Wang Hao, China’s reigning ping pong champ, is finally allowed to have a girlfriend. Until recently, the 25-year old was banned from dating, as is common with many of China’s national athletes. His girlfriend, 23-year old Peng Luyang, is a former national ping pong champion.
“Both of them are old enough and it’s normal,” China Daily quoted Peng’s coach Qiao Yunping as saying.
Star athletes are often restricted from dating or marrying until a certain age, in the hopes of keeping them focused on their athletic careers. According to AP:
Athletes who date without permission risk being punished. In 2004, Wang started dating another fellow national team player, Fan Ying, and officials kicked Fan off the national team. Media reports said Wang avoided punishment at the time because his world ranking was much higher than Fan’s.
Kind of sounds like some Asian parents I know!
There’s something very empowering about that jab, hook, uppercut. For an increasing number of women in India, boxing has taught courage, fueled ambition and rewarded champions who grew up in poverty with otherwise unattainable recognition.
As someone who’s admittedly quite rah-rah about women’s empowerment, I couldn’t help but feel warm and fuzzy when I stumbled on an inspiring NY Times article about the power of women’s boxing in India, a country where boys are often favored over girls.
For many women, boxing has also provided ticket to middle-class life, partly because the Indian government rewards athletes with highly-coveted government employment. And with the recent announcement of women’s boxing as an official sport for the 2012 Olympics, India’s female athletes will vie for international fame as they push the gender bar.
In an interview with India’s most acclaimed boxer, Mangte Chungneijang Merykom, 27, the NY Times writes:
Kom kept boxing a secret from her family — until she won a state championship in 2000, and everyone, including her parents, discovered what she had been up to. Her father goaded her to give it up. Boxing is too dangerous, he told her. Members of her clan disapproved. The boys in her hometown ridiculed her. She held out.
“One day, I will show you who I am,” she recalled thinking.
I love girls who can kick some ass.
Posted in India, Sports
Tagged Athletics, Boxing, Feminism, India, London 2012 Olympics, Olympics, Society, Sports, Women, Women's Boxing
Big news for Asians around the world yesterday as South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun, 37, became the first Asian player to win a PGA major title. Yang, who learned golf in South Korea before coming to America, made a stunning victory against Tiger Woods this weekend.
According to AP, “Woods was 14-0 when he was atop the leaderboard going into the final round of a major. He had never lost any tournament on American soil when leading by more than one shot.”
Never say never, huh. Go Yang!
Looks like Jet Li isn’t the only one who can bust those killer wushu moves. I just came back from the National Wushu Team Trials in Cupertino, CA, and realized how popular this Chinese sport is becoming in the US. Winners of today’s Team Trials will compete this October in the 10th World Wushu Championships, the largest world championship outside of Asia.
My boyfriend’s little sister, Stephanie, made the US National Team today, and I’m so proud of her! She makes it look so easy, too, even with her complicated aerials, jumps and weapon maneuvers. She also placed 2nd for Changquan “Long Fist,” 3rd for Dao “Broad Sword,” and 2nd for Gun “Staff.” Steph’s been kicking some serious wushu ass for almost nine years, and has trained under Patti Li, Jet Li’s teammate on the original Beijing National Wushu Team.
Videos of this weekend’s competition aren’t quite ready, but here’s an earlier one of Steph’s Jian “Straight Sword” performance at UC Berkeley’s Chinese Martial Arts Competition. I sure don’t want to get in a fight with this girl!