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Chinese Coaches: Career Life Continues Overseas

Lifeofguangzhou.com Time: 2008-08-24 Source: Guangzhou Daily

"Jenny" Lang Ping (L.) and her USA women's national volleyball team.
▲ Lang Ping: I could never be master of the American team if the Chinese girls did not become top players of the world.
  Shawn Johnson celebrates with her coach Liang Chow after achieving a gold medal in the women's balance beam final in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (Guangzhou Daily)

Text by Xu Yunhui, Chen Minjie

On the battlefield of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, it is not difficult to find Chinese coaches working for foreign teams. Nearly 20 Chinese instructors are working hand in hand with foreign teams in gymnastics, table tennis, badminton and volleyball, helping athletes to enjoy mutual progress by sharing skills and experience.

Jenny Lang Ping: Another boost for American women's volleyball

Jenny Lang Ping, now Head Coach of the USA women's national volleyball team, is definitely under the most spotlights. Known as the "Iron Hammer" during her playing days, Jenny became a well-respected coach in multiple countries after her retirement in China. She took over her current position from former Team USA Coach Toshi Yoshida.

After several competitions at the Beijing Olympics, the US women's volleyball team has advanced to gold-medal game, defeating Cuba in three sets to guarantee the Americans their best Olympic finish since 1984. As emotional as always, the American girls celebrated their historic return with big smiles and big hugs for their head coach from China.

Lang is celebrated by many as a national hero. She was a national player for China, winner of an Olympic gold medal in the 1984 Olympics, a World Championship crown in 1982 as well as World Cup titles in 1981 and 1985. Later she became a well-respected coach in various countries, first as assistant coach at the University of New Mexico, and then as head coach of the Yaohan Professional World Superstar Team.

In 1995, Lang became the head coach of the Chinese national team and eventually guided the squad to the silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2005, she signed on to be the head coach of the USA women's national volleyball team.

"I could never be master of the American team if the Chinese girls did not become the top players of the world. But in fact, they are growing very well, and they will improve," she said.

Liang Chow: Rewarded through diligence

Former Chinese gymnast Liang Chow went to America for further development after his retirement, learning English at the University of Iowa. In 1998, Chow launched the “Liang Chow Gymnast School” in Iowa and met the then six-year-old Shawn Johnson, who later became his top student after ten years of training. The spunky little girl won a gold medal in the women's balance beam final, a silver in the floor individual final and another silver in the women’s all-around at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Tong Hui: Godfather of Australian diving

Tong Hui went to Canada early in 1989 where he began his career as a diving coach. Later, in 2001, he was invited by the Australian team and became head coach. This Godfather of Australian diving led his team to a top position at the 2004 Athens Olympics when his student, Robert Newbery, won the gold in the 10-meter platform. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, coached by Tong Hui, Briony Cole and Melissa Wu gained a silver medal in the women's 10-meter synchronized platform.

Chen Wen: Diving career continues in Great Britain

67-year-old Chen Wen was head instructor of the Beijing Diving Team. Invited by the UK Diving Association, Chen moved to Great Britain in October of 2002 to continue his career in the diving platform. Thomas Daley, the 14-year-old who joined the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the men's 10m platform, was Chen's favorite student.

Ma Jin: Career sparkles in Mexico

Beijing's Ma Jin went to Mexico to become a diving coach as part of a supporting project from China six years ago. In this year's 29th Olympics, on a diving team of seven members competing on behalf of Mexico, three are Ma's students.

Li Li: Runs from China to the world

Li Li was a coach of middle and long-distance running in China's Sichuan province between 1983 and 1985. Later he went to study in the US and got a doctoral degree. During his coaching career in America, Li brought the country seven individual championships at the American University Track and Field Tournament. Li competes at the Beijing Olympics on behalf of America this summer and has become the first Chinese instructor listed on the country’s coach team.

Li Mao: Changes the international face of badminton

The standing head coach of the South Korean badminton team, Li Mao, was the teacher of Dong Jiong, silver medal holder in the men's badminton single at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Li furthered his coaching career in S. Korea in 1999. In a short period of four years, Li's students Lee Hyun-II gained the title in the Sudirman Cup in 2003 and Shon Seung Mo achieved a silver in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Li moved to Malaysia in 2005 where he instructed the country’s top seeds, Lee Chong Wei and Wong Mew Choo. Li went back to South Korea in 2007 and has achieved good results at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Liu Guodong: Makes history in Singapore's table tennis field

Invited by the Singapore Table Tennis Association, Liu became head coach of the country's women's team in 2005. At this year's Olympic Games, Singapore got silver in the women's team event against China. It is the first ever medal for Singapore at the Olympics.