Tag Archives: olympics

Hong Kong and the PARAlympics 2012!

While the Paralympics is often overshadowed by it’s big brother, the Olympics, I am pleased to say it is regarded quite highly in Hong Kong. Hong Kong bested its 3 Olympic medals by 4 times with TWELVE Paralympic medals, including 3 in wheelchair fencing! In contrast, the U.S. got 98 Paralympic medals, 6 shy of its Olympic medal count. China came out on top in the Paralympics 2012 with a whopping 231. I’m not sure why Hong Kong does so much better in the Paralympics vs the Olympics — is it because of strong funding and support for the Paras? Luck? History? Not sure — but I think all nations should want their Paralympians to do as well as their Olympians, and I have to admit, I’m a bit disapopinted that the US did not do better in the Paras! Knowing how important funding is for competitive athletes to succeed, I can only draw the conclusion that the US does not support their paralympic athletes enough. But go Hong Kong — that’s a wonderful result, and hopefully you’ll do even better in BOTH the Paras and Olympics next time!


So… What Are You?

If you’re “ethnic”-American like me, you’re probably familiar with the below exchange:

Where are you from?

~ New York (or fill in whatever US city, etc.)

No, where are you REALLY from?

~ New York! (honestly – I’m not falsely from NY!)

So what are you?

I really do take offense when based on my “ethnic” exterior, I’m not allowed to be from America, and worse when I’m asked “what” am I, it sort of infers that my race makes me less human (are you asking if I’m a chihuahua?).

I haven’t really had to face much of that here in Hong Kong, though I’ve had people confuse me for Singaporean (apparently it’s my accent in Cantonese, not English – phew (no offense Singaporean readers)!), Korean (something about my looks – but I got this in the US too), even Hong Kong-ese (not sure how!).  But when I tell people I’m American, no one disbelieves me!

Overall, people are more open-minded about where you may be from here in Hong Kong — even when I meet someone who is “white” or “brown” or “black” – I know not to automatically assume that person isn’t a Hong Konger.  

But I recently read this WSJ blogpost about a Malaysian Mando-pop star who got terribly criticized for showing sympathy for her country-man Lee Chong Wei for losing a heart-breaking badminton men’s final in the Olympics to China’s Lin Dai.

I actually caught the live coverage of this game on TVB Pearl here in Hong Kong, and have to admit, it was truly painful to watch Lee lose, even if you were not Malaysian, or like me, had never watched world-level badminton before!

The Mandopop star’s comment, “What an exciting match! Cry cry…but still very proud,” firstly, was hardly offensive, but for some reason her China fans got incredibly upset with her — remarking that she should “know her roots” and such.

I suppose when much of your fan base are Mainland Chinese, you probably should be a bit more sensitive to this sort of thing, but it still seems incredibly unfair to me! She is MALAYSIAN after all – why shouldn’t she want her fellow countryman to get gold, especially when he has worked so hard for it?

This piece really struck a chord in me because I have been carefully eyeing the medal count this whole time, waiting for the US to come out on top in the medal count, and feeling dismayed whenever China was on top.  Luckily, I can proudly chant USA USA!! at long last, but I’d really take offense if someone thought my “lineage” would beat out on my actual homeland, where I was born, raised, acculturated and acclimated, and truly invested in terms of its future.

One critic wrote to the pop star: “No matter where you are, you shouldn’t forget your homeland and your village.”  I can agree to a certain degree — I am still Chinese-American and definitely see myself differently because of that hyphen.  I also appreciate my ethnic background and the land where my mom came from, but don’t ask me to cheer for and fight for a country I really don’t know, especially if against the country I was actually born and raised!



HK & Olympics 2012: First Medal in the Games

Hong Kong won its first medal in the games on Friday in women’s cycling, with Sarah Wai-sze Lee taking bronze.  This is the first time Hong Kong has won a medal in cycling, and is only its third medal in all Olympic history! 

Interestingly, gold went to Great Britain and silver to China — so the flags that went up also had some meaning —  as we all know Hong Kong was handed back from Great Britain to China in 1997. 

Though I am cheering on the USA in any and every sport, I have found myself getting pumped on behalf of Hong Kong, rooting them on whenever they are televised and hoping the best for my adopted country.  On Sunday, I admit I got into table tennis, rooting Hong Kong’s men’s team as they defeated Japan to go into the semi-finals! 

Go Hong Kong!