Who is Vincent Zhou?
Vincent Zhou (pronounced “Joe”) was the 2017 World Junior Champion as well as the silver medalist at that year’s national championships. Zhou could be the youngest member of the U.S. 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Team across all sports.
Figure skating beginnings
Born October 25, 2000 in San Jose, California. He started skating at age 5 at a friend’s birthday party and enrolled in skating lessons afterwards. By age 10, he won the Intermediate national title. The following year, he took the Novice national title, and in 2013, he was the Junior national champion.
Major competitions/ medals
In the 2016-17 season, Zhou won a silver medal at the U.S. Championships and won the World Junior Championship title.
The season prior, Zhou finished eighth at the U.S. Championships and was fifth at the World Junior Championships.
Zhou says his breakout moment was when he landed his quadruple Lutz in the fall of 2016:
One Friday, coach was gone golfing for the afternoon and I decided to mess around a bit with the quad Lutz. I had never tried it before, but I knew I had the potential to do it. And on my third try, I landed it cleanly. I landed the most difficult jump in the history of the sport at age 15, the youngest person ever to do so. I landed a quad on my third try, when most people take years just to learn triples.
There are less than 10 people in the world who can do a quad Lutz, and all of a sudden my reality was twisted in all ways possible. The Olympics suddenly seemed not so far away, and I was apprehensively excited for what the future could hold.
Then, a few weeks later, I decided to mess around with the quad flip, slightly less difficult than the quad Lutz but no less impressive and unbelievable. And once again, on my third try, I landed it clean. I was in shock. I was the youngest person in the entire history of the sport to be able to do four different quads, and to this day I still have difficulty believing what I'm able to do. But I certainly embraced the quads, and only then did I realize that I was doing world class stuff. I realized that I was one of three people in the entire world doing four different quads, and that really made my Olympic dream seem closer than ever.
He’s the youngest Intermediate men’s national champion, the youngest Novice men’s national champion, and the youngest Junior men’s national champion. That’s three national titles at three different levels for three consecutive years!
Zhou would make his Olympic debut in PyeongChang. He says he wants to attend four Olympic Games before he turns 30 years old.
Outside the rink
Zhou’s mother started teaching him Mandarin Chinese from as far back as he can remember, and he speaks the language fluently. He also attended a Chinese school every Sunday afternoon until he reached the age of 12.
One of his favorite things to do outside the rink is to take hikes. He says, “I absolutely love hiking. Nature photography also interests me because of how much I admire the wild outdoors. When I am able to, I like to find new trails in Colorado to explore. My dream would be to do a difficult hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.”
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