When Vincent Zhou took the ice Saturday night, the fans went wild, the fans that were thousands of miles away watching from a hotel conference room in La Jolla, California.
“It's unfortunate, we can't be in Beijing but this isn't bad,” said Albert Koong, Zhou’s family friend.
Vincent Zhou was one of the two U.S. figure skaters on Saturday’s lineup.
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“Every time we watch him skate we’re like, ‘come on Vincent’ but we know he can do it, in the end, he just has to get it done,” said Jennie Hua, Zho’s family friend. We love him.”
His loved ones have been by his side every step of the way.
“We were in Pyeongchang four years ago,” said Koong. “He was 17 at that time and I believe he was the youngest olympian on the U.S. team at that time.”
So you can imagine having to be miles apart was anything but easy, as it was for just about everyone else in the room.
“It is different, obviously, being here and not there in person and not being able to be there for her as soon as she gets off the ice and stuff like that,” said Chris Knierim, Alexa Knierim’s husband.
Knierim competed with his wife Alexa four years ago at the Olympics, this year she has a new partner: Brandon Frazier. Along with Frazier’s family, Knierim has no choice but to watch them both from home.
“I always envisioned that if they made the team that I would be going and unfortunately that can’t happen because of Covid,” said Beth Frazier, Brandon Frazier’s mom. “But at the end of the day, I'm just happy that they have the opportunity to just go and compete and I'm there with him every step of the way. “
Despite the distance, these families will continue cheering loud for their athletes as they live out their Olympic dreams.