At the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2016, 18 year old skater Boyang Jin, made history for China with his Bronze medal. After the Sunday Exhibition we sat down with him and asked him not about the competition, but about his life. Below is the full interview.
Q=interviewer (Wei Xiong for ISU) J=Boyang Jin
Q: This interview is going to be published on a new social media platform of ISU in China (Weibo).
J: Really? Do let me know when it is ready. I want to be the first follower.
Q: First question, when and how did you start skating?
J: When I was a little boy, my mom took me to an ice show by Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao in Harbin. After I watched that show, I started to develop interest in figure skating. But it was during the summer and there was no ice around, so I didn’t start skating at that time. It wasn’t until I became seven and a half years old that I skated on the ice for the first time. Same as Wenjing Sui, my first coach was coach Wang (Junxiang); he was the coach of all our current coaches.
Q: When did you decide to be an athlete, to dedicate yourself into figure skating?
J: I think I started to think about it when I was second year in primary school. I started to show some talents from that time, and my mom firmly believed that I would be able to do well if I continue to skate; even if I wouldn’t do well, she considered it ok that I do something else. That’s how I started my career in figure skating.
Q: When I interviewed you before, you once said that your parents didn’t want you to be an athlete at the beginning, because being athletes of middle to long-distance running themselves, they knew very well how hard it could be.
J: At the beginning they indeed opposed the idea, especially I was pretty good at study in school at that time. But since the second year in primary school my talents started to stand out, so they started to support me as well.
Q: What kinds of talents? Was it your jumping talent?
J: No, I didn’t get my jumps from the beginning. Actually I progressed quite slow, but finally started to do well in jumps from three or four years ago. When I was little, I was showing talents in dance movements.
Q: For you, what is the most fascinating thing about figure skating?
J: I think it is the combination of technical side and performance.
Q: What moments make you enjoy skating?
J: I think it is exciting. When I compete, when I jump, I really like to challenge, and it excites me very much. I just like it.
Q: Which jump do you like the most?
J: I like them all. There isn’t any jump that I don’t like.
Q: You are the first skater ever to have done a quad Lutz at World Championships, and the first skater ever to complete six quads in any ISU competition. How does it feel?
J: I feel very happy and honored. Figure skating has a long history worldwide, and it feels really good to be the first man to achieve something and make some small history.
Q: What is your secret of those difficult jumps?
J: For me, doing jumps is not about difficulty, it is how you feel about it and how you set your mind. First, you need to have the desire to jump; then, you need to have the want of beating that jump when you take off. That’s it.
Q: Even in exhibition number, you like to do the difficult jumps. Is it because you want to improve your consistency?
J: Not really. I just like to jump.
Q: I have to ask something not related to skating. What do you like to do when you have free time?
J: There are so many. I like things that fly in the sky, things that run on the earth, and things that swim in the water… I like pets, radio control vehicles like model planes and cars, earphones, Hi-Fi, etc. I like to play with almost everything that you can play with.
Q: What kind of music do you like to listen to with your earphones?
J: Electronic music.
Q: Electronic music?
J: Yes, that kind of music with strong beats and rhythm.
Q: Regarding the two little crocodiles you keep as your pets, who takes care of them when you are out for competitions?
J: My father, and my aunt.
Q: Which part of your body do you like the most?
J: My canine teeth.
Q: Final question, what do you want to say to figure skating fans via this new social media platform of ISU?
J: Thank all of you.
Q: A few more words, please?
J: I hope figure skating fans can help us promote the beauty of the sport, let more people know the fun of it. Figure skating is a sport that perfectly combines techniques and artistry. I hope more people can follow us.