Sui Wenjing and Han Cong are a Chinese figure skating pair who have racked up tens of gold, silver, and bronze medals in a variety of competitions. They are the 2017 world champions, the 2015 and 2016 world silver medalist, two-time Grand Prix Final bronze medalists, and four-time Four Continents champions. Plus a few junior championships and a couple of Chinese national champion wins.
They’re known for adding tricky quadruple salchows and quadruple twists into their routines, and are in the lead for the Olympic gold.
Here’s everything you need to know:
1. When They First Teamed Up They Had Zero Pair Experience
Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China compete in the Pairs Free Skating during ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships/Getty
When the two figure skaters decided to work together in 2007, they didn’t have any past pair experience. After watching Shen Xuea and Hongbo Zhao compete together in the 2010 Olympics, Sue and Han were inspired.
“I’ve watched Shen and Zhao in 2002 at the Olympic Winter Games on TV and I asked my mother if I could start skating as well,” Sui said to GoldenSkate.com. “I also knew Shen and Zhao from TV and I watched their great performances,” said Han. “Watching them I got so many positive emotions that I wanted to do the same.”
They’re both from Harbin, a hub for Chinese figure skating. On switching from singles to pairs, Han said it was difficult at first.
“It was very hard at the beginning,” he said. “We started slowly. We did everything step by step.”
Sui is only 4ft, 7in tall, but even though Han is quite a bit taller she said she’s not afraid of lifts or throws. The pair quickly learned the difficult to master quad throw, which they debuted at the Junior Worlds in The Hague.
2. They’re In the Lead to Win the Pairs Competition in PyeongChang, but Russia Could Oust Them
After recovering from surgeries on both feet in 2016, Sui Wenjing and her partner Han Cong delivered an emotional performance and lead the field after the pairs’ short program. https://t.co/mslLU4HfN4 pic.twitter.com/mpGH4s31HF
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 14, 2018
The pair was ahead after their short competition performance to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” They scored 82.30 points, their season best. Still, Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia are less than one point behind, with 81.68 points, also a season best.
“We managed to pull off all the elements,” Tarasova said to ESPN, “and tomorrow we’ll have to pull ourselves together. It’s a new day, a new program and a new fight begins.”
3. Their International Debut Was a Huge Success, Only Two Years After They Started Pairs
It looks like a brush with death, but it’s just all in a day’s work for figure skaters Sui Wenjing and Han Cong. #PyeongChang2018 pic.twitter.com/Uf0qWShbgx
— Xinhua Sports (@XHSports) February 14, 2018
Though Sui and Han were inexperienced with pairs, …read more