Biography

At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Vincent Zhou made history in the short program as the first person to land the quadruple Lutz jump in Olympic competition. He made history again in the free skate when he landed another quadruple Lutz en route to a sixth-place finish. With four different quadruple jumps in his repertoire and rapidly developing style and musicality, Zhou is a rising star in the world of men’s skating, most recently claiming the Bronze mredal at the 2019 World Figure Skating Championships in Japan.

Zhou has an impressive record of rising to the occasion and breaking records. He captured U.S. titles on the intermediate, novice and junior levels—twice being the youngest skater ever to claim the title. He made his senior debut at age 15, finishing in the top 10 in the country. At 17, he was the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic team in PyeongChang. Marching in the Opening Ceremony was an exhilarating feeling and he will always cherish the rush of adrenalin he felt as the U.S. team entered the stadium.

Zhou’s affinity for skating was made clear when he was five-and-a-half. At a friend’s skating birthday party, he happily zoomed around the rink while the other kids hung onto the boards. Group lessons began soon thereafter, followed by private lessons.

An active kid, his parents let him try a variety of sports in addition to skating—soccer, swimming, tee-ball, tennis and basketball. At age eight, his parents told him to make a choice between the two sports at which he excelled, soccer and skating.

“My mom tells me I said, ‘My heart is with skating,’” Zhou recalled. “I realized then I loved it.”

Zhou’s parents are computer software engineers originally from China, where they attended the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing. He carries their traditions with him. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Zhou also considers humility and respect as primary character traits.

While the Zhou family celebrates his skating, the family also places a priority on education. He graduated from high school at age 16 and earning the Presidential Award for Educational Excellence.

Zhou is embracing a more mature look in his skating. For the Olympic season, Zhou worked with Olympic bronze medalist and World Champion Jeffrey Buttle and worked with him again for his 2018–19 free skate. Award-winning choreographer Lori Nichol created Zhou’s short program this season.   

Now based in Colorado Springs, Zhou is able to interact with athletes from a variety of sports. He has begun working with Paralympic athletes at the Olympic Training Center and attends events in the area. There will also be volunteer efforts with the new Colorado Springs children’s hospital—visiting pediatric patients and sharing stories of his training and travel—when the hospital is completed in spring 2019.

Despite being soft spoken, Zhou is a ferocious advocate for his sport—ready, willing and able to take on a TV sports anchor who tweeted that figure skating is not a sport. NBCOlympics.com called Zhou brilliant and bemusing. “Part of it is from all I’ve gone through,” he said. “I’ve gained a pretty good perspective on the world, and that helps me make appropriate and witty remarks.”

Although openly ambitious, Zhou remains modest when speaking of his achievements. While he enjoys accomplishments, he remains humble, knowing there is always room for improvement.

“I want to live up to my potential,” Zhou said. “It’s the skaters with the whole package who end up being the greatest champions of all time.”

 

 

Competitive Results

World Championships

3rd

2019

Four Continents Championship

3rd

2019

U.S. Championships

2nd

2019

NHK Trophy

4th

2018

Skate America

5th

2018

World Championships

14th

2018

Winter Olympics

6th

2018

U.S. Championships

3rd

2018

Cup of China

4th

2017

Finlandia Trophy

2nd

2017

World Junior Championships

1st

2017

Bavarian Open

1st

2017

U.S. Championships

2nd

2017

World Junior Championships

5th

2016

U.S. Championships

8th

2016

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