Chen Lu and Denis Petrov are expecting their second child, a girl, in July. “Both are very excited,” IFS Asian editor Ted Wilson said. “Their son, Nikita is now [almost] 3 years old and is walking, skating and talking a lot. He is also is an expert at video games on an I-Phone.” Nikita will turn 3 on June 27.
The couple lives in Shenzhen, China and both work at the World Ice Arena. Chen is the figure skating program director and also serves as a coach at the facility. Petrov is the center’s head coach.
Chen and Petrov have no trouble juggling family life with their challenging careers. “It’s not hard to look after Nikita and coach, because my mom and dad are here in Shenzhen and stay with him every day,” Chen told IFS in the fall of 2007. “This is a tradition in China: to have grandparents to help with babies while parents work.”
Nicknamed “Lulu,” Chen is a star in her homeland. She was one of the most decorated figure skaters of the 1990s winning two Olympic bronze medals, four World medals and nine national titles.
In 1995 Chen became the first Chinese woman to win the World ladies title. She retired from competitive skating in 1998 and toured for several years with Stars on Ice.
Petrov is a former pairs skater with partner Elena Bechke. The Russian duo won the silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games and also has one World and two European medals among its stash. Bechke and Petrov went on to a successful career in the professional ranks, winning the World Professional pairs title in 1996. They also toured with Stars on Ice in the United States.
Chen and Petrov wed July 8, 2005. “Living in Shenzhen is much like [living] in the USA,” Petrov told IFS. “There is good shopping, and plenty to do and see, but of course, I do miss Russia and even the USA.”