Hawkeye Sports Report: Liang Chow Returns to Iowa City

Oct. 11, 2012

Gymnastics Feature on Hawkeye Sports Report

IOWA CITY, Iowa — This week’s Hawkeye Sports Report includes an exclusive interview with Iowa women’s gymnastics coach Larissa Libby, GymHawk alum Jessa Hansen, and two-time Olympic gold medalist coach, Liang Chow.

Chow, the Homecoming 2012 Honored Guest, competed on the Chinese national team for a decade, winning numerous national and international medals. In 1991, Chow accepted an English scholarship and a position as an assistant coach for the University of Iowa men’s gymnastics program.

After spending seven years from 1991 to 1998 coaching as an assistant for both the University of Iowa men’s and women’s gymnastics teams, Chow opened his own gymnastics club in West Des Moines, Iowa, with wife Liwen Zhaung. After opening doors, Chow coached Shawn Johnson and Gabby Douglas to Olympic gold in the last two Olympiads.

Libby, one of Canada’s most successful gymnasts of the late 1980s, competed with Chow in international competitions, including the 1989 World Championships. Chow and Libby remain friends after their paths led them both to Iowa.

Hansen, a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, was one of Chow’s first students in his West Des Moines club. Chow coached Hansen for a decade before she competed for Libby at the University of Iowa.

The three talk about their gymnastics ties and Hawkeye bond.