Coaches Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo were in the audience last night, as their pupils Sui Wenjing and Han Cong followed in their footsteps and took home China’s second Olympic gold in pair figure skating. Nostalgia was felt by Chinese fans on a celebratory evening. Beijing 2022 is China’s arrival as a world-class winter sports power, and Shen and Zhao have been its eye witnesses since the beginning. The two paired up in 1992 - the year their student Han Cong, three years his partner’s elder, was born. Eighteen years into their career on the ice, Shen and Zhao showed off for one last time at the Vancouver Games, where they made history as the first Chinese figure skating pair to win the gold medal as well as the oldest Olympic champions in the sport. At 31 and 36 years old respectively, Shen and Zhao broke Russia’s 46-year, 12-gold medal streak in Olympic pairs figure skating. At the same event, their teammates Pang Qing and Tong Jian claimed silver. The inspiring story of Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo. 👏💑⛸ pic.twitter.com/a1jcxo3NSp — Olympics (@Olympics) April 15, 2019 A dozen years later, or, as netizens are catching on to, a full cycle of the Chinese lunar calendar, their talented successors Sui and Han delivered a dazzling number to the folk classic Bridge Over Troubled Water , earning them top spot. The Year of the Tiger is certainly good to the Chinese figure skaters. Shen and Zhao were already two of China’s most decorated athletes before winning their Olympic gold. In 2002, they came out on top at the World Championships - again, as the country’s first. Like their pupils, the veterans are also partners in real life, having married in 2007 and given birth to a daughter in 2013. Retiring after the 2010 Games, they have since been grooming new talent in coaching positions. Shen is now the president of the Chinese Figure Skating Association (CFSA), while Zhao takes charge as the head coach of China’s national figure skating team. Speaking to the press last year, the couple made clear that their juniors are motivated by their passion and not gold medals, saying: “The Beijing 2022 bid does not come out of some competitive desire for our country to win more gold medals, but rather to share our love of sport, so that you too will be inspired to one day pick up your own pair of skates and come join us on the ice.” Clips of the veterans’ 2010 gold-medal performance are resurfacing on Chinese social media platform Weibo, with online users reminded again of their grace, romance, elegance and athleticism. “Olympic champions trained the olympic champions” was a trending hashtag that attracted more than 20 million views as of Sunday morning. “The pride of the Chinese people … we will always support you,” a user wrote, praising the world record holders while acknowledging their coaches. The quadrennial event is wrapping up tonight with a closing ceremony, where Beijing hands things off to Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, the hosts of the 2026 Winter Olympics.