Li Yan (speed Skater) - Coaching Career

Coaching Career

In 2000, she received a telephone call which asked whether she would be interested in a short track coaching exchange program with Slovakia. Other Chinese coaches had refused to take this opportunity, but Li agreed "after thinking about it for 10 seconds." She became the coach of the Slovakian national team from 2000 to 2002 and led the team to qualify for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

After the 2002 Winter Olympics, she became the coach for an Austrian short track speed skating club in Vienna. Shortly after, Li Yan joined U.S. Speedskating’s staff in January 2003 as the Short Track Development Coach based at the U.S. Olympic Education Center in Marquette, Michigan. She became the U.S. National Team Coach in June 2003, which is based in Colorado Springs. In 2005, she was named the U.S. Speedskating’s coach of the Year after guiding the U.S. men's team to an eighth place finish at the World Cup and the women's team to the sixth place finish. The team combined to win 30 World Cup medals. At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Li's student Apolo Anton Ohno won gold in the men's 500m.

In 2006 she signed a four-year contract to coach the Chinese national short track speed skating team. Under her supervision, the talented but temperamental Wang Meng obtained great improvement by breaking the world record of 500m repeatedly. Moreover, a young star in Zhou Yang was fostered and dominated the fields of 1000m and 1500m of women short track speed skating during the time of 2008 to 2010. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Wang Meng won the 500m and 1000m gold, while Zhou won the 1500m gold. The Chinese women's team won the 3000m short track relay, after the South Korean team was disqualified for impeding. The Chinese women's team completed an unprecedented sweep of all four short track speed skating events at the Olympics. The four gold medals her team won made Li the most decorated Chinese coach in one Olympic game.

In May 2010, she renewed a four-year contract as coach of the Chinese short track speed skating team.

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