Liang Chow

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Liang Chow
— Gymnast —
Norah Flatley + Liang Chow 2014.JPG
Liang Chow with athlete Norah Flatley at the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy.
Personal information
Country represented  United States
Former countries represented  China
Born (1968-01-01) January 1, 1968 (age 48)
Beijing, China
Residence West Des Moines, Iowa, United States
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) 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.[1] He is notable for being the coach of 2008 Olympic balance beam champion Shawn Johnson and 2012 Olympic individual all-around champion Gabby Douglas.[2] He currently coaches senior US gymnasts Norah Flatley and Rachel Gowey and junior US gymnast Victoria Nguyen.[3][4]


Growing up in Beijing, Chow was tapped by a district club at the age of 5 to train in gymnastics.[5] He was on China's national gymnastics team for more than a decade, winning numerous national and international medals.[5] 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.[6]

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.[5] 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.[5]


Chow is married to Liwen Zhuang, a former gymnast on the Chinese national team. They have one child, named Kevin.[5] Chow became a U.S. citizen in 2002.

International Elite Athletes[edit]

He has three international elite gymnasts, one senior and two juniors. His juniors are Norah Flatley, and Victoria Nguyen . Following the retirement of former elite Alexis Vasquez, Chow's only senior is Rachel Gowey.


External links[edit]