Yolanda Chen began her path to sports heights with figure skating. She later switched to athletics and concentrated on the long jump, where she achieved success. Chen has three world records and several medals from various championships. After retiring from athletics, she came to television, where she was able to build a very successful career.
Biography: early years
Yolanda Evgenievna Chen was born on July 26, 1961 in Moscow. She owes her rare name to her ancestors through her father, who is half Chinese. But he never lived in the Celestial Empire. Yolanda's great-grandfather served as foreign minister in China in the 1920s and later became a revolutionary. After the massacre in Shanghai, his children fled to the USSR, where they settled. Yolanda's father was already born on Soviet soil. He named his daughter after his great-aunt, who was a famous cameraman.
When Yolanda was born, her father, Eugene Chen, was already a successful track and field athlete. He repeatedly became the champion of the Union in triple jumps, and also set world records.
It was the father who brought young Yolanda to the sport. At first, she became interested in figure skating, where she showed good results. Yolanda was flexible and artistic. This allowed her to successfully perform in ice dancing. She quickly completed all age categories in this sport.
When she turned 12, her father convinced her to take up athletics. At first, Yolanda accepted such an offer with hostility. But then she listened to her father's advice. In one of their interviews, Chen said that ice dancing is a very subjective discipline and there is a so-called pedestal queue in it. And it was her father who convinced her to go in for such a sport, where everything is decided by a specific result and everything depends only on himself. Subsequently, Yolanda realized that her father was right.
Chen left figure skating in the pentathlon. She soon switched to long jump. Vyacheslav Sokolov became her coach. In 1988, Yolanda set the first long jump record.
The very next year, Chen successfully performed at the European Indoor Championships, where she won a silver medal. In 1993, Yolanda has already won two silver medals at the world championships: one was held in Stuttgart, and the other indoors - in The Hague.
In 1995, Chen was expecting great success. At the World Championships in Barcelona, which was held indoors, she won gold. Yolanda also jumped to the 15 m 2 mark. This became not only her personal, but also a new world record. On this upbeat note, Chen left the big sport.
Yolanda came to work on television in 1996 at the invitation of her friend Vasily Kiknadze. He then headed the sports department of the new STS channel. So Chen began to broadcast the sports news. When the STS channel changed its concept, it switched to NTV.
In addition to reading the news, Yolanda often commented on various sports broadcasts. These include the Olympic Games, World and European Championships in Athletics.
In 2015, Yolanda became a commentator on the Match channel. She worked on it for a little over a year. After scandalous statements addressed to the Russian Olympic Committee, she was removed from the staff of Match.
Personal life and family
Yolanda has three marriages on her account. All her husbands are track and field athletes in the past. The first spouse was Vladimir Trofimenko - pole vaulter, European champion. The second husband is the runner Nikolai Chernetsky, the Olympic champion.
Now Yolanda is married to Yevgeny Bondarenko, a pole-man. Chen has no children.