Archive for March, 2010

Men’s Swimming and Diving championship

I’ve been critical about short course pool ever since I set food on this New World, but today is actually my first time seeing it in a real competition: the Big Ten of NCAA at Ohio State. The home team won, their first since 1956.
Tyler Clary Jr,
The swimmers would take their mark and dive into the little pool. They would have gone more than half way before they take their first breath. I just totally don’t get it: those little men are so big that most of them only needs 5 flys to get to the end .. I miss the the satisfaction seeing them work the course/lane, there isn’t time or space. They are too busy flipping – flip turning. Just simply inelegant and ungraceful.
Use the 50 meters, the real Olympics size please?

Leave a Comment

Ivan Ljubičić

An improbable champion at age of 31, beating Nadal and Andy Roddick at Indian Wells yesterday. I have to leave at beginning of their first set tie break, wondering how did he get to the final, in such advanced age? Don’t think I’ve seen him often. Ljubicic turned pro in 1998 and earned career prize money of $8,786,405.

Later last night, I learned he beat out Roddick in straight sets to win. Wow .. I understand, no matter how much planing and practicing, each match has life of its own. It is being played at a particular moment and favored the one who could sized the moment, making statistics almost irrelevant.

Carpe diem is never my motto, but being old enough to know, sometimes, you have to just size the moment and living it to the fullest.

Leave a Comment


A perfect score! Yap, we did it, closed it out the season with our 7th shutout. I knew few teammates might have expected it but for me the newbie, it’s still a thrill. Big hearty thanks to Captain Bill and Su, and to everyone on the team, we did it together. Thank you all. Also thanks for putting up with me. The good news is we made playoffs .. phew .. but the bad news is sorry that you’ll have to endure me for few more weeks .. deep sigh.
Contrary to my last outing, the opposing team’s vibe was very positive and I enjoyed their captain Lillian very much: no nonsense, down to earth and very gracious.

DSCN5630We went out after last match of the regular season was played on 3/21
It’s what I would considered a perfect match: no questionable line calls that made everyone uncomfortably and no disagreements that causing funny body language, at all! Although few lines I would have let it go but Simon called it out firmly and IF they disagreed, they didn’t show.
We finished our match as the second string within an hour but there were tensed moments. I was bit exhausted from the AM game, mindlessly double faulting and most gravely, kept playing back to the guy to a point Simon questioned my sanity exasperatedly:
“CAN you tell a man from a woman!?”
Ya sure they all have two legs … JK
Weeeelll .. I’m a heterosexual and attracted to the Handsome than Pretty! 🙂 Ok, the truth’s: I was lazy.

The other two matches were all very close. I returned to the court just as our first doubles battled theirs way to match point. Unbeknown to me and when I saw the players from court 4 were leaving (we played at the old bubble on court 1-3; #1 is by the revolving door), I dash to court 2 (to get my drink), not once but twice as Anna was waiting to serve out the match – sorry Missy. I did only because there were other players crossing and I didn’t know it’s the match point. Trust me, I’m not totally dumb and disrespectful!
The third doubles played a real-life husband/wife team. The match was the last one to finish. Simon went over and cheered, for both teams but the wife told him to stop clapping.

Lillian and I stood on court #2 and watched in distance. She regaled me some warring stories from years on the circuit about couples (after commented that the wife [on her team] is very intense.): one couple who would argue on court consistently .. and over benign and petty stuff that totally unrelated to tennis: like who left the toilet seat in the bathroom, at home. Pretty hilarious. Would they wear microphone next time?

Our opponents were pretty good last night, wonder why they’re the bottom team?

I too, wondered.

Can’t take anyone lightly!

One point at time.

At the conclusion of all the matches, we two captains got to shake hands – my only one thus far. Wished there would be more. It’s only a game and friendship should be forged, not ill feelings being manufactured.

1st doubles: 6:4, 7:5
2nd doubles: 6:2, 6:2
3rd doubles: 6:4, 6:4

Leave a Comment

It’s the partnership, stupid

Yesterday Anne indulged us with her 5.5 pro who coaches 4.0 women in New Jersey for a living. He’s in his late 30s or 40s, trim with a raspy voice, perhaps from years of yelling on court that stretches out 78 feet long. I always wondered when will the coaches start wearing the headphones. But again, when everyone is equipped with one, then it would all be evened-out if they work next to one another.
Simon came bit late, right hand held a beat-up racket (left his tennis bag at a friend’s house the day before) and left hand held a crumbled plastic grocery bag containing six Buds. We proceeded to a really short and uninspiring warm up.
“Why don’t we start the game?” One of us suggested.
“How much would you like me to play, 40% or 50%?” Coach asked at the net.
“How about 65.” Simon suggested.
“No, 68.99%.” I joked.
The coach served first and lost it succinctly. Simon held his serve promptly. Another break and held, we were up 4:0. The coach threw down his racket in disgust after I drove a back hand down the line. I had few double faults but nevertheless we took the first set 6:4.
Here are few factors at work IMHO:
Partnership. Aside from crediting my partner that’s very obvious but the partnership perhaps deserves a look. I was relaxed knowing well that we were the underdogs and confident because Simon would cover my back, who never lost his patience and was gracious in handing out encouragements and compliments. When he was receiving coach’s serve, he told me to stay back because he couldn’t do much with his powerful serve. As an Alzheimer, I kept creeping up to the service line and be remind every single point – to stay back. Blame the dementia, obviously. Sheeeeeshi. I’m sick of myself too.
Looking across the net, Anne has a lethal back hand. Actually she has a well rounded game. But at times they would get into a heated argument, which only reinforced my comfort level, which I feel should be handled discreetly. And a little deference won’t hurt the marriage de temp either.
Pressure playing with a pro or far better player. Being a loser, I never feel bad at losing a game/match as long as it was well played. Few times I teamed up with a Pro and/or Tony and the mounting pressure was just too overwhelming: they hated to lose while all the balls came to me.
“Don’t touch ..” Tony would yell.
“Why don’t I just sit by the court side?” I joked since I really didn’t know where to stand and what NOT to hit.
“Good idea.” He would retort.
Another time with the pro, as he was approaching the net, I began to run back to the baseline.
“Why are you running back?” The Pro would ask in bewilderment.
I was bewildered that he didn’t understand one-back and one-front defined the 3.0ers. Well, again, this goes to the partnership. Although many consider high/low pair won’t work, but a decent result could be manufactured if the partnership is fully invested.

The lob that came in handy too. It’s very intuitive for me to drive back at a hard serve (and reaching out for the shots that I had no business to even trying in the first place). After I lost both points at hitting out Coach’s serve, at 30 all, Simon pleaded,
“Please, don’t try to drive, just block ..”
[I just couldn’t remember .. there isn’t enough time for me to pull back the racket and then hit .. blame the AD .. Hey people, don’t you love it? IF Irene could remember a thing, who else would/could you have to beat around all those years??!! .. .. ha ha ha]

What I’m trying to say is, a lot has to do with the partnership chemistry. If the 2 don’t jell then no matter how good you are, you’re not going to make it work.

The coach, being a gentleman never once hit hard to/at me when I was stationed at the net. Not sure it’s a good thing because real match may play out differently? Personally I really don’t like to hit to the weakest link to get a win, because it doesn’t give me any pleasure. But again, I haven’t been playing at the league, no team to reckon with, nothing was on the line.. .. I resorted to let my partner to do the dirty deed. The coach soon abandoned his percentage playing wow and shifted into full throttle, gunning for Simon’s head and blood everywhere. Few overhead he hit from corner to corner were just breathtaking. During the second set I couldn’t serve out at 5:3, and double faulted to give them the game. They quickly caught up and ultimately took it 7:5. Was there any missed opportunity? Absolutely. Why didn’t I size it? The drive to win wasn’t strong enough, perhaps? I was disgust at myself.

The coach said he won’t leave unless he wins two sets from us. Unfortunately we have to leave early to their dismay – we had a night match. Needless to say, the coach could probably beat us all by himself. It’s the same as I would try hard not to be the stinking liability to my partner.

Leave a Comment

Oh dear ..

DSCN5594Wai has a way of endearing himself to his opponents.

I’ve been told many times by women of my endearing ways.

During a game his partner was serving and didn’t call out the scores. It was 40:15 with him at the net asking if it’s 30 all.
So 30 all it was.
But after they won the next point, he suddenly remembered that his opponents only won 1 point in this game.
So he went to the net again, to dispute ..
[Not much you could argue at this point since both sides agreed on 30 all.]
So he gave them the point. So it was 40:30. So they lost next point. So it’s deuce. So Sir Wai said informatively mixed with innocence,
“Oh its sudden death now.”
The opponent’s Dad in the balcony watching the game with us was visibly displeased.. ..

So pleeeeeeease CALL OUT the scores! It’s only fair. If you don’t, don’t be annoyed when your opponents does.

见牙不几眼The opposing team wasn’t in the playoff hunt but they dumped their first doubles by sending in a 3.5/3.0 combo while putting two 3.5 in their third doubles (I played the girl last summer). It’s not illegal but not very decent either: the idea of a proper lineup is to put your strongest pair at the top, in order to give your opponents a competitive game. The girl in the first doubles clearly had no clue or was too intimidated who often didn’t know where the ball was and what position she should take. Wai tried to engage her into the game by handing out freebies and candies, but she still couldn’t handle them.

After I saw her double faulting for no reason, didn’t you notice I slowed everything down and hit easier shots to her. I didn’t want to embarrass her in front of her parents.

More sportsmanship than gamesmanship. Way to go!

The following day was birthday of our identical twins. Another teammate just celebrated her 29th birthday the day before, a Pacific Ocean away. Having fleeced her out of cake couple of month ago I felt obligated to donate one myself. Errrrrrrr .. you guys have become expensive, ha ha ha. We had the cake after the match. Wai got mauled over with kisses and hugs and being adapted as a kid bro. Great team bonding only short of sleeping together. That, isn’t my business but won’t mind to be kept in the loop :).


Who’s birthday is in April, pls raise your hand. Another excuse to cheer!! The Black Forest Cake has become bit stale. It’s probably time to visit Veniero’s or Ferrara.

1st – 6:2, 6:1
2nd – 6:0, 6:1
3rd – 4:6, 4:6

Leave a Comment

Golden Anniversary; Unthinkable Loss

A  sad story about an 18-year old boy who died .. I didn’t care how it was written (News should differ from novel, correct?).  But two facts stood out: one US took  the Gold from the Russians in 1960 too – a very little talked about fact.  And two, how composed the father was in talking about his recent lost, the most graved lost, every parent’s nightmare.

Another thought/fact: just now, watching the Toronto Maple Leafs (vs NJ Devil), the worst performing team in da league, the house is packed, packed to the gills. The Devils played at home last night, the first place team, the arena was half empty (compressed schedule due to Olympics? The league should extend the season making easy on the players ..). Even the Rangers who stands the chance of a playoff spot, playing at MSG at the moment, but the Garden is half empty, in the heart of New York City. The drastic difference between USA and nothing-to-do Canadians.

That 1960 Olympic hockey squad upset the Soviet Union, 3-2, on a Sunday morning in Squaw Valley, Calif., for the gold medal.

One week later Dan Mayasich reflected, remarkably enough, on the gift he had received. He thought back to a week or so to the evening when he addressed the Brophy community inside the school’s chapel.

“I wanted them to know what an amazing and actually ‘joyful’ thing it was for us to be experiencing,” Dan Mayasich said. “And how unusual or odd it could possibly be … but ultimately how lovely … to be using the word ‘joy’ in the face of such tragedy, horror, sadness. I then had them consider that this thing they’re all seeing, this magic they’re all feeling in the chapel, it’s actually there in all of their kids, all of the time. They just don’t realize it. It’s like this invisible thing that shows itself only when it’s called upon, but it’s always there for everyone, not just our son. Perhaps THAT is God?”

John Walters

For the Mayasich family, that Friday dawned with the promise of adventure, of moments that would live forever. February 26 was to be a day for commemorating a momentous achievement past and for attempting a more modest one in the present. A celebration of life across three generations.

John Mayasich, age 76, was in Vancouver. Fifty years earlier, Mayasich had won a gold medal as a member of the United States Olympic hockey team. During the first week of the Vancouver Games he had sat down with NBC’s Brian Williams for an interview that would run in a Nightly News feature about that “Forgotten Miracle” squad. When on Friday afternoon the U.S. ambushed Finland 7-1 to advance to the gold-medal game, it seemed most fortuitous that this four-minute piece would air. Mayasich, the only member of that 1960 squad to attend these Winter Olympics, would be featured prominently.

His grandson, Robby Mayasich, would not see it. Robby, a senior at Brophy College Prep in Phoenix, had taken the day off from school with 11 friends. The dozen of them, 11 of whom were Brophy students, had risen well before sunrise in order to participate in the Ragnar del Sol. The Ragnar is a 202-mile relay race that stretches from the town of Prescott, 100 miles north and slightly west of Phoenix, to Mesa, a suburb east of the city.

Share Dan Mayasich is the link in the chain connecting John and Robby Mayasich. Son of a hockey legend. Father of a high school lacrosse player. On the eve of that Friday, Dan, the sales manager at KPNX-TV, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, was reading in bed. It was about 10 p.m. The door opened and Robby, 18, entered. He approached his father, leaned over and hugged him with both arms. Robby planted a kiss on his father’s cheek.

“I love you, Dad.”

Then he walked out of the bedroom, closing the door gently behind him.

A Hockey Phenom

John Mayasich was born in Eveleth, Minnesota, up north in the Iron Range. Eveleth is also home to the Hockey Hall of Fame, which is itself a second home for him. John Mayasich, you have to understand, is perhaps the greatest hockey player that hockey-obsessed Minnesota has produced.

Mayasich’s high school achievements on the rink are mythic or, to use an adjective endemic to this land, Bunyanesque. He never lost a game in high school, leading Eveleth High to a 69-0 record and four state championships. He once scored 14 goals in one game. At the state tournament his senior year, Mayasich scored 15 goals in just three games. Three different times — and twice in one game — he had a hat trick in a single period.

There was no one like Mayasich, the square-jawed son of an iron miner and one of 11 children. At the University of Minnesota he was a three-time All-American and led the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in scoring in both 1954 and ’55. He once scored seven points in a game against Boston College (an NCAA record) and is even credited with introducing the slap shot to amateur hockey. He graduated as the school’s all-time leader in goals (144) and points (298), records that to this day stand. Records that stand 55 years later.

The University of Minnesota has won five NCAA championships in hockey and have produced four Hobey Baker Award winners. In all their illustrious years, the Golden Gophers have retired one hockey number: John Mayasich’s number 8.

“John Mayasich, well, he’d be right at the top,” says Murray Williamson, who coached the 1972 USA Olympic hockey team to a silver medal in Sapporo and overlapped one year with Mayasich in college. “John was a natural athlete. He was legendary for excelling at any sport. He could pick up a tennis racket, he’d be a tennis star.”

Robby Mayasich did not inherit his grandfather’s athletic gifts. “I cut him last year,” Brophy lacrosse coach Beau Pich says.

Lacrosse is a relatively nascent high school sport west of the Mississippi, but Brophy, a Jesuit high school, had won the Arizona state championship in 2007 and 2008. Pich was in his first season at Brophy in 2009 when he cut the grandson of one of the greatest amateur stick-sport players in U.S. history. Although Robby Mayasich never once mentioned his celebrated pedigree.

“I never knew about that,” Pich says. “After I cut Robby, he wanted to stay involved. He volunteered to be the team statistician.”

By the end of the season, a year in which Brophy lost in the state finals, Pich was so impressed with Robby’s attitude and determination that he added him to the roster.

“And this year Robby flat-out made the team,” says Pich. “He stepped up. In fact he scored our first goal of the season in a scrimmage a few weeks ago.”

Robby requested the number 8. His grandfather’s number. He also chose to use a lacrosse stick in his favorite color: pink.

“Robby is a charismatic personality,” says Brophy principal Bob Ryan, as he rattles off a list of colleges to which Mayasich had applied. “Brown, Cal, Harvard. Just a great student and a great young man.”

Ragnar del Sol

The Ragnar del Sol, which has similar relay races throughout the country that are growing in popularity each year (borrowing from the model first made popular nearly three decades ago by Oregon’s “Hood-to-Coast” relay race), puts a team-spirit spin on the somewhat stale concept of the road race. The appeal of the Ragnar, beside the road-trip aspect (each team’s 12 members ride in two vans), is that it tests your stamina as well as your physical fitness. The tagline on the Ragnar’s website proclaims, “Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat.”

This year the Ragnar began at 7 a.m. in Prescott, a scenic desert-meets-pine country town that sits more than a mile above sea level. Prescott is part Old West, part Midwest, as numerous Victorian style homes dot the streets. It is a favorite day trip, an escape from the heat, for Phoenix area residents. The race would feature 36 legs (each runner runs three legs), varying in distance from three to eight miles in distance.

At some point after midnight on Friday, Robby took the baton to run his second leg. His path would take him along State Route 74, which is better known to Arizonans as the Carefree Highway. The road traverses east-west through the desert north of Phoenix with nothing but darkness on either side. “Dark and lonely,” one runner described the area. The posted speed limit is 65 mph but at that hour of the night, with few reasons to stop along a 20-mile stretch, that speed is often exceeded. The shoulder of the road (see photo, right) is virtually non-existent.

Robby crossed the dry bed of the Agua Fria River and completed his leg just before 1:30 a.m. He hopped into one of the two support vans, which then drove ahead to meet the next runner. As Robby’s teammate approached eastbound while running in the westbound shoulder or lane, Robby hopped out of the van — parked on the east shoulder — with a bottle of water. He set out across the two-lane highway.

“That portion is just incomprehensible to me,” say Ryan, the Brophy principal. “I don’t know how to explain it. Maybe he just lost focus.”

Robby was struck by a westbound Toyota Camry, which would remain on the scene (no charges have been filed against the driver). His friends immediately began performing CPR and dialed 911, but they were so far out in the middle of nowhere that a teammate had to run ahead to a mile-marker in order to provide an Air Evac helicopter a location.

Robby Mayasich held on. On Saturday morning, Beau Pich held lacrosse practice at 9 a.m. All anyone knew at that time was that Robby’s condition was stable. “We thought that the best thing to do was to get the guys together and have a light practice,” Pich says. “At that time there were no details.”

John Mayasich won a silver medal in the 1956 Olympics and a gold in 1960. He never cashed in on his hockey talent, never joined the NHL. It was a different era. In fact, Mayasich was already 26 and a father of four when he scored a hat trick — after just one practice — in the U.S.’ opening game win against Czechoslovakia in the 1960 Winter Games. All three goals were unassisted.

“(John) was a tremendous playmaker and skater,” the late legendary U.S. Olympic coach Herb Brooks (who also coached at the University of Minnesota) told Sports Illustrated in 1999, “but what set him apart was that he was the smartest hockey player I’ve ever been around.”

“If you were to name an all-time American team, he’d be on it,” former Harvard coach Bill Cleary, an Olympic teammate, told SI in that same story. “I don’t care who you name, John could have played with them.”

That 1960 Olympic hockey squad upset the Soviet Union, 3-2, on a Sunday morning in Squaw Valley, Calif., for the gold medal. That afternoon, John Mayasich was on a flight home to Green Bay, Wis., where he worked at a local television station. On Monday morning, the father of four, with a fifth to arrive later, showed up for work.

At the end of the Nightly News piece that run on the final Friday of the Vancouver Games, Brian Williams noted that John Mayasich and his teammates were too young to be a part of the “greatest generation”, the term coined by Tom Brokaw to describe Americans who came of age during World War II. “I asked John Mayasich what term he would use to describe his generation,” Williams said, “and he answered without hesitation, ‘The fortunate generation.'”

Fifty years later, after Mayasich led the U.S. to gold in Squaw Valley, as another generation of American hockey players vied for Olympic gold, this time against Canada, John Mayasich and his son kept vigil at St. Joseph’s Hospital. By that point Robby’s condition had been downgraded. That evening a prayer service was held at the Brophy Chapel. The 82-year-old Spanish structure, which normally seats 300, was filled to nearly twice the capacity. Inside Robby’s father addressed the throng.

“What we’re experiencing is without a doubt every parent’s nightmare,” Dan Mayasich said. “But this … looking out on this loving and caring collection of friends and family is every parent’s dream. How odd, and yet how beautiful is it to have those two very different forces at play simultaneously.”

Two days later, just after noon on Tuesday, March 2, Robby Mayasich died. He was 18 years old.

One week later, the Brophy lacrosse team played its first game of the season against Chandler High School. The entire team wore gray undershirts that read “WE ARE ONE” and feature a pink No. 8. On the sidelines that day, Robby’s sister, Frances, and his girlfriend, Sarah, each wore one of his jerseys. Teammates took turns holding Robby’s pink stick. Brophy won 10-6, as one of Robby’s pall bearers scored four goals and had one assist.

One week later Dan Mayasich reflected, remarkably enough, on the gift he had received. He thought back to a week or so to the evening when he addressed the Brophy community inside the school’s chapel.

“I wanted them to know what an amazing and actually ‘joyful’ thing it was for us to be experiencing,” Dan Mayasich said. “And how unusual or odd it could possibly be … but ultimately how lovely … to be using the word ‘joy’ in the face of such tragedy, horror, sadness. I then had them consider that this thing they’re all seeing, this magic they’re all feeling in the chapel, it’s actually there in all of their kids, all of the time. They just don’t realize it. It’s like this invisible thing that shows itself only when it’s called upon, but it’s always there for everyone, not just our son. Perhaps THAT is God?”

Leave a Comment

Its Sports Empire Crumbling, Russia Scrambles

May the best athletes win?

The Northern Bears bemoan their lose in Vancouver, and worrying they may lose again in their own backyard in 2014. Buddy, you’ve got a long way to go now.

Coming from China, I feel the playing fields at Olympics aren’t being leveled: free reeling western world vs state subsides in the commies. Athletes in China doing nothing but honing their skills, 24/7 while Americans, most of them, have to wait tables to make ends meet, before they could practice what they love to do. Their varied lives provide colorful commentating during the game. I’m happy to see USA won the most medals and China came in 8th.

Should Olympics allow professional to compete? For example tennis. I feel Federer and Williams have 4 grand opportunities to shine every year if they choose to participate, shouldn’t the Olympics gives it opportunity to the amature and let them shine once every four years? … hmmmm then we’ll have to watch sub par performance.
Tough call.
That goes with basketball, ice hockey, etc.
The USA’s win over Russia in 1980 was such an epic moment, that ought to go down history – Miracle On Ice – as the moment, given the historical undertone at the time. Mind you, although that was only the semis but in everyone’s eye, it was the final. Same goes with Bobby Fischer’s win over Boris Spassky .. a lone man defeated an entire team .. oh, got carried away, chess isn’t an Olympic sport. Russia would have loved that idea, back then ..

Leave a Comment

China sports official skewered for criticizing skater who didn’t thank government after win

By ANITA CHANG, Associated Press

Last update: March 10, 2010 – 8:04 PM

BEIJING – It was a political gaffe for Chinese short track speedskater Zhou Yang — failing to thank her country and its government after winning two gold medals at the Vancouver Olympics.

But the 18-year-old is winning widespread support for her honesty and naivete, after being criticized by a top sports official this week for mentioning her parents in a post-win interview but failing to express gratitude for the Chinese sports system.

“How can somebody love their country if they don’t even love their parents?” China Youth Daily reporter Ma Jing wrote in an opinion piece published Tuesday, echoing the many online comments supporting Zhou in a case that is currently one of the hottest topics on Chinese internet sites.

Zhou won gold in the 1,500-meter race and the 3,000-meter relay in her Olympic debut. After her 1,500 win Feb. 20, a breathless Zhou told China Central Television: “It’s my dream. After winning the gold I might change a lot, become more confident and help my parents have a better life.”

She thanked her coach and teammates, but never mentioned the state-run sports system in which she had trained as an athlete for much of her life.

“It’s right to respect and thank your parents but you also have to have the country in your heart. The country must come first. Don’t just talk about your parents,” said Yu Zaiqing, deputy director of China’s General Administration of Sport, in widely reported comments earlier this week.

Yu, who is also an International Olympic Committee vice president, added that the sports system must step up “moral education” for athletes.

He’s been criticized in comments on countless Web sites, where many Chinese who are normally reticent to voice their opinions speak freely because of the anonymity found online. His entry on Baidu Baike, a site similar to Wikipedia, was temporarily changed to say “Yu Zaiqing, male … no mother and no father, raised by the Communist Party.”

Zhou’s family has defended her behavior, saying she is a young woman unfamiliar with the political demands facing Chinese athletes.

“Of course she’s naive! If she’s not naive why would she say something like that?” said Zhou’s aunt, surnamed Wang, who refused to give her name as is common among media-shy Chinese.

“Zhou Yang is very introverted, her life is eating, sleeping and training,” Wang told The Associated Press. “Of course her parents have sacrificed a lot, too.”

Yu’s remarks underscore the ties binding sports to politics in China, where youngsters picked for their athletic abilities and specific physical traits undergo years of grueling training, with the singular goal of “winning glory for the country.”

But Zhou appeared to be more concerned about her parents’ welfare than her country, a move that has struck a chord among Chinese whose deeply ingrained Confucian heritage highly values respect for elders.

“For a girl who has a humble wish to let her parents live a comfortable life, she was heroic in her struggle to win these two gold medals for China but then encountered such criticism,” wrote sports columnist Sa Fu of Chinese internet portal “This is the real humiliation for the country.”

Like many Chinese athletes, Zhou comes from a poor background. While parents hope their children can win Olympic medals and therefore financial awards, the payoff comes at a huge price. Before her two golds in Vancouver, Zhou was helping to support her disabled parents with her 500 yuan ($73) a month stipend.

She can now expect more than 1 million yuan ($150,000) in prize money to go with the new two-bedroom apartment that’s already been awarded to her parents in their hometown of Changchun in northeast China.

On Tuesday, officials tried to deflect criticism of Yu, who made his comments Sunday during a sports committee meeting of China’s top legislative advisory body. A fellow committee member said the group was discussing athletes in general and not Zhou specifically.

China’s General Administration of Sport did not respond to a faxed request for comment Tuesday.

And Zhou appeared to have learned her lesson in Chinese political correctness. Several Web sites on Tuesday carried comments attributed to the skater, in which she gave thanks to all the right people.

“I thank the country for providing us with excellent conditions, for giving us the excellent conditions for our Olympic campaign,” she was quoted as saying. “And I thank everyone who supported us, I thank our coaches, I thank the staff, and I thank my mom and dad.”


Associated Press researcher Xi Yue contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment

Some stats ..

This tabulation is based on the results of top four teams in Queens and Manhattan – 2010 Mixed Doubles Leagues Adults 7.0.


Although team Hockett had the best stats in Manhattan group during the regular season but they lost in the first round to Kim/Seto 1:2. Team Regione performed well in the playoffs, sweeping their way to win the Area championship: handed team Abdolai a bagel on Feb 27 and Kim/Seto an egg on Feb 28.

It all comes down to the moment, one point at time.


Leave a Comment

A trick

At last week’s lesson, coach Dai told girls there’s one trick that kids employee: late calling serve out, when the two failed to call out each others serve loudly and in a timely fashion.
Pumpkin delivered a serve that’s 3 inches out. Bev returned it. Pumpkin didn’t know if to continue or stop. Then she lost the point.
Dai called the girls over, explained:
“Many kids use this as a tool to cheat. When the serve’s out, they’ll return it and when it felt going out, then would they call it out. Otherwise they’ll insist it’s in. It’s good.”
He said .. “to continue to play as it is a good unless the opponent calls it out.”
The two are friends; neither them are crafty enough to cheat. They knew each other since toddlers. Pumpkin used to call Bubbly since she was too young to pronounce her name correctly. I guess it’s bit hard asking them to call out on each other. They’re not tour pro yet. Just some kids who love tennis, and doing it recreationally.

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »