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Shen and Zhao
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Figure Skaters
    (November 13, 1978- )
    Xue Shen (November 13, 1978- )
    Hong Bo Zhao (September 22, 1973- )
    Olympic Bronze Medalists (2002)
    Gold Medalists at the World Championships in 2002 and 2003 Silver in 2004
    They did not gain international recognition until 1998, despite being China's top pairs team since 1993.
    In Salt Lake, Shen fell on what would have been the first quadruple throw jump in history.
    Although they were the favorites going into the 2004 World Championships, Hong fell on a side-by-side triple toe in the short program (leaving them in fourth place), which cost them the gold medal.
    They grew up in poverty and had to endure many hardships in order to enter the world of competitive sports.
    Despite winning the bronze medals in the 2002 Olympics, no one paid attention to them because of the scandal involving Marie-Reine Le Gougne.
    They received standing ovations at Worlds in 2003 and 2004.
    Upon entering the long program of the 2004 Worlds, they knew they had no chance of winning but persevered and delivered a flawless performance.
    Their perfect program earned them 12 perfect 6.0 scores (2 for technical merit, 10 for presentation) and moved them from fourth place into second.
    What happened to them (having to settle for silver despite earning the highest scores of the free skate) has become a basis of argument for changing the original scoring system to a more objective one.

Credit: Lex Smallville


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