Chen Lu 陈露 (CHN) – 1998 Nagano, Figure Skating, Ladies’ Short Program

Chen Lu 陈露 (CHN) – 1998 Nagano, Figure Skating, Ladies’ Short Program


THE FIRST STEP TOWARD THE GOLD MEDAL SHE’S FAVORED TO WIN. BUT FRANCE HAS A STRONG LADIES’ TEAM HEADLINED BY TWO-TIME OLYMPIAN L.A. SHEESH AHUBERT. AND THE RUSSIANS HAVE DREAMED OF THEIR FOURTH SKATING GOLD IN THESE GAMES. TARA LIPINSKI IS COMING UP SOON, THE FIRST OF THREE AMERICANS ON THE ICE. BUT AMONG THE MEDAL CONTENDERS, MARIA BUTIRSKAYA OF RUSSIA HAS ALREADY COMPETED.>>FIRST TO SKATE IN THE SHORT PROGRAM, SHE HAD TO SKATE CLEAN IN ORDER TO HAVE ANY CHANCE OF A MEDAL. SHE DID THE BEST SHE COULD, TURNED IN A SOLID PERFORMANCE. WE’LL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE HOW THE REST OF THE FIELD DOES.>>THE NEXT GROUP WARMING UP INCLUDES A SKATER WHO WAS ONCE THE GOLD MEDAL FAVORITE FOR THESE GAMES. HARRY SMITH HAS HER STORY.>>LILLEHAMMER 1994, WOMEN’S FIGURE SKATING. PART SOAP OPERA, PART PSYCHODRAMA. EVERYONE REMEMBERS WHO GOT THE GOLD MEDAL. AND, OF COURSE, THE SILVER. WHO WON THE BRONZE? LU CHEN OF CHINA IS THE ANSWER. THAT WITCH OF A GIRL WAS JUST THEN BLOSSOMS INTO CHAIN’S ONLY INTERNATIONAL SKATING STAR. SHE WAS SENT TO AMERICA TO TRAIN TO ENSURE HER CONTINUED GROWTH.>>I REALLY LIKE IT. I REALLY ENJOYED STAYING THERE AND THEN TRAINING AND MAKING A LOT FRIEND. AND ALSO LEARNING HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH.>>LU CHEN LEARNED MORE THAN ENGLISH. HER TIME IN THE WEST HELPED HER LEARN ABOUT HERSELF. SHE BECAME MORE THAN A SKATER, SHE BECAME AN ARTIST ON ICE. LU CHEN WON THE 1995 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. SHE WAS CLEARLY IN LOVE WITH HER SPORT AND SHE WAS FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE UNITED STATES.>>YOU GO SHOPPING AND DISCO AND GO TO THE BEACH, YOU KNOW. ALL KINDS, YOU KNOW, ALL KINDS OF THINGS I LIKE.>>WHAT PART OF THE COUNTRY DID YOU LIKE BEST ST >>I THINK CALIFORNIA. BETTER. WARM.>>LU CHEN WAS ON THE VERGE OF FULFILLING HER ENORMOUS PROMISE, BUT SUDDENLY AND INEXPLICABLY, HER DREAM LIFE IN AMERICA CAME TO AN END WHEN CHINA ORDERED HER TO RETURN HOME.>>IT’S SUCH A CONTRADICTION BECAUSE THEY SENT HER TO THE WEST IN THE FIRST PLACE IN ORDER TO LEARN. AND AS SOON AS SHE MADE A LIFE FOR HERSELF IN CALIFORNIA, THEY TOOK HER BACK.>>CHEN DUTIFULLY RETURNED TO CHINA IN THE FALL OF 1996.>>NO MATTER WHERE I LIVE, I’M CHINESE, I LOVE MY COUNTRY, I REALLY WANT TO DO BEST FOR MY COUNTRY.>>BUT, SHE IS CLEARLY UNCOMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT HER RETURN TO BEIJING.>>WELL, I THINK, YOU KNOW, IT’S SO HARD TO SAY.>>THE FOLLOWING SEASON WAS A DISASTER. CHEN WAS PLAGUED BY AN OLD INJURY. SHE SPLIT WITH HER LONGTIME COACH, AND SHE APPEARED AT ONLY TWO INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS. HER PERFORMANCE AT THE WORLDS WAS SO POOR SHE DIDN’T EVEN QUALIFY FOR THE FINALS.>>AFTER 1997 WORLDS AND, IT’S HARD TIME. AND IT’S A REALLY BREAK MY HEART.>>I SAW A BROKEN SPIRIT. AND WHETHER THAT WAS FROM HER SKATING EXPERIENCES OR BECAUSE SHE HAD BEEN ASKED TO RETURN, I DON’T KNOW, IT’S PROBABLY A COMBINATION OF BOTH.>>SOMEHOW, THOUGH, LU CHEN HAS REGAINED HER FOCUS, REGAINED HER SPIRIT. HERE IN JAPAN LAST FALL, SHE SHOWED GLIMPSES OF THE PASSION THAT MADE HER A GREAT SKATER.>>I JUST TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING. BECAUSE I KNOW I DON’T HAVE THAT MUCH TIME AND THIS TIME, THE OLYMPICS FOR ME IS VERY, VERY IMPORTANT.>>IMPORTANT BECAUSE LU CHEN TOLD US THE OLYMPICS WOULD BE HER LAST COMPETITION.>>WINNING IS IRRELEVANT TO HER. I THINK BEING HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE IS A SUCCESS TO HER. COMING BACK FROM LAST YEAR AND SURVIVING.>>ONLY LU CHEN KNOWS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE LAST TWO YEARS, IT IS FOR NOW HER SECRET. WHAT SHE WANTS THE WORLD TO KNOW, THOUGH, IS THAT SHE IS READY FOR HER FINAL PERFORMANCE.>>I — I DO, I REALLY THINK I CAN COME BACK.>>AND ALL OF US WHO HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO MEET HER HOPE SO. SHE’S STRUGGLING, SCOTT?>>ANOTHER DOUBLE LUTZ IN THIS WARMUP. SHE NEEDS TO HIT A TRIPLE LUTZ, DOUBLE TOE. IF SHE HITS BACK THAT, SHE’S GOT A CHANCE. GIVEN ALL SHE’S BEEN THROUGH, SHE’S STILL ONLY 21 YEARS OF AGE. HERE IS LOVELY LU CHEN. BRONZE MANY LILLEHAMMER. WORLD CHAMPION IN 1995.>>CHOREOGRAPHY IS EXQUISITE, SANDRA BEZIC. SHE HAS SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL TO WORK WITH WITH LU CHEN. TRIPLE LUTZ IS SO CRUCIAL. TRIPLE LUTZ-DOUBLE TOE LOOP. YES. THAT IS SO EXCITING TO KNOW HER ALL THESE YEARS AND SEE THE TROUBLE SHE’S HAD THE LAST TWO DAYS TO WATCH THAT COMBINATION IS UNBELIEVABLE. LAST HIGH-RISK ELEMENT IS CONNECTING STEPS WITH THE TRIPLE TOE LOOP. BEAUTIFUL TRIPLE TOE LOOP. ONE THING ABOUT HER SKATING IS SO FINISHED, POSITIONS, EACH ARM MOVEMENT, POSTURE. BEAUTIFUL SPIRAL POSITION THERE. TRIPLE AXEL, A LITTLE SLOW GOING IN. BEAUTIFULLY LANDED.>>AMONG THOSE WATCHING WITH ADMIRATION AND APPRECIATION, MICHELLE KWAN’S COACH, FRANK CARROLL.>>YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU HAVE THE YEAR SHE HAD LAST YEAR JUST TO SEE HER PULL THAT OFF IS JUST WONDERFUL. BE ABLE TO COME BACK FROM ALL OF THAT.>>SHE DIDN’T QUALIFY TO SKATE IN THE FREE SKATE AT THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN LIEU SANE IN MARCH. I REMEMBER STANDING WITH HER IN THE PARKING LOT, A GROUP OF US TRYING TO COMMISERATE, AND SHE WAS SO SAD TO SEE HER NOW HAVING COMPLETED THAT SHORT PROGRAM, WHAT A THRILL.>>HER CHOREOGRAPHER, SANDRA BEZIC FROM TORONTO.>>STEP ONE, FOUR MINUTES TO GO. SINCE SHE’S BEEN HERE, SHE’S BEEN HAVING FITS WITH THIS TRIPLE LUTZ, SHE GETS IN, GOOD HEIGHT, GOOD POSITION ON THE LANDING. IT’S LIKE, OK. THE TRIPLE LUTZ IS VERY CLOSE. SHE NEEDS TO ROTATE IT EARLIER. SHE ROTATES ON THE TOP OF THE JUMP INSTEAD OF ON THE WAY UP. SHE VAULTS INTO THE AIR. SHE SHOULD START ROTATING FASTER. RIGHT THERE THE FEET COME TOGETHER. ABOUT A QUARTER OF A TURN BEHIND ROTATION. SHE SNEAKS THE FOOT AROUND AND PUTS THE DOUBLE IN FOR THE DOUBLE TOE LOOP. BEAUTIFUL CHOREOGRAPHY. LOOK AT THE LEG AND HOW HIGH IT IS, THE FLEXIBILITY OF THE SPIRAL. BEAUTIFUL LAYBACK POSITION ON THE SPIN.>>NOW THE MARKS FOR LU CHEN. I THINK AUSTRALIA IS JUDGING THE PRACTICES. IT’S A 5.6 PERFORMANCE AT LEAST. IF THEY’RE COUNTING THE QUARTER TURN ON THE TRIPLE LUTZ, THAT’S NITPICKING.>>OH WELL, OK.>>NOW THE ORDINALS, SCOTT, MEANDER TO PUT IT POLITELY.>>A LOT

17 thoughts on “Chen Lu 陈露 (CHN) – 1998 Nagano, Figure Skating, Ladies’ Short Program

  1. After she came to America her skating faltered. This is what messed up her career. Foreign skaters stay out of America! China brought her home for her own good. They cut her up in that US center for Michelle Kwan. The media tries to blame China. Fat chance. Chen thanked China for bringing her career back. Bezic is a rotten liar.

  2. I remember watching this event years ago and finding it inspirational to see her return from what she had experienced just a year earlier and to skate so well at the Olympics again.  A classy and beautiful skater.

  3. At 4:06 that’s Tonya Hardings music from her free skate the Olympics in 94…..Jurassic Park….that everyone complained about

  4. The scores were filth. She was top notch, artistically better than Kwan and Lipinski. As much as I wanted Kwan to win, Chen was more natural. Yes, this was the technical program, but it was poorly judged.

  5. Some of of the marks are a tad low…. But the overall placement of 4th after the short makes sense. It really would have been highly scandalous if Bonaly or Slutskaya had been ahead of her after this program.

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