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China's golden couple plan wedding on ice Add to ...

China's first Olympic champion figure skaters Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo are to combine their long-delayed wedding party with a star-studded gala on ice next month.

The couple came out of retirement to claim the pairs title at the Vancouver Winter Games in February, ending Russia's 46-year dominance of the event.

Zhao had proposed to Shen on the ice after their 2007 world championship triumph and, although they are officially married in the eyes of the state having purchased a marriage licence, tradition demands they hold a party to celebrate the union.

"We would like to combine our wedding with a superb figure skating gala, to express our gratitude to all friends and supporters," Zhao, who took the blame for the three-year delay in the ceremony, told the Xinhua news agency.

The couple said the gala, "Artistry on Ice", would also feature Russia's Olympic singles champions Evgeni Plushenko and Alexei Yagudin, Swiss former world champion Stephane Lambiel, American Johnny Weir and Japan's Mao Asada.

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