Vincent Zhou, after a time of tumult, is on track for his Olympic end game

Vincent Zhou
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Vincent Zhou calls 2022 his “end game.”

“After that, I’m going to go to school and focus on my future career,” the 19-year-old figure skater said. “I’m hungry for an Olympic medal. I know I’m capable.”

For Zhou, sixth at the 2018 Olympics, the latest tumult in teenage years full of overcoming obstacles came in late 2019. He tried unsuccessfully to balance an elite skating career with freshman classes at Brown University. More on that here.

He traded Providence for Toronto. Then, when the pandemic hit, he relocated to Colorado Springs and reunited with coaches Christy Krall and Tom Zakrajsek, who helped him develop into a world junior champion in 2017 and a senior world bronze medalist in March 2019.

Now, Zhou is 16 months from the Beijing Winter Games. His parents lived in the Chinese capital before moving to the U.S. He speaks fluent Mandarin and has a large fan base in the world’s most populous nation.

“I don’t think there’s another place I’d rather have my second and final Olympics,” besides the U.S., Zhou said.

The focus is Las Vegas this weekend. Zhou is one of nine Americans in the 12-man field at Skate America, an international Grand Prix event that, this year, is localized due to pandemic travel concerns.

SKATE AMERICA: TV, Live Stream Schedule | Grand Prix Fields

It’s akin to a mini-national championships and the first top-level skating competition in eight months. Zhou is ready.

“I expect him to skate extremely well,” said Krall, who believes Zhou can put a quadruple Lutz and a quadruple flip in Friday’s short program and Saturday’s free skate. “He’s a big risk-taker.”

Back in 2015, a 14-year-old Zhou moved from California to Colorado. He was two years removed from his last competition, due to right knee surgery for a torn lateral meniscus and a focus on academics.

Within the first six months, Zhou learned a quad Salchow and a triple Axel working with Zakrajsek. He tacked on a quad toe loop, giving him an arsenal that only one other American could boast. Zhou finished fifth at the 2016 World Junior Championships while 10 months younger than anybody in the top four.

“I was certainly like, this kid is going to PyeongChang,” Zakrajsek said.

He was right. Zhou, at 17, was the youngest athlete in the entire U.S. delegation in South Korea. He debuted with a 12th-place short program, then posted a personal-best free skate to finish sixth overall.

The next month, Zhou was third after the world championships short program before a free skate with three falls left him 14th. If Zhou repeated his Olympic free skate score, he would have won the silver medal.

The next season, Zhou got past back and shoulder injuries, plus a slew of under-rotation calls at fall and winter events to finish third at worlds. He shared the podium with countryman Nathan Chen and two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, the two best skaters of this generation and, very arguably, history.

“There were people that laughed at me for saying it was possible,” Zhou said. “I accomplished that on my own terms.”

It was the first time that two U.S. men stood on the same world championships podium since 1996. The next morning in Saitama, Japan, Chen’s coach, the trademark gruff Rafael Arutyunyan, high-fived Zakrajsek at breakfast, noting the gap.

“I know after the [2018] Olympics lots of people were like, he’s just another kid who can do quads,” Zhou said last week, “but I’m trying to break that perception and really have a name for myself instead of being talked about as Nathan Chen No. 2 or an underdog competitor or something like that.”

Zakrajsek said he has never heard Zhou talk in terms of wanting to beat Chen, who is 17 months older. Zhou has kept the focus on his own skating.

“But I know, previously, just from before I was coaching Vincent, watching Nathan and Vincent come up in the ranks when he was in California with [former coach] Tammy [Gambill], that there was a rivalry there,” Zakrajsek said. “You could see it from afar, right? But I think a healthy rivalry. I think they push each other.”

Skate America marks the 10th time that Chen and Zhou are in the same senior competition. Chen, undefeated since placing fifth in PyeongChang, finished higher in all of the previous events.

Most recently, the January 2020 U.S. Championships. Zhou placed fourth after missing four months of proper training and contemplating his future in skating before the Toronto move in late December.

Zhou, before taking those two years off in his early teens, in 2013 became the youngest U.S. men’s junior champion in history, relegating the defending champion Chen to third.

“Does Vincent want to beat Nathan? I think Vincent wants to be the best, and Nathan is the world champion,” Zakrajsek said. “So, obviously, you’ve got to deliver the whole package, right, and perform.”

If Zhou’s goal is an Olympic medal of any color, it is attainable regardless of what Chen does, or even what Hanyu does. He has already delivered medal-caliber skating on the highest level, and, if you listen to Zakrajsek and Krall, he is now ready to show more.

In separate interviews this week, each coach spoke first of Zhou’s maturation since he was last in Colorado in early 2019. Krall said that Zhou found “his own manship, his own soul,” after moving three times in less than a year as he turned 19. 

The teen years are about to end. Zhou turns 20 on Sunday.

“He has physically adjusted to his body now. He has a man’s body, and he’s super-duper strong,” Zakrajsek said. “That is, I think, the biggest change. So everything he does, his skating, his spinning, his jumping, his interpretation, it all is now from a point of view as being a young man instead of a boy.”

NBC Sports researcher Sarah Hughes (not the figure skater) contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the last time two U.S. men made a world podium before 2019 was 1981. It was 1996.

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2023 French Open TV, live stream schedule


The French Open airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points at Roland Garros in Paris.

Tennis Channel has live daily coverage with NBC and Peacock coming back for the middle weekend, plus the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and finals.

All NBC TV coverage also streams on and the NBC Sports app.

It’s the first French Open since 2004 without Rafael Nadal, the record 14-time champion who is out with a hip injury and hopes to return next year for a likely final time.

In his place, the favorites are top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, who is tied with Nadal for the men’s record 22 Grand Slam singles titles.


No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland is favored to claim a third French Open title, a year after beating American Coco Gauff in the final. She bids to join Serena Williams and Justine Henin as the lone women to win the French Open three or more times since 2000.

Two Americans are ranked in the top six in the world — No. 3 Jessica Pegula and Gauff.

The last American to win a major singles title was Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought matches the longest in history (since 1877) for American men and women combined.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Broadcast Schedule

Date Time (ET) Platform Round
Sunday, May 28 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. Peacock (STREAM LINK)
Monday, May 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
11 a.m.-3 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM)
3-5:30 p.m. Peacock (STREAM LINK)
Tuesday, May 30 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, May 31 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, June 1 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, June 2 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, June 3 5 a.m.-1 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
12-3 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM)
3-5:30 p.m. Peacock (STREAM LINK)
Sunday, June 4 5 a.m.-1 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
12-3 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM)
3-5:30 p.m. Peacock (STREAM LINK)
Monday, June 5 5 a.m.-5 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
Tuesday, June 6 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
2-5 p.m. Tennis Channel
Wednesday, June 7 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
2-5 p.m. Tennis Channel
Thursday, June 8 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semifinals
11 a.m.-2 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM)
Friday, June 9 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semifinals
11 a.m.-3 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM)
Saturday, June 10 9 a.m.-2 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM) Women’s Final
Sunday, June 11 9 a.m.-2 p.m. NBC (STREAM) | Peacock (STREAM) Men’s Final

2023 French Open men’s singles draw, scores

French Open Men's Draw
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The French Open men’s singles draw is missing injured 14-time champion Rafael Nadal for the first time since 2004, leaving the Coupe des Mousquetaires ripe for the taking.

The tournament airs live on NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel through championship points in Paris.

Novak Djokovic is not only bidding for a third crown at Roland Garros, but also to lift a 23rd Grand Slam singles trophy to break his tie with Nadal for the most in men’s history.

FRENCH OPEN: Broadcast Schedule | Women’s Draw

But the No. 1 seed is Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, who won last year’s U.S. Open to become, at 19, the youngest man to win a major since Nadal’s first French Open title in 2005.

Now Alcaraz looks to become the second-youngest man to win at Roland Garros since 1989, after Nadal of course.

Alcaraz missed the Australian Open in January due to a right leg injury, but since went 30-3 with four titles. Notably, he has not faced Djokovic this year. They could meet in the semifinals.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, the No. 2 seed, was upset in the first round by 172nd-ranked Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild. It marked the first time a men’s top-two seed lost in the first round of any major since 2003 Wimbledon (Ivo Karlovic d. Lleyton Hewitt).

No. 9 Taylor Fritz, No. 12 Frances Tiafoe and No. 16 Tommy Paul are the highest-seeded Americans, all looking to become the first U.S. man to make the French Open quarterfinals since Andre Agassi in 2003. Since then, five different American men combined to make the fourth round on eight occasions.

MORE: All you need to know for 2023 French Open

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2023 French Open Men’s Singles Draw

French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw French Open Men's Singles Draw