Thursday, December 10, 2009

Figure Skating

     Thanks to the great devotion from my dear Indian friend to this blog. But due to some obvious reason everyone knows, I cannot visit this site often. Since all the Mengjiangnv is gone, what else could I do.

However, I still should write some more for our blog, that is also what I exactly want.
OK, time to back on road. Today’s topic is about a Chinese figure skating couple.

            Congrats! Shen/Zhao, they accomplished an impressive show in Tokyo. Winning a score 214, breaking the world record 206 which was just set a few weeks ago by the powerful Germany opponent. That is the 6th times for this couple winning the Grand Prix since 1998. They just came back to the competition earlier this year. However, since then, they kept breaking their records.

This match was held in the Yoyogi stadium which was built for 1964 Olympic. I visited this perfect shaped stadium in 2007 and taking the following photo from the outside flyover.

            The superstar thrown of the pair figure skating in recent 20 years should be conquered by Grinkov/Gordeeva, sadly Grinkov was taken by heart attack in 1995 forever. After that, Shen/Zhao become one of the most excellent pairs in this sport, taking 3 of the world champion titles plus 2 Olympic medals. They just belong to two different generations, which is impossible to imagine their competition. Of course, I believe competition could lead to self mastery and more amazing performance, this is also what our audience could enjoy more. Luckily, we still have the Germany pair, who did not act perfectly in Japan due to tiring game schedule. Hope they could have better condition in the coming Olympic, while Shen/Zhao keep good health.

            China is a special country, where Olympic gold medal is everything while the silver seems to be nothing. I just hope this phenomenon could be changed forever after the domination in 2008 Beijing Olympic. The sports fans should more focus on the sports themselves not the so called national honor anymore.

            Because each sports is different. Like table tennis and badminton, maybe they just fit our oriental race, Chinese almost takes all of the gold. But like winter sport, there are only two provinces in China are cold enough for people to enjoy skating and skiing. And sadly the only two are not the most developed ones who could provide more fund to develop such sports. That is why the winter sports honor is relatively less. The first winter Olympic medal was won in 1992, 8 years later than summer Olympic and the first gold was won in 2002, 18 years later. The best achievement is only 2 gold in the Olympic and out of the top 10.

            Just 2 my cents, any break, any development in winter sports could touch me more, even if it is not a gold. While I did not watch table tennis, the so called “national ball” ever since 1998.

            Among those a few winter sports which is strong enough to win a medal, figure skating is one. The first figure skating world champion was won by Chenlu in 1996, female single. In the following sheets issued by Azerbaijan 1998, one stamp was for her. And the Sierra Lione issue as well.


            Shen/Zhao is the following world champion. They won three titles. I was lucky to watch one of their shows in 2002, in Beijing. Sadly at that time I did not have the digital camera so no pictures left. At the beginning, Chinese skaters are considered to have good technology but bad performance. They could jump often but not understand the music well, and lack in the art expressive ability. After Shen/Zhao, this definition is changed totally.Do you still remember their perfect performance followed the music “Nessun dorma" from Puccini’s Turandot, which touched so many audience.

            During their hey days among around 2004, they are ready to fight for the Olympic title, but a unexpected injury broke their plan. Zhao suffered from torn ligament. They stood up again soon but due to the short recovery time, they just won bronze in Turin. In 2007, still in Tokyo, after a perfect season, Zhao proposed facing all the audience on the ice. After that, they retired.

            But for the love of the figure skating or for the dream of the Olympic gold, they are back this year. Unbelievable, they are still perfect to win the Grand prix and even broke the world record.

            Zhao is 36 years old while Shen is 30. They are fighting for their dreams. Everything is so hard, but they are keeping trying. Congrats! and Good luck.

            So far I did not know any stamps issued for this couple of world champion yet. But Azerbaijan and Mongolia did record the legendary Grinkov couple forever on the stamps. (Sadly I cannot find my Azerbaijan sheet right now to scan, I supposed to have one. You can refer to the wikipedia Grinkov page, you will see that. ) Maybe one day, we can see Shen/Zhao as well. If anyone have some ideas of their issue, would you please contact me.

            BTW, my favorite stamps about pair figure skating was issued by Hungary in 1980. As following.

(All the stamps and pictures without notice are scanned or taken by myself, if you need larger pictures please contact me.)


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