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Cheng Fei
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Cheng at the 2008 Olympic Games

Country represented

Flag of China China

Born

May 29 1988 (1988-05-29) (age 29)
Huangshi, Hubei, China

Years on National Team

2001-present

Coach(es)

Lu Shanzhen & Liu Qun Lin
Yao Juying (former)

Current status

Retired

Cheng Fei (Chinese: 程菲; pinyin: Chéng Fēi; born May 29, 1988 in Huangshi, Hubei) is a Chinese gymnast. She is a three-time World Champion on the vault (2005–2007) and 2006 World Champion on floor exercise. She was a member of the gold medal-winning Chinese teams for the 2006 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Aarhus, Denmark and 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. She is also an Olympic bronze medalist on vault and balance beam.

Biography

Her father worked as a shipping clerk and her mother was a worker in a tire factory. Her father trained her in calisthenics before school every morning. At the age of 5, Cheng won her first competitive medal at a local competition. The 7-year-old Cheng was sent to Wuhan, where she joined the Wuhan Institute of Physical Education and officially entered the national sports program. Her first coach, Yao Juying remembered her as being uniquely "hard-working" and extraordinarily focused. At the age of ten, she was invited to join the Hubei provincial team. In late 2001, at the age of 13, she was accepted to the Chinese National Team. Her coaches are head coach Lu Shanzhen, and Liu Qun Lin.

Cheng Fei is well known in the sporting world for being highly consistent, powerful and elegant, as well as displaying a fine level of sportsmanship. Sandra Izbasa, 2008 Olympic Floor Champion has described her as a perfectionist, a great sport and a good friend. Shawn Johnson, 2008 Olympic Beam Champion, was also quoted to have called Cheng Fei "inspirational" and "a great competitor". Cheng Fei's leadership abilities are of paramount importance to the Chinese Women's Gymnastics Team.

Competitive History

Cheng Fei is a vaulting and floor exercise specialist. She has had national success in gymnastics as a two-time Chinese National Floor Exercise Champion (2004–2005), a two-time Chinese National Vault medalist (2003 and 2005) and the 2004 Chinese National Balance Beam Champion.

2004

Internationally, she has been very successful as well. She made herself into the 2004 Athens Olympic Games team in Athens, Greece. She qualified in the floor exercise final. In the team final, she contributed heavily to the team, a 9.475 on vault and a 9.662 on floor, although multiple falls from her teammates prevented her from getting a team medal. Individually, she finished 4th on floor exercise, with the score of 9.412. She was the bronze medalist at the 2004 World Cup Final on floor exercise.

2005

On 23 November 2005, Cheng made history at the 2005 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne, Australia, for being the first gymnast ever to successfully perform one of the most difficult vaults ever attempted by a woman. The vault consisting of: a round-off onto the springboard, a half-turn onto the vaulting horse and a 1½ somersault with a 540-degree turn in a straight body position, is now officially recognized in the FIG Code of Points as "The Cheng" which carries a D-score of 6.5 under the 2009 Code of Points. During Event Finals on vault in Melbourne, Cheng scored 9.725 in her first vault (S.V: 10.0) and 9.587 in her second vault (S.V: 10.0), the "Cheng".

2006

At the 2006 World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, she competed on vault and floor exercise, qualifying in first position for both event finals. She contributed those exercises to the Chinese team toward their victory in the team championship and also went on to win the World titles on both vault and floor exercise. Cheng also won the gold medal on the vault at the 2006 World Cup Final in São Paulo, Brazil.

2007

In 2007, Cheng began the year by winning the vault, balance beam and floor exercise titles at a World Cup event in Maribor, Slovenia. She was undefeated on vaulting and floor exercise in 2007 until the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. At those championships, Cheng was recognized as the leader for the Chinese women's team and though Cheng won her third World title on the vault, she made a serious error on the vault during the team championship where the Chinese team finished 2nd. She went on to finish 5th on floor exercise, with a score of 15.050, after getting out of the bounds with both feet in her final tumbling series.

2008

Cheng fulfilled her goal of competing at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as the captain to the Chinese team. She led the team to win China's first-ever women's gymnastics Olympic team Gold medal. Individually, she won a bronze medal on vault (even after falling on her own "Cheng Fei vault"). She got 16.075 and 15.025 on her saltos. She won another bronze medal on balance beam (15.95) and placing 7th in the floor exercise event final,(14.550) after an uncharacteristic fall. She was one of the only three gymnasts to have entered 3 Olympic Finals (others are Nastia Liukin and Anna Pavlova). She led the qualifications in both the Vault and Floor categories, also entering Beam finals with a ranking 5. However, she faltered during the individual events and cried after the unfortunate Vault and Floors finals. After the Olympics, she said that she cried about her failure to capture the two golds she wanted most until she could cry no more. However, she received great support from both her fellow countrymen and the international gymnastics community, who acknowledged her talents and abilities as an exceptional gymnast. In a show of respect she gave the winner of the balance beam final Shawn Johnson of USA a small box with silk inside it. After the Olympics Games, she competed in various competitions. She won three gold medals on vault, floor exercise and balance beam at the DTB World Cup in Stuttgart. Her last 2008 competition was the 14th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Madrid where she won two gold medals on vault and floor exercise.

2009

In 2009, she competed at the 25th Universiade in Belgrade and won a team Gold medal and a Silver medal on Vault.

2011

She was recovering from a leg injury and had expressed hopes to compete again at the London 2012 Olympics. She competed in the 2011 Chinese National Championships in May on Vault and Floor Exercise. She led the qualifications on Vault and finished 2nd on final. She announced her intention to compete in the University Games in August, but was reported to be suffering from leg injury again and retreated from the competition.

2012

Cheng competed at the Zibo World Cup, where she won gold on vault.

On June 14th, it was reported that Cheng injured her Achilles tendon, and is out for the rest of the 2012 season. She retired after the Olympics, and began working as a coach.

Medal Count

Year Event TF AA VT UB BB FX
2003Chinese National Championships1st
2004Chinese National Championships1st1st
Athens Olympic Games74
Birmingham World Cup Final3rd
2005Melbourne World Championships1st
Macau East Asian Games1st2nd1st
Ghent World Cup3rd
2006Doha Asian Games1st1st1st
Aarhus World Championships1st1st1st
Lyon World Cup1st1st
São Paulo World Cup Final1st
2007Maribor World Cup1st1st1st
Shanghai World Cup1st1st
Stuttgart World Championships2nd1st5
2008Beijing Olympic Games1st3rd3rd7
Tianjin World Cup1st1st1st
Stuttgart World Cup1st1st1st
Madrid World Cup Final1st1st
2009Belgrade Summer Universiade1st2nd
2011Chinese National Championships2nd
2012Zibo World Cup1st

Floor Music

2004 - Variations from Don Quixote

2005-2007 - "Mas Zarzuela"

2008 & 2011 - "Yellow River Concerto"

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