Mingzhu Li

Mingzhu Li

Chinese figure skating coach and judge.
Date of Birth: 30.10.1962
Country: China

  1. Biography of Minzhu Li
  2. Difficulties in Chinese Figure Skating
  3. Transition to the United States
  4. Preparation for the Olympics

Biography of Minzhu Li

Minzhu Li is a Chinese figure skating coach and judge. She is best known for being the coach of two-time bronze Olympic medalist in women's singles skating, Chen Lu. Li started skating at the age of seven and decided to become a coach at the age of 16 in 1980. Chen Lu was one of her first students.

Difficulties in Chinese Figure Skating

Li recalls that the time was challenging for Chinese figure skating: "Sometimes we had to train outdoors in the winter." Technically, Chinese figure skaters lagged behind the world level, and innovations in skating were not encouraged. In an interview, Li mentioned that she advised her students to start practicing triple jumps at the age of ten, which was considered too early by Chinese standards. The older and experienced coaches disapproved of such innovations, believing that excessive enthusiasm would ruin the athletes. Li, on the other hand, believed that the earlier a skater learns complex elements, the better. Chen Lu started doing triple jumps at the age of nine and mastered all types of jumps by the age of ten. She worked with Minzhu Li for fifteen years.

Transition to the United States

Li became the coach of the Chinese national team but moved to the United States after ending her collaboration with Chen Lu in 1997. "Initially, it was difficult for me to adapt to the training regime in the US," Li explains. "I had to learn how to train entire groups in 20 or 30 minutes, which was the time it took for athletes in the Chinese team to warm up." Currently, she resides in California and works at the East West Ice Palace. Li coaches skaters of all ages and specializes in jump technique. She is also the primary coach of American figure skater Caroline Zhang, who won the Junior World Championships in 2007. They have been working together for five years.

Preparation for the Olympics

In 2008, at the request of the Chinese Figure Skating Federation, Li took on three students from China whom she will prepare for the Olympic Games in Sochi. These skaters are Gen Bingva (14 years old), Zhang Kexin (12 years old), and Li Zijun (11 years old).