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CarolineZhang
Most Recent Results :
Event Points Finish Year
2009 Trophée Eric Bompard 153.15 4th 2009
2009 Junior World Championships 154.67 2nd 2009

Caroline Zhang (born May 20, 1993) is an American Figure skater. She is the 2009 U.S. bronze medalist, the 2007 World Junior Champion, and the 2006 Junior Grand Prix Final Champion.

Personal lifeEdit

Caroline Zhang is ethnically Han Chinese. Her Chinese Given name is Yuan-Yuan (), which literally means round-round, and that is the name by which she is known in China and referred to in the Chinese media. She was born in Boston and moved to California at a young age. Her parents are from Wuhan, China, and her older sister was born in China. The Zhang family currently lives in Brea, California.

Zhang is proficient at the piano, was concert master in her middle school's orchestra on violin, and was a Ballet dancer before switching to figure skating.

She trains at the East West Ice Palace in Artesia, which is the rink owned by the Kwan family.

CareerEdit

Early careerEdit

Zhang began skating at age five.

In the 2002-2003 season, skating on the Juvenile level, which is the lowest qualifying level in the United States, Caroline Zhang won the silver medal at her regional championship to qualify for the 2003 U.S. Junior Championships, where she won the pewter medal (fourth place).

In the 2003-2004 season, Zhang moved up to the Intermediate level, which is one level up from Juvenile. Zhang won her regional championship, which qualified her for a second time for the U.S. Junior Championships. She won the bronze medal at the Junior Championships.

In the 2004-2005 season, Zhang moved up to the Novice level, which is the first level that competes at the United States Figure Skating Championships. Zhang won the silver medal at her regional championship to qualify for her sectional championship, where she won the pewter medal. This qualified her for the 2005 United States Figure Skating Championships for the first time. At the National Championships, Zhang won the pewter medal.

Zhang moved up to the Junior level in the 2005-2006 season. She won the silver medal at her regional championship to qualify for her sectional championship, where she won the bronze medal. This medal qualified her for the 2006 United States Figure Skating Championships for the first time on the Junior level. She placed 8th at the National Championships at the age of twelve.

International debutEdit

2008 WJC Ladies Podium

The ladies medalists at the 2008 World Junior Championships display the United States flag during the medals ceremony.

Zhang made her debut on the international stage in the 2006-2007 season. She competed on the 2006-2007 ISU Junior Grand Prix and won her first event in Mexico by a record fifty-three points. She went on to win her second event by thirty-three points and then the Junior Grand Prix Final by twenty. Zhang became known for her creative spin positions, musicality and spiral extension, prompting comparisons to Sasha Cohen and Kwan family by those in the figure skating community, including international judge Joe Inman (figure skater).

Qualifying for the Junior Grand Prix Final qualified her for the 2007 United States Figure Skating Championships without having to qualify through her regional or sectional championships. Competing on the Junior level, Zhang won the silver medal behind Mirai Nagasu. Zhang was named to the U.S. team to the 2007 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, where she beat Nagasu to win the title. Zhang, Nagasu, and Ashley Wagner completed the first ever sweep by the United States of the World Junior ladies podium.

For the 2007-08 season, Zhang moved up to the senior level both nationally and internationally. She made her Grand Prix of Figure Skating debut at the 2007 Skate America, where she won the bronze medal. At this competition, she earned a level 4 and a +3 Grade of Execution for her Layback spin, which is the highest score a skater can receive under Code of Points. Zhang received deductions for underrotating jumps, costing her 17 points overall. Zhang went on to the 2007 Cup of China, where she received fewer deductions and won the silver medal. She has earned 24 qualification points in the Grand Prix series. Following the result of 2007 NHK Trophy, she qualified for the 2007–2008 Grand Prix Final, where she placed 2nd in the short program and fourth overall. She was the fourth World Junior Champion in a row to qualify for the Grand Prix Final in her first Grand Prix season.

Zhang had a bye through her regional championship due to Skate America and a bye through her sectional championship due to Cup of China. She made her senior national debut at the 2008 United States Figure Skating Championships, where she won the pewter medal. Zhang was placed on the U.S. team for the 2008 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, where she won the silver medal behind Rachael Flatt. This was the second ever U.S. sweep of the World Juniors ladies podium.

Zhang began the 2008-2009 season on the Grand Prix circuit with the 2008 Skate Canada. She placed third in the short program with a score of 53.28 after falling on her opening jump combination. She placed 5th in the free skate with a score of 97.52, after falling on one jump and omitting another. , to place 5th overall. At the 2008 Trophée Eric Bompard, her second Grand Prix assignment, Zhang placed third in the short program with a score of 51.76 after omitting the required double axel as well as receiving a Level 1 on her spiral sequence. Zhang scored 104.78 in the long program after receiving a downgrade on her triple flip-triple toe combination, as well as a deduction for a wrong edge take-off on her triple lutz-double toe. She earned a Level 4 on all three of her spins and her spiral sequence. She scored 156.54 overall and won the bronze medal.

At the 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Zhang won the bronze medal.

Innovative movesEdit

Caroline zhang grand prix 2007 lp 1

Zhang performs her signature pearl spin at the 2007–2008 Grand Prix Final.

Zhang popularized the Pearl spin position, a cross between a Layback spin and a Biellmann spin. In the Pearl, the free leg is brought up to waist-height and the free blade is grasped with both hands. The back and head are bent down towards the knee, with the free leg held above the head in a Biellmann position. This makes the spin, in essence, a catch-foot layback in a Biellmann position, because the Biellmann position, according to regulations, is achieved when the level of the boot passes the head so that the boot is above and behind or over the head. It is a layback spin because it is an upright spin with the head and shoulders dropped backwards and the back arched downwards toward the ice. This position has become Zhang's signature spin.

Zhang also performs a hyper-extended Biellmann spin. She is one of several young skaters to perform this move. In this variation, the leg is pulled straight up in the air and the back bent as far into the spin as possible. Zhang is able to perform the spin with her free leg pulled straight up into the air, with very little knee bend, making the spin look closer to a capital-I position than the usual Biellmann teardrop shape. This is a crowd favorite in exhibitions.

Zhang has also performed a forward Charlotte (figure skating).


ProgramsEdit

Caroline Zhang Spin EX 2008 Junior Worlds

Zhang performs a hyper-extended Biellmann spin during her Born to Try exhibition program at the 2008 World Junior Championships.

Season Short Program Free Skating Exhibition
2008–2009 "La Bayadère"
by Leon Minkus
"Ave Maria"
by Schubert
"The Sleeping Beauty"
by Tchaikovsky
"Lullaby for a Stormy Night"
by Vienna Teng
River (song)
by Joni Mitchell
2007–2008 "Spanish Gypsy"
by Ray DeTone
"Ave Maria"
by Schubert
"Born to Try"
by Delta Goodrem
"You Raise Me Up"
by Celtic Woman
2006–2007 "Olga"
from Ladies in Lavender soundtrack
"Meditation"
from "Thais"
by Jules Massenet
"You Raise Me Up"
by Celtic Woman
2005–2006 "O Mio Babbino Caro"
by Puccini
"Meditation"
from "Thais"
by Jules Massenet

Competitive highlightsEdit

Ladies Podium 2008 US Nationals

Zhang (far right) on the senior podium at the 2008 U.S. Championships.

Event 2004–2005 2005–2006 2006–2007 2007–2008 2008–2009
Four Continents Championships 4th
World Junior Championships 1st 2nd TBD
U.S. Championships 4th N. 8th J. 2nd J. 4th 3rd
Grand Prix Final 4th
Trophée Eric Bompard 3rd
Skate Canada 5th
Skate America 3rd
Cup of China 2nd
2006 Junior Grand Prix Final Champion 1st
2006 Junior Grand Prix Final Champion 1st
2006 Junior Grand Prix Final Champion 1st
Pacific Coast Sectionals 4th N. 3rd J.
Southwest Pacific Regionals 2nd N. 2nd J.
  • N = Novice level; J = Junior level

Detailed resultsEdit

2008–2009 seasonEdit

Caroline Zhang Spiral 2008 Skate Canada

Caroline Zhang performs a spiral during her short program at the 2008 Skate Canada International. Zhang placed 3rd in this segment of the competition and 5th overall.

During this season, Zhang competed for the second consecutive season on the Grand Prix. She won the bronze medal at one event. At the U.S. Championships, Zhang won the bronze medal, moving up one position from the previous year. This earned her a trip to the Four Continents Championships, where Zhang made her senior ISU championships debut.

2008–2009 Season
Date Event SP FS Points
February 23 – March 1, 2009 2009 ISU World Junior Championships
February 4 - 8, 2009 2009 ISU Four Continents Championships 5
58.16
4
113.06
4
171.22
January 18 - 25, 2009 2009 United States Figure Skating Championships 3
58.91
4
112.17
3
171.08
November 13 - 16, 2008 2008 Trophée Eric Bompard 3
51.76
3
104.78
3
156.54
October 30 - November 2, 2008 2008 Skate Canada 3
53.28
5
97.52
5
150.80

2007–2008 seasonEdit

During this season, Zhang made her senior international debut. She qualified for the Grand Prix Final for the first time and competed at nationals for the first time on the senior level. She won the pewter medal at nationals, but was not sent to either the Four Continents or World Championships because she was not age eligible. She was instead sent back to the World Junior Championships, where she won the silver medal.

2007–2008 Season
Date Event Level SP FS Points
February 25 - March 2, 2008 2008 World Junior Figure Skating Championships Junior 2
62.60
2
109.24
2
171.84
January 20 - 27, 2008 2008 United States Figure Skating Championships Senior 7
53.49
4
119.67
4
173.16
December 13 - 16, 2007 2007-2008 ISU Grand Prix Final Senior 2
61.82
4
114.66
4
176.48
November 7 - 11, 2007 2007 Cup of China Senior 2
58.76
2
97.58
2
156.34
October 25 - 28, 2007 2007 Skate America Senior 3
56.48
3
96.87
3
162.43

2006–2007 seasonEdit

During this season, Zhang won every international competition she entered. She lost the Junior national title to Mirai Nagasu.

2006–2007 Season
Date Event Level SP FS Points
February 26 - March 4, 2007 2007 World Junior Figure Skating Championships Junior 1
59.17
1
110.18
1
169.25
January 21 - 28, 2007 2007 United States Figure Skating Championships Junior 2
53.87
2
98.01
2
151.88
December 7 - 10, 2006 2006 Junior Grand Prix Final Champion Junior 1
56.28
1
106.40
1
162.68
October 10 - 14, 2006 ISU Junior Grand Prix, Mexico Junior 1
57.36
1
105.06
1
162.42
September 12 - 17, 2006 ISU Junior Grand Prix, Mexico Junior 1
58.93
1
103.50
1
162.43

2005–2006 seasonEdit

During this season, Zhang competed under the Code of Points for the first time and qualified for the U.S. Championships for the second time, this time as a junior. She received national attention when she made the American Broadcasting Company's broadcast of the national championships in a fluff piece which focused on her age and spinning ability.

2005–2006 Season
Date Event Level SP FS Points
January7 - 15, 2006 2006 United States Figure Skating Championships Junior 7
41.69
7
80.50
8
122.19
November 15 - 19, 2005 2006 Pacific Coast Sectional Championships Junior 3
40.36
3
77.42
3
117.78
October 6 - 9, 2005 2006 Southwest Pacific Regional Championships Junior 2 2 2
3.0
(Fact. Places)

2004–2005 seasonEdit

During this season, Zhang qualified for the U.S. Championships for the first time and won the pewter medal (fourth place) on the novice level.

2004–2005 Season
Date Event Level QR SP FS FP
January 7 - 15, 2005 2005 United States Figure Skating Championships Novice 4
4
4
6.0
November 11 - 13, 2004 2005 Pacific Coast Sectional Championships Novice 4 4 4
6.0
October 12 - 17, 2004 2005 Southwest Pacific Regional Championships Novice 1 5 2 2
4.5
  • QR = Qualifying round, SP = Short program, FS = Free skating, FP = Factored placements

ReferencesEdit

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