Chinese Taipei continues to increase its presence in the skating world. The country has now added a pairs team, Amanda Sunyoto-Yang and Darryll Sulindro-Yang, and has now had competitors in every discipline except dance in ISU internationals in the past two seasons, more than many traditional skating countries. The brother-sister pair competed at the 2007 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany, finishing in 12th place in their first ISU championships. They previously placed ninth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Taipei City and tenth in Budapest, Hungary during the 2006-07 season.
The couple’s family lived for six years in Singapore before coming to the United States and two years in Taiwan before that. Sunyoto-Yang started skating in Singapore when she was four. “It was just for fun, because it was hot outside,” she said. “All of my cousins used to go skating for family outings.” Sulindro-Yang started when he was nine for the same reasons, skating maybe once a month until June 2005, when the family moved to Artesia, California. He landed his first triple salchow when he was 18. He first competed in the Asian Figure Skating Championships in 2005, finishing tenth. Last season, he took a bronze medal in junior men at the 2006 U.S. Collegiate Championship and placed 40th at the 2007 World Junior Figure Skating Championships.
The couple started skating pairs in 2005, partly because Sulindro-Yang had difficulties with his double axel and had a knee injury that limited his jumping for a few months. “Our Chinese coach put us together as a pair,” Sunyoto-Yang said. “He was a dancer, but we had too much of a height difference for dance. I do ice dance with my younger brother and it’s kind of fun. It requires a lot of grace.”
Peter Oppegard and Randy Gardner coach the siblings, who train at the East-West Ice Palace. They began working with Oppegard at the end of July 2006 because Sulindro-Yang had begun classes at UCLA and needed to practice at a rink near the university. Sashi Kuchiki coaches Sunyoto-Yang for singles, while Li Ming Zhu coaches Sulindro-Yang. They usually practice for two hours a day, five days a week for pairs with another hour off ice. In addition, Sulindro-Yang practices for an hour a day for singles.
The pair used a throw double salchow and throw double loop last season as well as a double flip/double flip sequence. They are working on a throw triple salchow and a triple twist during the summer and hope to include the moves in their programs next season. “We’ll make our jumps more consistent and work on our combination spins,” Sulindro-Yang said. “I’ll also be doing singles again. It improves your stamina when you do both.”
Renee Roca and Peter Oppegard choreographed the couple’s 2006-07 programs. “My coach from Singapore (Zhang Wei) picked the music for the long program,” Sulindro-Yang said. “Philip Mills found the music for the short. It’s Chinese type music and he thought it would be nice for us.” They used “Beautiful Energy” for the short and “New World Concerto” by Maksim Mrvica for the long. Next year, they plan to have new music for both programs. “We’re still trying to find our own style,” Sunyoto-Yang added. “We really want to improve our second mark.” In singles, Sulindro-Yang used “Sheherazade” by Rimsky-Korsakov for his short and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” soundtrack for the long.
To relax, both skaters listen to all kinds of music. Sunyoto-Yang also enjoys chatting with friends online, reading all kinds of books, drawing, and collecting stamps. Sulindro-Yang likes playing computer games, reading books.
Sulindro-Yang is a junior at UCLA, majoring in biology and pre-medicine. He plans a career in either sports medicine or orthopedic surgery. Sunyoto-Yang is a tenth-grader and is home schooled. She is interested in biology and other science courses and plans to go to college to become an orthodontic dentist. “It’s fun to see the alignment and structures of the teeth,” she noted. She is also learning Chinese-Mandarin in college.
Next season, the couple will compete in juniors since Sunyoto-Yang is seven days short of the age limit for seniors. Their goal is toqualify for the Olympics in 2010. For singles, Sunyoto-Yang plans to compete in novice ladies and hopes to get all her doubles and two triples for the coming season.