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China's Shen and Zhao win pairs gold

[ 2010-02-16 15:23]     字号 [] [] []  
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China's Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo kiss their gold medals on the podium after winning the pairs free program figure skating competition Monday.

This is why Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo came back.

The Chinese pair finally won the Olympic gold medal that eluded them for so many years Monday night, a prize so compelling it lured them out of the cozy life of a happily retired married couple. It wasn’t the best skate of their career, but it was good enough for gold — and that was all that mattered.

Their score of 216.57 points was more than three points ahead of teammates Pang Qing and Tong Jian. When Shen and Zhao finished their routine, Zhao knelt to the ice, burying his face in his hands while his wife patted his back. He pumped his fist several times while she beamed, her grin so bright it could light up the entire arena.

Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany dropped to the bronze medal after a flawed free skate.

It’s the first time since 1960 that a Russian or Soviet couple isn’t atop the Olympic podium, ending one of the longest winning streaks in sports. Perhaps even more shocking, the Russians are leaving empty-handed, with no medals of any color.

Shen and Zhao, bronze medalists at the last two Olympic Games, retired after winning their third title in 2007. They got married, and lived the easy life of retirees, doing shows and appearances. But something was missing — that gold medal.

They returned this season and despite being 31 and 36, ancient in pairs skating, dominated everywhere they competed. This was no different.

Skating last, and knowing the couples who could steal their gold had made errors, they performed with the passion that has become their new trademark. The interpretation to “Adagio in G Minor” was mesmerizing, with their choreography perfectly in tune to their music. She was so expressive, the audience could practically feel her every emotion.

Their throw jumps were huge and flawless, the kind of tricks that will dazzle even the X-Games set. Their throw triple salchow was so massive, she ought to get frequent flier points.

Shen and Zhao did have one mistake, and it was a shocker. She slipped down his back during one of their lifts, a move that is normally so automatic for them, it’s like a crossover. The crowd gasped, a look of exasperation crossed her face.

But they recovered immediately, and finished the program with a beautiful carry lift that circled half the ice. The audience was on its feet before their music even finished, knowing it had witnessed history. When the marks flashed, they shared a long embrace: husband and wife, now Olympic champions.


国足3比0胜韩国 “恐韩症”终结

郑洁跻身澳网八强 再写历史



(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)