Olympic silver medalists Zhangs part ways
Dan announces retirement from skating; Hao pairs up with Cheng Peng
|Dan Zhang and Hao Zhang salute the crowd from the medal stand after winning the silver at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. (Getty Images)|
Dan said she is retiring from figure skating while Hao is continuing on and has already found a new partner, Cheng Peng.
"I don't have too many regrets about retiring. After all, I have gained an Olympic silver medal," Dan told the English-language newspaper China Daily. "I teamed up with Hao for nearly 15 years, and we worked hard and gave our all in training and competitions. Although we didn't grab the opportunity to earn a gold at the worlds or Olympics, we have no regrets as we tried our best."
The Zhangs, who are not related, competed together for 14 seasons. They may be best remembered for a hard fall she took on an attempted quad throw Salchow in the free skate at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, which forced them to have to stop and re-start their program.
In addition to their Olympic medal, they also won four world medals (three silver, one bronze) and two Four Continents titles.
Hao has been unable to avoid the injury bug of late, suffering a broken finger prior to the start of the 2010-11 season (which the team sat out completely) as well as dealing with shoulder and back issues.
His health combined with her height (she grew to 5'7") were obstacles the team ultimately could not overcome.
Hao wrote via his weibo (a Chinese micro-blogging site) account Monday: "Thank you (Dan) for your help, tolerance and understanding to me during our 14 years together.
"All the details of our training and studying together remain fresh memories for me. We were happy when we succeeded, and we encouraged each other when we lost. I will remember all your efforts. I wish you a bright future in study and daily life. I believe your perseverance will lead you to a successful future."
Dan said her future plans include attending the Beijing Sport University.
Hao and Peng have been training together for almost two weeks. She is new to the discipline, having only skated pairs for a year.
Bin Yao, head coach of China's national team, told China Daily, "We selected Peng for Hao due to her stature and abilities. Through days of training, Hao is satisfied with her."