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U.S. JUNIOR CHAMPIONS – MEN


Birthday: 10-25-2000 Hometown: Palo Alto, Calif. Fun facts: • Favorite skaters: Patrick Chan, Richard Dornbush, Yuzuru Hanyu, Brian Boitano and Michael Weiss


• Favorite foods: Marie Callender’s chicken pot pie, his dad’s Korean barbecue and latkes


• Has a pet Siamese lynx named Snookie


Career highlights: • 2013 Gardena Spring Trophy novice champion


• 2013 U.S. junior champion • 2013 Pacific Coast Sectional junior champion


• 2012 U.S. novice champion • 2012 Pacific Coast Sectional novice champion


• 2012 Central Pacific Regional novice champion


• 2011 U.S. intermediate champion • 2011 Central Pacific Regional intermediate champion


Vincent Zhou steals the show with his Casablanca free skate at the 2013 U.S. Championships in Omaha.


by MIMI WHETSTONE Sometimes a skater takes to the ice like a fish


to water or talks about being a natural. Vincent Zhou is not one of those skaters. “My parents took me skating a couple of times when I was really little, maybe 3 years old, but I couldn’t move a single foot, no exaggera- tion,” Zhou said. “About two years later, I was invited to go skating for a friend’s birthday par- ty and I loved it. Before I chose skating, I tried out many sports — soccer, basketball, swimming, tennis, and I also played the piano for four years. But after five years of soccer, I was also getting better at skating, and my mom realized I could only do one. I told her my heart was with skat-


38 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013


ing, so that’s when I really got serious. I guess you could say my real skating started when I found a private coach when I was about 6.” Two years later, Zhou teamed up with coach


Tammy Gambill and the two embarked on a jour- ney that includes three consecutive U.S. titles. “I started working with Vincent when he had


just turned 8 years old,” Gambill said. “A good friend of mine, Julie Zusman, sent him down to me to get some extra work. He would start every lesson with a joke or a little riddle that he would make up. We really couldn’t start the lesson until he got that out of his system.” At just 12 years old, Zhou earned the U.S.


junior title at the 2013 U.S. Championships after claiming the U.S. intermediate and U.S. novice titles in 2011 and 2012. Born on Oct. 25, 2000, Zhou was the youngest athlete on the 2012‒13 U.S. Team, a fact he sees as both a blessing and a curse.


“Tere are advantages and disadvantages,” Zhou said. “Te spotlight might be on me as the youngest, but I wasn’t old enough to compete at Junior Grand Prix and had to prove myself in a different manner.” “It is good and bad,” Gambill agreed. “He


stands out because he is the youngest. It is more difficult because he is so little that he needs to


JAY ADEFF/U.S. FIGURE SKATING


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