By Dominique Jando
Zhang Ting was a prodigy hand balancer from the Tientsin Acrobatic Troupe in the People's Republic of China. She was only twelve years old when she appeared at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris in 1996. Her phenomenal one-arm handstands, maintained without interruption for about six minutes, won her a Gold Medal, and the "President of the Republic Prize," the highest award in the competition.
The following year, in 1997, she won a Silver at the International Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo (amazingly, the Gold went instead to the bicycle act of the Shandong Acrobatic Troupe that year). Zhang Ting continued her short career as a hand balancer within the Tientsin Acrobatic Troupe. Like many other young Chinese acrobats, the strain of high-level training at a very early age obliged her to retire as a hand balancer relatively quickly.
- Video: Zhang Ting, Hand Balancer, at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain, Paris (1996)