Iris Zhao Wins Gold at 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships

By David Li,

Boston, Jan. 9, 2014, — You just cannot predict how your coach would react after you won the national championship. “There are no words to express how proud I am of Iris today. US Juvenile Champion! Such a tremendous day with a wonderful girl who’s light filled the building today:)” wrote Kristen Weir, professional figure skating coach at Colonial Figure Skating Club on Facebook. She also changed her Facebook profile picture to the one below.
Iris Zhao is sandwiched by coaches Kristen Weir and Amy Allen for a picture after winning the championship (from Facebook).

On Jan. 8, 2014, 12-year-old Iris Zhao from Acton, Mass. competed in juvenile group of the Prudential 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Finished fourth in the 2014 Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships last November, Iris Zhao skated a perfect routine to win her first national title. The winning score is 56.36.

May Liu, mother of Iris Zhao commented: “Congratulations to my lovely Iris, for your first US national champion! We are all so proud of you!” Iris Zhao’s father Mr. Shuguang Zhao is an active soccer player in the Acton community, and has been a video photographer at his daughter’s competitions.

“Congrats Iris Zhao! All your 6th grade teachers from Conant are so proud of you too,” commented Sheri Hatch, professional figure skating instructor at Colonial Figure Skating Club.

Ms. Liu made the trip to Ashburn, Virginia for the 2014 Eastern Sectional two months ago. “Iris finished in the 6th place last year at Eastern Sectional Championships, and didn’t make to the U.S. Championships. She made strides over past 12 months, and finally makes the cut this year,” said Ms. Liu during a phone interview in December 2013.

It’s been such a thrill for Ms. Liu to see her daughter winning the national title 20 miles from home. There must be something about home cooking!