|Country represented||United States|
|Former countries represented||China|
January 1, 1968 |
|Residence||West Des Moines, Iowa, United States|
|Discipline||Men's artistic gymnastics|
Liang Chow (formerly Qiao Liang, Simplified Chinese: 乔良, Traditional Chinese: 喬良, Pinyin: Qiáo Liáng) (born January 1, 1968) is a Chinese former artistic gymnast. He is the founder, owner, and head coach of Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute in West Des Moines, Iowa. He is notable for being the coach of 2008 Olympic balance beam champion Shawn Johnson and 2012 Olympic individual all-around champion Gabby Douglas. He currently coaches senior US gymnasts Norah Flatley and Rachel Gowey and junior US gymnast Victoria Nguyen.
Growing up in Beijing, Chow was tapped by a district club at the age of 5 to train in gymnastics. He was on China's national gymnastics team for more than a decade, winning numerous national and international medals. However, he never competed in an Olympic Games; in 1988 he was too young to make the Chinese team, and before 1992 he suffered a back injury and retired from competition.
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. Following his experience working 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 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. 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.
Chow is married to Liwen Zhuang, a former gymnast on the Chinese national team. They have one child, named Kevin. Chow became a U.S. citizen in 2002.
International Elite Athletes
There (as of December 2016) only two International Elites training and competing at Chow's gym. Norah Flatley Is a senior elite set to make her senior debut in 2017 (she has been at senior level age since beginning of 2016, has been out on injury since mid 2015), she is renowned for her beam work, much alike Shawn Johnson. Flatly has competed at two national championships and three international assignments since her elite qualification in 2013. Victoria Nguyen is also set to make her senior debut in 2017, she has been at elite level since 2014, and has competed at two national championships and one international assignment. Former gymnast Rachel Gowey, recently retired from elite gymnastics to pursue NCAA college gymnastics at the University of Florida, before her retirement Gowey competed in two national championships, two international assignments and the 2016 Olympic Trials. She qualified elite in 2014. Alexis Vasquez competed for Chow as an elite from 2013 through to early 2015, she competed in two national championships before dropping down to Level 10 (accompanied by a gym move), she then therefore forfeited her senior international debut and any possible international assignments.
- "Chow's Gymnastics - Des Moines, IA". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Emmert, Mark (Jul 31, 2012). "Olympics: Gabby Douglas finds coach Liang Chow at the right time". Poughkeepsie Journal.
- "Broken ankle takes Rachel Gowey out of worlds, nationals". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
- Park, Alice (26 July 2012). "Liang Chow’s Gymnastics Coaching Journey: From Beijing to West Des Moines". TIME. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Emmert, Mark (30 July 2012). "Liang Chow stresses fun as he molds world's top gymnasts". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 4 August 2012.