Figure Skating: Olympic Gold Medalist Coach Zhang Wei Returns as Technical Director of Singapore
SINGAPORE — After coaching China to a gold medal in figure skating at the Beijing Winter Olympics, Zhang Wei now hopes to contribute to the development of the local winter sports scene by returning to his role as technical director of the Singapore Ice Skating Administration (Sisa).
He had held the position from April 2020 to April last year, but left to coach the Chinese figure skating team alongside Zhao Hongbo, a former Olympic champion, and Guan Jinlin ahead of the Olympics. February winter.
The trio guided Sui Wenjing and Han Cong to pair figure skating gold in Beijing, which saw them become the second Chinese pair to do so in the sport after Zhao and partner Shen Xue were crowned champions at the 2010 edition.
With his coaching experience as well as his own as a former figure skater who won gold at the 1999 Asian Winter Games for China, Zhang is now eager to help Sisa develop winter sports. in Singapore.
He began coaching in Singapore in 2001 and has made the Republic his home, where he resides with his wife and two sons.
Coach education was a key focus during his previous tenure as Sisa’s technical director and it will remain a priority for him this time around. Previously, he had helped write safety instructions for Sisa and had also conducted coaching seminars.
Zhang, who is a citizen of Singapore, said, “I believe I can help figure skating and ice skating with my knowledge and experience. I am willing to share my experience with local coaches.
“I used to train full time when I was very young until I retired and the local cultures are different and the way the sport is perceived is also different so I think I’m in able to contribute to Sisa to develop this sport in Singapore.”
The 44-year-old pointed out that good training can play an important role in getting people into the sport and training athletes to compete at a higher level.
He said: “How you teach a skater is very important, it’s how you let them into the rink, that’s the first step. Then the second step is to teach them properly so that ‘he doesn’t fall too hard or get hurt and let they really like to skate.
“Teaching the right technique is important. Figure skating is a very complicated sport and they need to have a good base to improve, otherwise it’s difficult to go even higher.”
Zhang also hopes to see a figure skater from Singapore at the 2030 Winter Olympics, but acknowledged there are challenges to overcome.