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 six-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.

In the moment, Zhou was focused on his programs, so he didn’t pay a lot of attention to his historic jumps, but reflecting back on the entirety of his Olympic experience, he sees it as a huge life event.

“There are no words to describe how incredible and special the Olympics were. It’s something unlike anything you’ll ever experience the rest of your life. It’s a focal point. It was such a huge moment in my young life and I’m so fortunate to have had that Olympic experience at 17,” said Zhou.

Scholar can now be added to Zhou’s resume. While the Zhou family celebrates his skating, they also place a priority on education. He has shown outstanding intelligence, graduating from high school at age 16 and earning the Presidential Award for Educational Excellence. He took time away from the classroom to focus on Olympic preparation and improving his skating, but Zhou never forgot his plans to attend college to study Economics and minor in Business. Vincent is a freshman at Brown University, an Ivy League institution in Providence, RI. Zhou wanted to attend an intellectually demanding university, and he appreciates Brown’s unique personalized education experience. In nearby Boston, Vincent enjoyed visiting his older sister, who attends M.I.T.

He has an impressive record of rising to the occasion and breaking records. Zhou 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 adrenaline he felt as the U.S. team entered the stadium.

“It’s something you can’t take for granted,” he said. “In the moment, I was walking with everyone, waving the American flag and feeling absolute pride at my ability to do what it took to make it there.”

In a decidedly individual sport like figure skating, Zhou enjoyed staying in the Olympic Village and celebrating the accomplishments of fellow athletes across the sports. “The team experience is unforgettable,” he said. “I wanted to soak in every moment and enjoy it.”

The 2018 Olympic season was followed by new heights for Zhou. He battled an injury early in the 2018-19 season, but things came together at the start of 2019. He won another silver medal at the U.S. Championships, made his debut at the ISU Four Continents Championships at which he won the bronze medal and then earned his first podium placement at the World Championships, bringing home the bronze.

“It was a rough start, but I managed to turn that around,” said Zhou, who gave credit to the support of the team behind him. “Every single season manages to give me amazing experiences. Every new season offers tougher and tougher challenges with better and better rewards for overcoming them.

“The unlikely has great potential to become likely if you do the right thing,” he added. “Winning the World medal helps with confidence. In terms of my own beliefs in what I’m capable of, I proved to myself and to others that it’s not a one-time thing and that I can repeat good performances at a very high level, which I did at World Team Trophy following Worlds (helping Team USA win gold).”

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. The choice was obvious. He understands that skating is a marathon not a sprint and treats mistakes as lessons, intent on being better at the next opportunity.

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.

His family has sacrificed a lot for his skating. His father remains based in Northern California and his mother has traveled with him to seek out the best coaching. Zhou trains in Colorado with Tom Zakrajsek and Drew Meekins as well as Mie Hamada in Japan.

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. He attributes this to his Chinese heritage.

“I want to live up to my potential,” Zhou said. “Technically, it’s cleaning up the technique. It’s definitely not an easy process. Everyone jumps in a different way. I’m trying to improve quality, improve grades of execution, improve my positions and the ways the jumps look.

“Artistically, this year I’m trying out the new style for the short program,” he added. “This is my first international season doing something that’s more extroverted. For the free skate, Lori and I experimented with more contemporary movement and we took inspiration from dance performances.”

After medaling at the 2022 U.S. National Championships, Vincent qualified for the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. As a member of Team USA, Vincent proudly contributed, along with his teammates, to win the Olympic silver medal in the team event. Vincent came back even stronger by winning his second World Bronze Medal at the 2022 World Championships in Montpellier, France.

As of now, Vincent has completed one semester at Brown University before he resumed full-time training. He will return to Brown after the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and devote his focus to his education. In the interim, he vows to be a voracious reader and remain intellectually curious. “Both my parents are Chinese immigrants who attended the top college in China. Education will always be number one in my family and in my culture, but as of right now my priority is athletic betterment.”

Vincent is excited to return to Stars on Ice and skate for his many fans across the country. You can follow Vincent Zhou on Twitter and Instagram @govincentzhou.


Competitive Results

World Championships

3rd

2022

Winter Olympics

2nd (Team)

2022

U.S. Championships

3rd

2022

NHK Trophy

2nd

2021

Skate America

1st

2021

CS Nebelhorn Trophy

1st

2021

U.S. Nationals

2nd

2021

Skate America

2nd

2020

U.S. Nationals

4th

2020

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

News

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