chen Xiaofei
Huan Bing
Sun Lu
Former choreographer Lori Nichol
Marina Zueva
Igor Shpilband
Renée Roca
Skating club Harbin Skating Club
Began skating 1992
Retired May 2012
Season's bests 10 (2011–2012)[3]
6 (2009–2010)[4]
3 (2008–2009)[5]
ISU personal best scores
Combined total 197.82
2008 World Championships
Short program 74.36
2008 World Championships
Free skate 126.58
2010 World Championships
Olympic medal record
Representing  China
Pairs Figure skating
Silver medal – second place 2006 Turin Pairs
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Zhang.

Zhang Dan (simplified Chinese: 张丹; traditional Chinese: 張丹; pinyin: Zhāng Dān; born October 4, 1985 in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China) is a Chinese pair skater. With Zhang Hao, she is the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, a four-time (2005 bronze, 2006, 2008, 2009 silver) World medalist, and a two-time (2005, 2010) Four Continents champion. Zhang Dan retired from competition in May 2012.


Zhang and Zhang perform a triple twist

Early career[edit]

The unrelated Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao teamed up in 1997.[citation needed] In 1998–99 Junior Grand Prix (JGP), the pair competed in one event and won the gold medal. They continued the season with a bronze medal at the 1999 Chinese National Championships. The following season, they competed in two 1999–2000 JGP events, medaling in both. They qualified for the final, where they finished fifth. That year, they were second at nationals and finished fourth at Junior Worlds.

The following three seasons, they were very successful at the junior level. They won all their Junior Grand Prix events, including the 2000–01 JGP Final and the 2001–02 JGP Final. They also competed in the 2001 Junior Worlds and the 2003 Junior Worlds, winning gold both times. At the Chinese National Championships, they placed third in both 2001 and 2002, before winning their first national title in 2003. Their first senior international was the 2002 Four Continents Championships, where they won the bronze medal. The same season they competed in the 2002 Olympics, placing 11th, and the 2002 Worlds, placing 9th. The following season they competed in their first two senior Grand Prix events, placing fourth at both events. They repeated with a bronze medal at the 2003 Four Continents Championships and improved their placement at the 2003 Worlds, finishing sixth.

For the next two seasons, they consistently medaled at their Grand Prix events. They won gold at the 2005 Four Continents Championships and bronze at the 2005 Worlds.

2005–06 season: Olympic medalists[edit]

Zhang and Zhang went into the 2006 Olympics as medal contenders. They had planned a throw quadruple salchow jump for the free skate, a jump which had not yet been landed in competition. Zhang Dan fell on it during the free skate and suffered an injury, but chose to finish the program. There was a minor controversy about finishing the program because while Zhang Dan had been lying on the ice from the fall, the referee had stopped the music, and the Zhangs took a certain amount of time to restart the program. ISU rules say that the program can be continued if the referee agrees the stoppage was due to a valid reason, such as injuries or equipment failures. Once the referee has approved a continuation, the skaters are given two minutes to continue the program from the point where the music stopped. Zhang regrouped within this period and was able to finish the program. They won the silver medal, placing ahead of defending Olympic medalists Shen Xue and Hongbo Zhao. At the Worlds, they won the silver, behind Pang Qing and Tong Jian.

Later career[edit]

In the 2006–07 season, Zhang and Zhang placed first at Skate Canada, second at the NHK Trophy, and would go on to win the bronze medal at the Grand Prix Final. They placed 5th at the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships later that season. In the 2007–08 and the 2008–09 seasons, they won silver medals at both the Grand Prix Final and the World Championships. They also set the world record score in the short program twice: 71.60 points at the 2007 Trophée Éric Bompard and 74.36 points at the 2008 World Championships.

At the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Zhangs placed fifth. They also finished fifth at 2010 World Championships.

Before the 2010–11 season began, Zhang Hao broke his finger, forcing the team to pull out of their two Grand Prix assignments. He also dealt with some shoulder and cervical vertebra problems.[6] The Zhangs returned to competition during the 2011–12 season, winning silver medals at the 2011 Skate America and the 2011 Cup of China. They finished 4th at the 2011–12 Grand Prix Final.

Zhang Dan eventually became the tallest competing female pair skater. In 2008, she was 1.63 m and in October 2009, she reached 1.675 m.[7] In August 2011, she was the tallest female in elite pair skating, being 1.695 m in height.[6] Zhang Dan's height proved to be a challenge for the pair, and in May 2012, it was announced that their partnership had ended and she was retiring from competition. Zhang Hao formed a new partnership, while Zhang Dan stated that she would focus on her university studies.[8][9]

Age controversy[edit]

Zhang & Zhang on the podium at the 2009 World Championships.

On February 14, 2011, the Zhangs' ages became the subject of controversy. Although her International Skating Union bio lists Zhang Dan as born on October 4, 1985, a Chinese skating association website suggested she was born on that day in 1987.[2] This would mean that during the 2001-02 season she was 14 and too young to compete in senior events such as the Four Continents where they won bronze, as well as the Olympics and World Championships.[2] Her partner's age also came under scrutiny. His ISU bio states that he was born on July 6, 1984 but the Chinese website suggested he was born on February 6, 1982, making him too old to compete in junior events during the 2002-03 season, such as the 2003 World Junior Championships where they won gold.[2] The dates disappeared from the website by February 15.[10] On February 17, the ISU said there were no discrepancies for the Zhangs in terms of the birthdates listed on their passports, ISU registration forms and the Chinese Olympic Committee's website.[10]


(with Zhang Hao)

Season Short program Free skating Exhibition
2011–2012[11] A Transylvanian Lullaby
by John Morris
Adagio Sostenuto
from Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major "Totentanz"
by Franz Liszt
2010–2011 Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia
by Aram Khatchaturian
Here I Am
by 4Men
Spanish Caravan,
Hello I Love You
by The Doors
2009–2010[1] Piano Fantasy
by Maksim Mrvica
Selections from Fosse (musical)
including Sing, Sing, Sing
by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Auf Flügeln des Gesanges
by Felix Mendelssohn
2008–2009[12] Auf Flügeln des Gesanges
("On Wings of Song")
by Felix Mendelssohn
Changjiang River Piano Concerto
by Hao Weiya
2007–2008 Piano Fantasy
by Maksim Mrvica
The Myth (soundtrack) Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto
by Chen Gang and He Zhanhao
2006–2007 Spanish Caravan & I Love You
by The Doors
The Offspring of Dragons
by Hou De Jian
2005–2006 Kashmir
by Led Zeppelin
2004–2005 All Alone
by Joe Satriani

Competitive highlights[edit]

GP: Grand Prix; JGP: Junior Grand Prix

With Zhang Hao

Event 99–00 00–01 01–02 02–03 03–04 04–05 05–06 06–07 07–08 08–09 09–10 10–11 11–12
Olympics 11th 2nd 5th
Worlds 9th 6th 5th 3rd 2nd 5th 2nd 2nd 5th
Four Continents 3rd 3rd 2nd 1st 2nd 3rd 1st
Grand Prix Final 6th 5th 2nd 3rd 2nd 2nd 6th 4th
GP Bompard 4th 1st 1st
GP Cup of China 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd
GP Cup of Russia 3rd 1st 1st 1st
GP NHK Trophy 1st 2nd
GP Skate America 4th 3rd 1st 1st 3rd 2nd
GP Skate Canada 1st
Universiade 1st 1st 1st
International: Junior
Junior Worlds 4th 1st 1st
JGP Final 5th 1st 1st
JGP Canada 2nd
JGP China 1st 1st
JGP Italy 1st
JGP Japan 1st
JGP Norway 1st
JGP Sweden 1st
Chinese Champ. 2nd 3rd 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 1st
Team events
World Team
6th T
(1st P)
WD = Withdrew
T = Team result; P = Personal result; Medals awarded for team result only.


  1. ^ a b "Dan ZHANG / Hao ZHANG: 2009/2010". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on April 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "China eyed over 9 athletes' ages". Associated Press. ESPN. February 14, 2011. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ "ISU Judging System - Season Bests Total Scores 2011/2012 : Pairs". International Skating Union. April 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ "ISU Judging System - Season Bests Total Scores 2009/2010 : Pairs". International Skating Union. March 24, 2010. Archived from the original on April 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ "ISU Judging System - Season Bests Total Scores 2008/2009 : Pairs". International Skating Union. April 18, 2009. Archived from the original on January 18, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "张丹/张昊淡看头羊角色 节目精彩演绎死亡之舞" [Zhang Dan / Zhang Hao]. cn.yahoo.com. August 15, 2011. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ "张丹身高暴涨"压坏"张昊 快节奏选曲挑战更大" [Zhang Dan's growth "crushing" Zhang Hao]. sohu.com. October 13, 2009. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. 
  8. ^ Lei, Lei (May 8, 2012). "Zhangs part ways". China Daily. 
  9. ^ "Olympic silver medalists Zhangs part ways". Ice Network. May 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "ISU: No discrepancies for Olympic silver medalists". Associated Press. Yahoo News. February 17, 2011. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Dan ZHANG / Hao ZHANG: 2011/2012". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Dan ZHANG / Hao ZHANG: 2008/2009". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 16, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Competition Results: Dan ZHANG / Hao ZHANG". International Skating Union. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. 

External links[edit]