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[People] World champion ice couple open new ice rink in Shenzhen
Latest Updated by 2007-06-08 09:39:51
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CHINA'S gold medal-winning ice skating duo, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, have started a new career as ice-skating club managers and coaches in Shenzhen after retiring from the national team in March.

(file photo: Shen Xue, Zhao Hongbo on ice, source: Nanfang Daily)

They will manage a new rink which is expected to open early next month at the Window of the World in Nanshan District.

It will become the city's second eye-catching skating rink after the World Ice Arena in The MIXc which is administrated by Chen Lu, the country's first world figure skating champion.

"We are excited and busy with the preparation of the new rink," said Shen, saying that the new position is as great a challenge as performing at the Olympic Games.

"You have to take care of everything, from choosing the color of oil paintings on the walls through to thinking how to promote the rink," she said.

Besides the business in Shenzhen, the couple had to fly to various cities for skating performances, interviews, and most importantly, their marriage registration.

On May 28, they married in Beijing after 15 years together on the ice.

"But we will have our wedding ceremony in 2008, to celebrate the Beijing Olympic Games and leave more time for the business," said Zhao.

The couple first made their relationship public March 21 at the World Figure Skating Championships in Tokyo. They coupled the announcement with their third gold-medal win in six years at the championships.

At the end of their performance, Zhao knelt before Shen to propose to her. However, Shen misunderstood the gesture and knelt down beside Zhao in solidarity. Though the proposal did not go as Zhao had planned, the couple still decided to make their relationship public.

Shen and Zhao is the most successful Chinese pair in history with their impressive lifts and throws. In 1998, they became only the third Chinese pair in history to compete at the Olympics, coming fifth. They won two Grand Prix Final events beating the top pairs in the world and stood on the podium at the last five World Championships, winning golds in 2002 and 2003.

Editor: Wing

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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