As Chengjiang Li steps on the ice you can see it in his eyes, the concentration, the determination and the sheer joy for skating. Over the years Chengjiang has been more of a technical skater starting at the 1998 World Junior Championships in Saint John, New Brunswick. He landed the second ever quad/triple in competition. Although he achieved this, he placed 7th because of low presentation marks.
After working with choreographer Lea Ann Miller, Li grew a sense of the music and you can now see his personality in his skating. At this years Worlds he placed 4th and during his long program, his fun personality exploded in his performance. This I had never really seen from him.
Many agree that Chengjiang Li has the best quad/triple in the world today. Skaters including Elvis Stojko who is (or should I say was) the Quad King, insists while commentating, that Chengjiang has the best quad in the world today. Though its hard not to agree. Some say his amazing quad is his amazing trademark move, but I beg to differ. In his 02/03 Long program, during a piece of his choreography (being very creative) attempted to do the bunny ears. I thought this was a laugh and since then have enjoyed his skating and chorography since.
When a skater shows his or her personality in a skate you feel like you know the skater and his or her performance. This, I think, is one of the critical pieces a skater should have in his or her performance in order to have an excellent skate. This is what Chengjiang Li has and will improve on in the future.
Though his ability to jump is a Wow factor too! At Skate Canada, Alexei Yagudin says, I was just doing spins and a couple of steps. I was like, Oh my gosh, whats going on with the Chinese guys? I think he and Timothy will be the skaters of the future. He said this because of the number of quads Chengjiang was pulling off. Boom, Boom, Boom! Quad after quad after quad! Though sometimes quads can affect your performance and weve seen that in Chengjiang. After pulling off two or three quads, the rest of your performance may lack speed and your choreography may not be as affective. Once in a while, Chengjiang may land more quads than he does triples!
As Alexei Yagudin says, Chengjiang Li is a skater of the future. Well the futures not far off!