Tiffany Chin


Tiffany Chin
Tiffany Chin
Personal information
Full name Tiffany Chin
Country represented  United States
Born October 3, 1967 (1967-10-03) (age 44)
Oakland, California
Home town San Diego, California
Height 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)

Tiffany Chin (Traditional Chinese: , Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Chén Tíngtíng , born October 3, 1967) is an American figure skater who grew up in San Diego, California. She dominated the junior circuit in ice skating prior to her Olympic career, winning the US Junior National title as well as the World Junior title. Chin made the United States Winter Olympic team in 1984 after winning the freeskate at the 1984 Nationals. She finished fourth at Sarajevo despite placing second in the short program and third in the free program.[1] She went on to win two world bronze medals as well the 1985 U.S. National title, a first for an Asian American or anyone who was not Caucasian. By breaking these barriers she inspired a new generation of skaters, such as Kristi Yamaguchi.

During her career she had many coaches, which was uncommon back then and was heavily criticized by commentators such as Scott Hamilton for doing so. This has since become more common, with skaters such as Christopher Bowman, Nicole Bobek, and Sasha Cohen, switching coaches many times. Originally trained by Mabel Fairbanks as a young child, Chin switched to Janet Champion under the recommendation of Fairbanks. Her mother, Marjorie, later fired Champion and had her train with Frank Carroll,who led Tiffany to her World Junior title. Marjorie Chin was known for being very involved in her daughters skating, to the point of being considered harsh and controlling. She had many disagreements with Carroll, which led Carroll to refuse to work with Chin. Chin went on working with John Nicks where she was seen landing triple axels. After a growth spurt and a recurring injury (a muscle imbalance affecting her legs, arms, and hips) that caused her to lose many of her triple jumps, she left Nicks in 1985 and went on to train with Don Laws.[2] Tiffany Chin was one of the few skaters in the 1980s who had all five triples, but she never regained her triple flip jump or her triple loop jump after 1985.

At the 1985 World Figure Skating Championships, Chin had a realistic shot at the title, particularly after placing 2nd in the compulsory figures, her nemesis from Sarajevo. However, in her free skate, she popped her triple Salchow into a single and fell on the double axel, finishing with the bronze medal behind Katarina Witt and Kira Ivanova.[3] After the event, Chin's mother pulled her off the ice for 8 months to address the muscle imbalance in her hips and legs. Using traditional medicine and chiropractic treatments, Tiffany had to relearn all of her jumping passes. She entered the 1986 US Championships as an underdog, and although she had a strong Short Program and excellent compulsories again, she dropped to third entering the long program. Tiffany skated well enough to make the Worlds team and arrived at Geneva as a long shot for a medal. There, she did surprisingly well, placing fourth in the compulsories and second in the short program to enter the long program in third place. A conservative program with only two triples and many doubled jumps was enough to give her the bronze medal.

In the fall of 1986, she returned to Nicks, and eventually back to Carroll in 1987. After failing to qualify for the 1987 World Championships, she retired from skating and went to college at UCLA, graduating with a BA in English.

After her amateur skating career ended, Chin became an established coach for figure skaters. Many of her students have qualified for Junior Nationals, Pacific Coast Sectionals, the US Figure Skating Nationals, and various international competitions, including, but not limited to, Beatrisa Liang, Melanie Diggs, Victoria Rackohn, Dustin Perini, Song King and Hounsh Munshi. Liang left Chin in 2004 when Chin took some time off from coaching because she was expecting a child,[4] and Munshi moved from her California home to Texas for personal reasons. As of 2009, Perini and King are still coached by Chin.

And on May 3, 2009, Chin was honored by the Los Angeles Chinese Historical Society of Southern California in "Celebrating Chinese Americans in Sports".[5]

Competitive highlights

Event 1980-81 1981-82 1982-83 1983-84 1984-85 1985-86 1986-87
Winter Olympics 4th
World Championships 9th 3rd 3rd
World Junior Championships 1st
U.S. Championships 5th 3rd 2nd 1st 3rd 4th
Skate America 1st 1st
Skate Canada International 2nd
NHK Trophy 3rd

References

Guaranteed To Keep The Chin Up


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