Ni­chol pre­dicts golden glory

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By XINHUA

Canada’s Lori Ni­chol, one of the world’s lead­ing fig­ure skat­ing chore­og­ra­phers who has worked with the Chi­nese team for more than 10 years, is pre­dict­ing a gold medal for the pairs team of Sui Wen­jing and Han Cong at the 2022 Bei­jing Win­ter Olympics.

“I think they have a very good chance of winning Olympic gold if they can stay healthy,” Ni­chol said.

A four-time win­ner of the Pro­fes­sional Skaters’ As­so­ci­a­tion’s (PSA) Chore­og­ra­pher of the Year award and the 2010 re­cip­i­ent of the PSA So­nia He­nie award for bring­ing pos­i­tive and fa­vor­able recog­ni­tion to the sport, Ni­chol was elected to the PSA Hall of Fame in 2011 and to the US Fig­ure Skat­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s Hall of Fame and the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 2012.

In March 2014, she was in­ducted into the World Fig­ure Skat­ing Hall of Fame.

Ni­chol ar­rived in China this week to train with sev­eral world and Olympic cham­pi­ons. She pre­vi­ously chore­ographed rou­tines for Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, who won gold at the 2010 Olympics in Van­cou­ver.

“I think the stan­dard of ath­leti­cism and artistry that Sui and Han have achieved is on a dif­fer­ent level. They just need to stay healthy and keep go­ing. They are not only good, but ea­ger to have more. You can feel the en­ergy in them.

“I think they are also very good at deal­ing with pres­sure, which will be cru­cial when com­pet­ing in the Olympics at home.”

Ni­chol has also worked with Peng Cheng, Jin Yang and Jin Boyang this sea­son.

“Peng Cheng and Jin Yang have im­proved a lot, and I think if they con­tinue to train hard they also have a good chance to win an Olympic medal. They were sec­ond at the Grand Prix Fi­nal, and I hope that vic­tory will help them build more con­fi­dence in train­ing,” she said.

Sui and Han said their new pro­grams are dif­fer­ent and chal­leng­ing, which is a re­sult of Ni­chol’s in­no­va­tion.

“Both pro­grams are quite in­no­va­tive, be­cause we have time this year. Sui had in­juries and they didn’t com­pete at the Grand Prix,” said Ni­chol.

“We have time to study, to find the right mu­sic and to work on the move­ments. We have many dif­fer­ent ideas.

“Cre­ativ­ity takes time, so we want ev­ery­thing to be brand new, and I think we’re on it. We were very ex­cited for the pro­grams to de­but at the Four Con­ti­nents.”

The Four Con­ti­nents Fig­ure Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships open on Feb 7 in Ana­heim, Cal­i­for­nia.

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